UDIA working with government for clarity on stimulus

UDIA has been advocating tirelessly on behalf of members at a state and federal level to ensure that the stimulus measures are implemented to maximise benefit to industry and new home buyers alike.

With a sudden and significant spike in demand, pressure has been increasing on civil contractors and consultants to deliver titled stock to meet the 31 December 2020 deadline. This is leading to safety concerns for workers and a huge spike in late November/early December for clearances, approvals and title issue.

In announcing that application forms are now online for up to $45,000 in government home building grants, Treasurer Ben Wyatt confirmed that the State Government is following suit with changes to the Commonwealth’s HomeBuilder criteria in relation to the definition of ‘commencement of construction’.

New builds will now be eligible to receive the grant when significant earthworks, excavation or physical building work commence within six months of contract date. This criteria replaces the previous requirement for ‘slab down’ within six months.

Details of commencement definition for each contract type is provided in the application form here.

UDIA are meeting with the Commissioner of RevenueWA and the State Treasurer’s office today to obtain further clarification around the commencement definition and amendment to the requirement for a title by 31 December, further to the inclusion of ‘the eligible transferee on the transfer of land’ statement as part of the requirements by 31 December 2020.

With increasing levels of confusion amongst industry and mixed messages being provided to consumers, UDIA is prioritising achieving absolutely clarity around the administration of both stimulus schemes and will keep members updated.

Key Committee Updates

The return of UDIA’s in-person committees continued in full flow this week with meetings held for the Urban Water Committee, Industry & Workforce Diversity Committee and the Land Use Planning Committee with a presentation from DPLH Chief Planning Advisor Kathy Bonus at the latter.

UDIA’s Urban Water Committee met last Friday and discussed a range of issues including the Perth Water Wise Action Plan, State Government agency performance, shallow groundwater, and the Draft State Planning Policy 2.9, Water Resources.

On Monday the Industry & Workforce Diversity Committee met and discussed the newly adopted UDIA WA Diversity Policy and progress on the launch of an online Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit to help foster greater diversity across the industry.

This was followed with the Land Use Planning Committee meeting on Tuesday with a special presentation provided by DPLH’s Chief Planning Advisor, Kathy Bonus who gave an overview of the recent amendments to the Planning and Development Act and the ‘Significant Development’ Assessment Pathway.

Kathy also provided an update on the broader planning reform program including an overview of the proposed amendments to the R-Codes, medium density design code and precinct policy.

UDIA thanks Kathy for taking the time to engage with industry and we look forward to further collaboration as the Department continues to deliver its comprehensive reform program.

UDIA is currently seeking member feedback on the proposed R-Code amendments, which can be provided to policy@udiawa.com.au

Neighbourhood Design – Movement Network Workshop

UDIA recently took part in a workshop hosted by the Department of Planning Lands and Heritage examining the effectiveness of the ‘Movement Network’ component of Livable Neighbourhoods.

The review feeds into the broader Design WA policy framework that will result in the existing ‘LN’ guidelines being replaced by SPP7.1 Neighbourhood Design.

DPLH indicated that the review of the Movement Network component is anticipated to be completed by mid-2021. UDIA will keep members informed of progress.

State Government unveils $5.5 billion recovery plan

On Sunday, Premier Mark McGowan unveiled the $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan, designed to drive economic and social recovery across the State by creating a pipeline of work and activity.

The plan has been developed in consultation with the State Recovery Advisory Group, of which UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck is a member.

The overarching recovery plan is focused on getting Western Australians back to work and will look to deliver long-term economic and social outcomes in the suburbs and regions.

The $5.5 billion investment is designed to create thousands of local jobs across a range of sectors including construction, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, renewable energy, education and training, agriculture, mining and conservation.

As part of the plan, the McGowan Government will invest more than $60 million for ‘shovel-ready’ maintenance upgrades to vital State Government facilities. This includes improvements to disability access at train stations, refurbishments of WA Police stations and upgrades to Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service and Career Fire and Rescue Service stations.

As part of the plan the Government has already announced key investment decisions including a $66.3 million renewable energy technology package to create jobs, reduce costs and improve WA’s renewable energy footprint; an additional $10 million to the Clean Energy Future Fund and $60.3 million over the next three years to support projects that will protect our environment and create jobs, of which $15 million has been allocated to set up a Native Vegetation Rehabilitation Scheme.

The WA Recovery Plan includes $2.77 billion in relief and stimulus measures already approved during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full details on each element of the comprehensive WA Recovery Plan will be released over time and will be available here.

UDI webinar for UDIA WA Members

On Friday 7 August UDIA WA and Urbis will host a free online webinar for members looking at the latest results from our Home Purchaser Sentiment Survey and the June Quarter Urban Development Index Analysis, which will include the recent spike in land sales following the Housing Stimulus measures.

The June quarter has been the strongest quarter on record for land sales and participants will find out where the activity is located and what purchaser sentiment is.

Perth’s leading property economists David Cresp and Tim Connoley of Urbis will provide an overview of their outlook for the residential market along with the results of the Urbis/UDIA Home Purchaser Sentiment Survey and the June UDIA Urban Development Index.

The Urban Development Index is a quarterly research publication released by UDIA WA, which covers Residential Land Activity. It provides a comprehensive analysis of land sales activity in the state, as well as current property and economic conditions. Data and analysis includes land sales, lots on the market, and developer lot construction intentions over the next 12 months.

To register please email events@udiawa.com.au and for more information, click here.

WA’s hard border debate

Following a three-day trial in the Federal Court in Brisbane, the decision over whether to bring down Western Australia’s hard border will head to the High Court where a final decision will be handed down, however any trial in the High Court is unlikely to happen before September or October.

Despite the best efforts from WA Premier Mark McGowan and the State’s legal team, there is speculation the High Court will decide in favour of mining magnate Clive Palmer in ordering for the hard border to be removed.

The challenge from Mr Palmer was supported by the Federal Government as they viewed a complete border as unconstitutional and instead were arguing for a hotspots border arrangement as seen in other states around the country.

Mr McGowan is against the idea of hotspots style border as he described this as a “hodgepodge” system that relied on the honesty and integrity of others.

WA jobs starting to return

ABS figures released earlier this week showed that Western Australia is beginning to start its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic with 62% of the jobs displaced in April recovered by July 11.

The ABS payroll data also showed Western Australia has recorded the lowest decline in the number of jobs in the nation, down 3.1% compared to a 5.6 per cent fall nationally, since March 14, 2020, when Australia recorded its 100th COVID-19 case.

The more positive figures align with the easing of restrictions that occurring in June, which, among other things, removed limits on social gatherings, the requirement for seated service only in restaurants and pubs, as well as the resumption of unseated performances in live music venues and bars.

James Hardie tackles High Density Design

On Tuesday James Hardie Commercial BDM (WA) Daniel Lee led UDIA members on a journey to better High Density Designs in the latest Member Briefing to take place; High Density Webinar: Key elements to good façade design & the crucial balance between Form & Function.

During the briefing attendees were shown that good façade design goes well beyond the external aesthetic of a building as the safety of occupants, and the long-term durability of our buildings remains fundamental to all design.

A key aspect of this is managing fire, weather, moisture & thermal performance at the building envelope, as is understanding compliance under both the NCC and your manufacturer’s warranty requirements.

In highlighting these points and ideas, Mr Lee revealed how James Hardie leverages innovation and collaboration to deliver certified system solutions that are cost effective and quick to install, bringing forth best practices from their exposure and experience across local, national and global markets.

Following on from these insights Mr Lee showcased case studies of some key high density developments from around the country that demonstrate how early engagement and collaboration is pivotal to harnessing modern materials and construction methods, that achieve dependable, quality outcomes for all stakeholders.

We extend our thanks to Mr Lee and the rest of the team at James Hardie for providing this interesting and valuable information for our members.

Chance to be included in next edition of The Urbanist

UDIA WA are in the process of compiling content for the third edition of our 48-page industry magazine The Urbanist and we are on the hunt for innovative projects to be showcased in the edition.

The third edition, due out in September, will focus on innovation by showcasing some of the exciting initiatives and projects that are progressing within the development industry.

As part of this, we are on the hunt for projects or developments particularly focused on progressing and enhancing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular that of SDG Goal 9. The UN SDGs were adopted in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. UN SGD 9 looks at Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

If you think your project fits the above category or if you have an innovative project that you would like considered, please get in touch with the UDIA WA communications team at gosiejak@udiawa.com.au.

Last chance to register for the Quiz Night

There are just a few days left to register for the upcoming Outlook UDIA Quiz Night, set to be held at The Pickle Factory on Thursday 13 August.

This is an excellent way to network with like-minded professionals as you pit your knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the development industry.

Book in Teams of 8 or Teams of 4 (to be placed with another Team of 4 to make up the 8 players), or fly solo and be allocated to a Networking Team! Registration includes the quiz run by the trivial experts Quizzame, a 3 hour beverage package & unlimited traditional woodfired pizzas!

Register now before it is too late, here.

Our thanks go to event sponsors and Outlook Partners Now Living and Cedar Woods.

UDIA requests for feedback

UDIA is working on submissions and responses in relation to the following.  Members are encouraged to provide feedback and comments to inform our submissions to policy@udiawa.com.au by the specified dates below:

A Stronger Tomorrow State Infrastructure Strategy Discussion paper (here), closes Friday 21 August. Please provide feedback to UDIA no later than Friday 7 August.

The R-Codes Interim COVID-19 Review (here), closes September 10th. Please provide feeback to UDIA no later than Thursday 27 August.

Building and Energy has released a consultation paper proposing changes to the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 to allow for the registration of building engineers and to introduce a code of conduct for engineers. The closing date for submissions is Thursday 3 December 2020. Download the consultation paper here for details of the proposals and to have your say. Please provide feedback to UDIA no later than Thursday 19 November.

Consumer Price Index falls amid uncertainty

Nationally, the All Groups Consumer Price Index fell 1.9% in the June 2020 quarter, compared to a rise of 0.3% in the March 2020 quarter, and fell 0.3% over the twelve months to the June 2020 quarter, compared to a rise of 2.2% over the twelve months to the March 2020 quarter.

In WA the All Groups CPI decreased 1.23% over the June 2020 quarter to 112.1, down from 113.5 in the March 2020 quarter. YOY the index remained constant, increasing just 0.09% compared to the same quarter in 2019.

Economic and Employment Land Monitor 2020

In June the latest edition of the Economic and Employment Land Monitor was released superseding the previous one released in April 2015.

The Economic and Employment Land Monitor provides an in-depth analysis of the employment and land use characteristics in selected, established major industrial centres in the Perth metropolitan and Peel regions.

Among the key findings this edition revealed that after a sustained period of strong demand for industrial land in Western Australia, conditions softened substantially following the end of the mining construction boom. There were signs that a tentative recovery in industrial land was in the process of taking place, however, the current COVID-19 epidemic is likely to hinder potential improvement.

For more information and to read the latest edition in full, click here.

SHIFT DigiConference takes place tomorrow

UDIA WA is pleased to support the upcoming DigiConference organised by Town Teams.

If you missed the inimitable David Engwicht at our State Conference in February, here is your chance to hear from the man himself, as he provides the keynote address along with a range of other thought-provoking speakers from around the country.

Exploring topics including recovery after crisis, helping retailers post-COVID, placemaking and place-branding, this conference is not to be missed.

Find out more and purchase tickets here.

While this conference is online, the after party is not!  Join fellow Perth delegates at The Rooftop at The Rechabite from 4pm – 6pm on the day of the conference to meet face to face and discuss what you have learned.

Public Open Space planning in Rockingham open for discussion

The City of Rockingham is seeking public comment on its draft Public Open Space Community Plan Strategy (POS Strategy).

The City is responsible for the management of over 460 individual parcels of POS including parks, active playing fields and nature reserves. Additional POS is regularly being added in emerging areas through the land development process. At least 27% of the total municipality area is currently reserved for conservation, foreshore and formal open space.

The draft POS Strategy is a new item that aligns with the City’s Strategic Community Plan 2019-2029. The Strategy has been prepared to guide the planning, development and management of POS.

View a copy of the draft strategy here

The submission period for the draft POS Strategy closes tomorrow 31 July 2020.

Covid-19 and homelessness

Shelter WA is hosting a free event to discuss sector, community and government perpecitves on the impact of Covid-19 on homelessness.  The event will be held on Monday 3rd August from 9:30am to 1:00pm.

Featuring an overview of the homelessness taskforce, scenario planning and what this means for the Homelessness strategy and services will be provided by the Department of Communities.

Professor David Gilchrist from UWA will facilitate a panel discussion between taskforce members, government and industry will reflect on the current and projected impact of COVID on the community, what they are seeing on the ground and what this means for service provision moving forward

More information and to register click here.