From the CEO

Where were you on Census night?  The 2021 Census was certainly a snapshot of a very unique period in our lives, with many Australians still in lockdown or subject to border restrictions that August.

While the timing was unique, much of the data reflects the growing trends in our population, demographics and how we live.  Many of these trends are important to understand in terms of how our industry can and will respond over coming years.

Perhaps one of the more telling results from this Census is the generational shift that is occurring on a national scale.  We are seeing the rise of the Millennials, with Baby Boomers and Millennials now equal proportions of the Australian population at 21.5% of the population each. While in WA, Millennials make up the larger portion of the population, overall we are also still ageing.  We are also seeing growing multiculturalism across the nation, with over 50% of people either first or second generation. Household sizes also continue to shrink, with an average of just 2.5 people per household.

Just these few snapshots reinforce our industry’s priority of delivering a diversity of housing across the spectrum to suit different household needs.

I am looking forward to exploring different aspects of the Census data in more depth over the coming weeks.  Look out for a special edition of our Urban Intelligence Report next month with all the relevant details for our members.

Developing Destination WA

Yesterday UDIA WA hosted our carefully curated Developing Destination WA one-day summit, which provided an excellent opportunity to discuss and delve into the detail of some of the future-shaping projects underway across Perth and the regions.

Split into five sessions the summit looked at core precincts within Perth including the CBD, Burswood Park and Cottesloe before expanding out to the south west and finishing with a look at the regulatory environment and how all stakeholders can work together toward a prosperous and sustainable state.

A big thanks to our speakers including Professor Colleen Hayward, John Meredith, Gavin Hawkins, Matt Ryan, Dale Page, John McGrath, Anthony Vuleta, Jayson Miragliotta, Anneke Brown, Mike Hulme, Paul Needham, David Caddy, Renata Lowe and Simone Spencer, as well as to our Industry Partner DevelopmentWA for supporting this event.

Telling our story

Throughout the day the overarching theme from the summit is that Perth and Western Australia more broadly has an incredible story to tell, we just need to get better at spreading the good news.

The day started with an engaging Welcome to Country from Emeritus Professor Colleen Hayward who highlighted that while great progress in regard to collaborating with Traditional Owners has been made, there is still more to be done in this space.

Professor Hayward highlighted effective, early engagement with the naming of places, the positioning of significant developments and the planning and design of projects will all be enhanced through greater collaboration with Traditional Owners.

The first session for the day then focused on ‘bringing the City of Life’ with opening speaker, Executive General Manager Planning & Transition – Development WA, Matt Ryan discussing the State developers role in enhancing the CBD.  He believes that the City is a great place to work but it still needs to find a point of difference to make it somewhere of choice to live and play.

“The only way people are going to live in the city is if the level of amenity is commensurate or greater than the level of amenity of living in the suburbs,” he said. “We all know we have great beaches and the hills and the natural landscape and the beauty that can be found in any one of the corridors outside the city, we need to find a way to allow the city to work within those contexts.

“Outside the city and in the regions we have a very clear culture and a base that we can build on. We’re a resource powerhouse with an extremely enviable lifestyle and our goal for the city should reflect that.”

Mr Ryan also provided an honest assessment of some of Yagan Square’s shortfalls, saying that while it was a successful project in physically linking Northbridge back to the City, more work needed to be done on the Market Hall specifically to get that offering right.

He was also very positive about Elizabeth Quay’s future, outlining several major commercial projects that are approved for that precinct and how the area was only going to improve and grow over time.

City of Perth General Manager, Planning & Economic Development Dale Page followed Mr Ryan’s presentation and she reinforced the idea that Perth CBD needs a differentiating factor.

“While we know we need more people living, working and visiting the city, there needs to be compelling reasons for them to come into the city, we need a point of difference that allows the broader community to fall in love with the city again,” Ms Page said.

“Long-term I think there is going to be a need to re-engage the riverfront. The City of Perth has started thinking about potential ideas for that riverfront in the future but there is always resistance when you start developing on the riverfront so we just need make it clear that we’re actually opening up opportunities for residents to enjoy.”

During the panel session, both Mr Ryan and Ms Page agreed that attracting more families to live in the city would be important for the future growth and viability of the CBD. Amenities such as schools, shops and other services that are readily available in the suburbs would need to be made available to residents wanting to live in the CBD.

Burswood at its peak

Making best use of the river was a key theme in the second session of the day as Burswood Park Board President John McGrath outlined the second stage of the Burswood Masterplan which is due to be signed off by the board in next few weeks.

Providing a broad overview, Mr McGrath said the plans were very bold and would offer something very new that Perth hadn’t seen before. In his presentation he put forward several opportunities available to the Burswood Park area that would further develop Perth and provide a point of difference in the market.

Among those opportunities included potentially locating the Aboriginal Cultural Centre in the Burswood Park area, installing a Music Bowl to create a festival precinct as well as creating a new urban forest for residents and visitors to enjoy.

“We already have the greatest park in Kings Park which is well acclaimed but a new urban forest will be established in Burswood Park where you can explore Australia’s famous wildflowers walk or jog on a looping trail, work and rest in a range of nature garden settings,” he said. “The aim is to increase the tree canopy cover in the park from 7% to 25%. This will be achieved by planting more than 2000 trees, extending the parks already strong focus on the natural environment.”

Among the ideas Mr McGrath pitched was for a ferry service to be established linking the casino to the water.

“Any city in the world that has a casino on a river like ours, you think you’d be able to get there by ferry but we haven’t been able to manage that yet. I’ve always been very conscious of the need for greater use of the river, our river is not deep like the Brisbane river or the Sydney Harbour but with the right type of ferries, we can create a greater connection to places like Burswood Park, which can assist with the activation strategies in place.”

Following Mr McGrath was Town of Victoria Park CEO Anthony Vuleta who reinforced the significant entertainment precincts that the Town has under its jurisdiction including Crown, Optus Stadium and more.   Given that, he also pointed out that a greater connection to the Burswood Park area would have excellent results.

“We have tried to negotiate with the State Government to open the stadium station to all stops and the reason for that is the Burswood Peninsula is a big parcel of land and to walk from station to station is a fair distance, so opening this stop on a regular basis will present a great opportunity to further access the Burswood Peninsula.”

Following the theme of the day Mr Vuleta also highlighted the need for a greater use of the river to help differentiate Perth and the surrounding areas.

“Our objective is to make sure that there is a riverside precinct that has a point of difference,” he said. “There are a lot of activities out there, the Burswood Peninsula is a real opportunity for activity and entertainment. There is lots of space and lots of opportunity to develop things out there to create places where people want to dwell and use.”

Rounding out the Burswood session, Jayson Miragliotta pitched an idea for a Public Access Lagoon by Crystal Lagoons to be formed on the banks of the river alongside the Crown Precinct.

There are currently 70 Crystal lagoons developed worldwide with over 200 projects currently being designed that are under construction, however with none of those set for construction in Australia, Mr Miragliotta is leading the charge for Perth to be the first location.

“Crystal Lagoons is a highly programmed mixed use day, night and seasonal venue and really best described as a fusion of tourism and leisure, entertainment, retailing and recreation all in a convenient, accessible and dynamic location.”

Cottesloe on the rise

One of the more anticipated sessions of the day focused on two developments in Cottesloe that, once approved look set to transform and rejuvenate one of Perth’s most iconic suburbs.

The first presentation from Edge Visionary Living Managing Director Gavin Hawkins outlined proposed plans for the OBH redevelopment, consisting of 12,000 square metres of prime waterfront with four street facing frontages which has allowed for a very coordinated master plan to be created.

The project is progressing through the SDAU planning pathway and while it has been around 20 months since the initial meeting Mr Hawkins said it has been a very positive and collaborative process that has resulted in the most thorough and comprehensive consideration of the project.

“The vision for this site is to create a village precinct on this marvelous piece of real estate,” Mr Hawkins said. “We’re planning for circa 200 apartments across three buildings, we want to deliver a five star Hotel. The OBH will be reimagined in its existing location and we’re also bringing in a number of public car bays which will be critical for the Cottesloe foreshore.”

According the Mr Hawkins, the development of a new hotel on the foreshore will represent just the second hotel to be located on Perth’s coastal front in the last 100 years following the Rendevous Hotel in Scarborough.

“It is an incredibly under developed asset class in Perth,” Mr Hawkins said. “We’re trying to get our share of the international tourism market which as we know is highly competitive but the fact that we haven’t developed hotels on our beachfront is mind blowing.”

Another proposed development on the beachfront that is hoping to include a hotel component is the Indiana Tearooms redevelopment put forward by Fiveight.

Head of Fiveight, John Meredith posed the question at the start of his presentation – what does beachfront dining mean to people in Perth?  Mr Meredith said that in Perth, almost every ‘beachfront’ dining experience was cut off from the beach by a road, car park or other infrastructure that has to be traversed before setting foot on the beach.

“There’s very few destinations from a dining perspective where you are literally looking over the ocean,” Mr Meredith said. “For a state and a city that prides itself and in fact, it actually operates so internationally as a destination with great beaches and a great coastal climate, we are remarkably short on finding that direct interaction with the beach.”

Mr Meredith said the project was still very much in its infancy in terms of planning and approvals, however he believes it has an abundance of vision for how to reimagine coastal interaction through revitalizing an icon for Western Australia.

“We don’t have that many buildings like Indiana in Perth,” Mr Meredith said “It is a really unique asset and we feel that as a state significant tourism asset we need to retain the façade and preserve the building’s legacy for future generations.

“Our ambitions are clear. We want to deliver the best beachside precinct in Australia, one for all Western Australians to enjoy. I think that’s the challenge and from our perspective, we really want to make Cottesloe Beach the forefront of ‘Brand WA’ and we want to deliver assets on the beach and along the foreshore that we can be proud of and visit and are able to thrive commercially.”

For more information about the development plans for the Indiana site, check out #1 2022 of UDIA WA’s The Urbanist where we exclusively spoke to Tattarang and Minderoo Foundation CEO Andrew Hagger about the company’s plans for WA.

Making the South West Sing

With much of the morning session focusing on areas in and around the CBD the afternoon session was about our much loved South West region.

Kicking off the session was Anneke Brown who spoke on the proposed Smiths Beach development, which is set to be the first major overhaul of the south west coast since the development of Bunker Bay around 18 years ago.

In the presentation Ms Brown highlighted the incredible vision for the redevelopment of the site, with the underlying intention being to give back to the community. The Smith’s Beach site is part of an existing tourism node with the area being a key part of the Cape to Cape walk.

“When the site was purchased in 2014 there was an existing approval or structure plan for the site for a suburban style subdivision, which would result in a high density development, however when the Group purchased the site, they wanted to create something far better than the original plan that had already been approved,” Ms Brown said.

The resulting new plan will see 41% of the site handed to National Park and a dedicated Surf Life Saving Centre established within the development. The maximum height of any structure in the development o just two stories with those limited to areas that will not impact with the landscape.

“The visual amenity of the site taken from key external viewpoints has been considered to allow it to integrate with the landscape as sensitively as possible,” Ms Brown said.

“Our vision is to create a sensitively designed coastal village anchored in a unique place and culture guided by the landscape and its natural beauty. Our philosophy is to retain, rehabilitate and create with purpose.

“The rehabilitation of the foreshore creates wonderful open public open spaces and this allows the beach goer to actually feel welcome. There’s no fences around the site. There’s no sign saying guest only, it is open and inviting and welcoming.”

Another project set to be open and welcoming is the Masterplan for Busselton’s Foreshore precinct which formed the focus of the next presentation in this session delivered by Paul Needham from the City of Busselton.

The vision for the Busselton Foreshore masterplan is to create a unique water’s edge playground to be enjoyed by all.

Through his presentation Mr Needham highlighted the key issues facing this masterplan as well as a broader vision for Busselton as the event capital of WA and also arguably WA’s summer capital.

“It is a special coastline in Western Australia in the sense that because of the way it is oriented, because of the way the wind blows, even though it is slightly cooler than in Perth, you can really enjoy the beach and in particular enjoy the water more times through the year than you can in Perth,” Mr Needham said.

Finishing off the session on the south west was a detailed insight into the sustainable masterclass that is Witchcliffe Eco Village in the heart of the Margaret River region.

Once complete, the village will be self-sufficient in renewable energy for households and electric vehicles, rainwater and fresh food produce.

This innovative project started selling in May 2020 with around 60 homes under construction and around 22 families already living in the ecologically sustainable community. However, the project officially got underway in 2010 when Perron Group and Sustainable Settlements purchased the land for the village before going through an arduous approval process that Director and Co-Founder of Sustainable Settlements Mike Hulme said cost the project around $10 million.

Mr Hulme said that despite the environmentally friendly nature of the project, the fact it was fully funded and 100% met the guiding policy for the area, it still took 10 years for the project to get fully approved.

“When we start to talk about affordability and the affordability crisis that we’re facing, we can’t afford for that to happen,” he said. “Not once along the way did we get one government department, be that local government or state government department, saying ‘this is fantastic’, how can we help you’, every step along the way it was what felt like a fight. So, by the end of it, we were pretty exhausted.”

Despite the challenges and the delays in the approval process the resulting project is set to be world leading in the sustainability space and will shine a light on what can be achieved for many years. For more information about this project, you can read our article on it in The Urbanist, here.

UDIA looks forward to bringing members more information regarding the final session focusing on Pathways to a Progressive State next week, with insights from WAPC Chair David Caddy, Tourism WA A/Executive Director for Destination Development Renata Lowe and Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation Deputy Director General, Strategy and International Engagement Simone Spencer.

1 day left to nominate for the awards

Anyone looking to enter a project or themselves into the 2022 UDIA WA Awards for Excellence has one day left to do so with nominations closing tomorrow.

Each year our Awards program showcases the very best people and projects from across Western Australia and this year looks to be no different.

With categories ranging from Small Scale Development to High Density Development, Diversity in Development to Environmental Excellence, there is a category for every type of project.

The winners of each category may also be in the running for the National Awards for Excellence which next year will be presented in Perth at the 2023 National Congress so a perfect opportunity to celebrate the very best WA has to offer.

Make sure your project is in the running by starting your nomination here and for more information about the different categories available, click here.

Redevelopment of former Perth Girls School gets green light

On Wednesday it was announced that DevelopmentWA has approved a $400 million revitalisation of the historic former Perth Girls School which is set to breathe new life into East Perth.

The Australian Development Capital led project will deliver 742 new apartments, including 242 build-to-sell apartments constructed across two 25-storey towers.

The remaining 500 apartments will be build-to-rent, delivered in a 15 to 37-storey development.

The project will be the largest build-to-rent development in the State and will include a significant number of affordable apartments, as well as 100 social housing apartments, and a range of Special Disability Accommodation apartments.

The new precinct will also include the refurbishment of the State heritage-listed school building into a creative mixed-use space.

This space will include a microbrewery, restaurants and cafés, creative industry offices, art gallery and performance spaces managed by not-for-profit ARTRAGE Inc who have run Fringe World and other events from the venue over the past three years.

Other amenities will also include a 2,948 square metre supermarket and other commercial spaces.

UDIA in action

At the end of last week, the Environment Committee held their meeting for this round of committee meetings including some robust discussions on the Climate Action Position Statement following the Climate Action Standing Advisory Group’s meeting.

On Monday the Community Education and Engagement Strategic Advisory Group also met with a focus on the development and implementation of a new UDIA WA Community Engagement and Education strategy to guide UDIA WA’s activities and focus in this space.

As part of guiding this strategy UDIA WA are seeking feedback from members through a Community Engagement and Education survey. We’d love to hear from our members in relation to their experiences with community engagement and what support and/or resources we could provide to members moving forward.

Please take less than 5 minutes to complete the survey here.

Team UDIA smash fundraising target

Last week UDIA WA’s team of volunteers braved the elements as the temperature dipped to just 7 degrees for the 2022 Vinnies Australia CEO Sleepout.

The UDIA WA team made up of UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck, CLE Town Planning + Design Managing Director Jane Bennett, Parcel Property General Manager Land Jeremy Cordina, Celsius Land Managing Director, Brenton Downing, ABN Group CEO Andrew Roberst, Celsius Property Group Managing Director Richard Pappas and Construction Training Fund CEO Tiffany Allen managed to raise in excess of $90,000 which will go towards helping those in need.

From all of us at UDIA WA we congratulate the efforts of the team and thank them for the contribution towards this very worthy cause.

There is still the opportunity to support their efforts by donating here.

Perth Property Prophecy launched

UDIA WA are pleased to announce that Colin Keane will be returning to WA for the first time since pre-COVID and he will be joined by local experts Cath Hart, CEO – REIWA & David Cresp, Director – Urbis to explore WA’s housing market for our upcoming August Lunch.

Perth’s Property Prophecy will ask the key questions anyone and everyone involved in the residential property sector are asking…

  • Have we hit the peak?
  • When are construction costs going to stabilise?
  • Where are all the workers and when are they going to move to Perth?
  • Do we have sufficient supply in the pipeline for greenfields, apartments and infill markets?
  • Where are new property values headed?
  • When will interest rate hikes dampen demand?

Join our market experts for a deep dive into the new residential markets as they share their valuable insights and predictions by registering for this event, here.

Time running out to book in for module 5

Taking place on Monday 4 July the fifth module in our 6-Day Professional Development course is ideal for anybody looking to understand more about project management.

From insights into project management techniques and scheduling to contract, property and construction law, this module takes you through the practicalities of managing a project.

Registrations for module five close on Friday 1 July. For more information on this module and to register, click here.

Expressions of interest for mentor program with first year Curtin Property students.

The Property Education Foundation are seeking expressions of interest for mentors who would like to be involved in a program that will be embedded into the assessment structure of the Introduction to Property Markets unit.

The commitment from mentors would include:

  • A one-hour session where they will be introduced to the Introduction to Property Markets unit, the role of a mentor and to sign a consent form
  • Liaising with students via email to arrange a suitable time and place to meet
  • Meet for one hour with 3 and 4 students (simultaneously) in a public space, eg a café
  • Following the meeting, provide brief feedback to the Unit Coordinator on student interactions.
  • This is likely to take place in August/September 2022.

For more information or to submit an Expression of Interest, reach out to Tanya Steinbeck at

Join UDIA WA’s RAP Working Group – call for EOI

UDIA WA recently established a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group to assist the Institute in providing leadership to the broader urban development industry in respect to reconciliation and more meaningful engagement with the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we and our members operate.

The Group will soon commence a series of engagement meetings and consultation with relevant stakeholders so that we can listen and learn in order to develop our first ‘Reflect’ RAP in partnership with members of the Aboriginal community.

Currently our RAP Working Group is made up of two members from UDIA WA Council, two UDIA WA staff members and two members from the UDIA WA Diversity Committee. We are now seeking two further members from the broader UDIA WA membership.

If you have background, experience and/or expertise relevant to the development of a RAP, we would love to hear from you.  Please send expressions of interest to join the working group to Gemma Osiejak:

Please include a brief overview of your relevant experience to date.  We aim to appoint two new members prior to the next working group meeting on Thursday 21 July.  Contact Gemma with any queries related to the working group.