From the CEO

In the lead up to the Federal election in May, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg laid down a Budget that was both highly anticipated and as expected. Full of sweeteners to entice Australians to recommit to another term of Liberal leadership, with many announcements positive for our industry.

Billions of dollars are being pumped into infrastructure spend across the country, more places to support first home buyers, millions to streamline and improve environmental approvals and a boost to skills and training funding. Not to mention the particularly popular cut to fuel excise and a cash bonus for more than 10 million Aussies.

However. Here in Western Australia, we simply do not have the workforce or even materials to complete the already massive infrastructure program we have. Whilst one should never look a gift horse in the mouth, a strategic approach to infrastructure investment is desperately needed and long been called for – hence the role of the ‘I’ bodies around the country. This needs to be integrated with population, housing and planning strategy to ensure our country continues to be one of the most liveable places in the world.

As many of you who know me well, I’m all for a sugar hit. However too much of a good thing is not good for you. We must consider the medium and longer term implications of decisions made today, that may not serve us well tomorrow.

Federal Budget

On Tuesday night, the Federal Treasurer presented the 2022-2023 Federal Budget which delivered on the Government’s promise to spend big on Industries that grow the economy and take the pressure off the cost of living for everyday Australians.

With the deficit sitting at $78 billion and an election in May, this budget was never going to be about fiscal restraint – it is about measures to “prime” economic recovery and combat the rising cost of living to calm public concerns.

Following the formal Budget announcements, UDIA National released an alert welcoming progress on several of our key platform positions with investment across the regions, environmental reform, immigration, infrastructure, home ownership and affordable housing.

We will continue to work with Government and stakeholders over the election period and beyond to push for further supply boosting measures – many of which are easy wins for the next Federal Government.

Earlier this year, UDIA National engaged Government on its Pre-Budget Submission and launched its 2022 Federal Election Platform – “A Plan for Prosperity”  to drive initiatives that will ensure fast economic recovery and boost housing supply to combat the spiralling affordability crisis. Many of UDIA’s positions have been adopted by Government as policy and we will continue to drive for further changes to progress key issues and ensure proper implementation.

Click here for a quick rundown on what you need to know about the main cost of living changes and the announcements relating to each of UDIA’s core policy pillars in this year’s Federal Budget.

UDIA WA advocacy win for industry

UDIA WA is pleased to advise members that following extensive and consistent advocacy on behalf of industry in relation to the poor administration of infrastructure contributions, the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has confirmed they will undertake an audit of the management of Local Government infrastructure contributions in 2022.

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck met with representatives from the OAG in relation to the scope of the audit which will take approximately 12 months and will be tabled in Parliament in the first quarter of 2023.

The OAG audit criteria are proposed to include, but are not limited to:

  1. Are infrastructure needs identified according to policy requirements?
  2. Are infrastructure contributions correctly calculated?
  3. Are infrastructure contributions used correctly?

Recommendations for additional inclusions in the scope were made this week, with UDIA WA to continue to work closely with the OAG throughout the audit process.

The announcement of the audit follows extensive advocacy work led by UDIA WA Councillor Jeremy Cordina and members of our Infrastructure Committee with the support of the UDIA WA policy team.

We welcome all feedback from our valued members on the journey to achieving best practice administration and delivery of community infrastructure.

Please direct all comments and feedback to inform UDIA WA’s ongoing advocacy to:

For more information, click here.

Dwelling approvals on the rise

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have found the total number of approved dwellings rose in February by 43.5% compared with the month before to sit at 18,675.

The large rise in the total number of dwellings approved in February was recorded across all dwelling types, with private sector dwellings excluding houses, rising 78.3%. The rise in February was driven by a large increase in apartment approvals in New South Wales and Victoria. Private house approvals also rose in February (16.5%), following a 16.3% decline in January, according to Daniel Rossi, ABS Director of Construction Statistics.

Across Australia, the number of dwelling approvals rose in Victoria (91.0%), New South Wales (48.8%), South Australia (35.9%), Tasmania (12.2%), and Western Australia (8.0%), in seasonally adjusted terms. Queensland fell 14.6%, having been the only state to record a rise in January.

Approvals for private sector houses rose in all mainland states: New South Wales (27.%), Victoria (20.1%), Western Australia (11.5%), South Australia (7.6%) and Queensland (6.4%), in seasonally adjusted terms.

The value of total building approved rose 67.5% in February, in seasonally adjusted terms. The value of non-residential building increased sharply (132%), following a 37.2% fall in January. The February result was the second highest recorded (behind March 2021) and was driven by a large number of public developments, with 14 projects valued over $30m approved.

The value of total residential building rose 38.7%, comprised of a 47.7% increase in the value of new residential building, and a 6.4% fall in alterations and additions.

Keystart customers make most of property price growth with refinancing rates at a 12 year high

In a sign of Western Australia’s buoyant property market, the number of Keystart customers who have been able to refinance this financial year is the highest in more than a decade.

So far this financial year, 3,763 Keystart customers have refinanced to a traditional lender, compared to around 1,700 last financial year. The figure is already more than double the average of the past decade and surpasses the previous decade-high mark of 2,271 customers in the 2015 financial year.

Keystart was established in 1989 to support lower and middle income earning Western Australians with purchasing an affordable home with a low deposit loan and no lender’s mortgage insurance.

Keystart is nationally recognised as the most successful scheme of its kind. Since it began 33 years ago, Keystart has supported more than 118,000 Western Australians achieve the dream of home ownership.

To continue the success of the Keystart program and ensure it is assisting as many West Australians as possible into home ownership, one of the critical recommendations in UDIA WA’s State budget submission this year is the increase to Keystart threshold limits.

Read more in our full submission here.

UDIA Committee Roundup

UDIA’s Infrastructure, Built-form, Urban Water and Modern Methods of Construction advisory groups all met this week.

Material and labor supply together with price escalations were consistent themes across the various groups whilst the urban water advisory group received an update from DWER and the Water Corporation on the Water Sensitive Cities Transition Network and Waterwise Action Plan.

New Outlook event

UDIA WA are pleased to announce details of our next Outlook UDIA event as we prepare for some Lessons from the Leaders!

Join us for your chance to meet leaders from all sectors of the WA development industry face to face, as they share deep insights, knowledge and understanding of the industry, as well as practical advice and lessons to guide your careers.

This event is the ultimate networking opportunity for young industry professionals. Leaders will move from table to table where you will have the chance to connect with each of them in a relaxed and informal setting and ask them all of your pressing questions.

Following the discussions will be networking drinks and canapes overlooking the grounds at Optus Stadium to catch up with colleagues and business associates new and old.

Limited tickets are available for this event so book now to avoid missing out!

For more information and to register, click here.

PEF Higher Education Cadetship Program / Internship Specialisation

This year the Property Education Foundation (PEF) is introducing a new initiative in collaboration with Curtin University that supports the practical training of undergraduates in the marketplace.

Each graduate selected for the program will be available at no financial cost to your organisation for up to 12 months (100 – 400 hours of practicum) with the program scheduled to roll out in the second semester (i.e. July) 2022.

To assist with the program PEF is looking for organisations that are keen to provide internships with students set to be selected from the faculties of Science & Engineering; Humanities; Health Sciences; Business & Law (includes Property Studies) and Aboriginal Studies. (Insurance cover will be provided by the University).

For more information and to register your participation in providing internships, download and complete the application form here and return to

Trackless Trams trial confirmed

At the end of last week, the City of Stirling announced it has been granted permission to bring a Trackless Tram to Western Australia in the coming months to conduct an Australian-first trial of the technology.

Under the current business case Trackless Trams would extend 7km from Glendalough Station to Scarborough Beach to offer contemporary, sustainable transport that’s less disruptive and more cost effective to build while retaining the benefits of light rail.

UDIA WA looked at this topic in depth in a recent edition of The Urbanist where we spoke with Taylor Burrell Barnett’s Ben De Marchi and Professor Peter Newman about the advantages this technology could have for Activating the Missing Middle in Perth.

You can read our story in our Transport inspired edition of The Urbanist, here and for more information about the latest development for Trackless Trams in Perth, see here.

WA to return to level 1 restrictions

Earlier today WA transitioned to level 1 COVID-19 restrictions, including an increase to the capacity limit on indoor functions and removing the need to check-in at venues that don’t require proof of vaccination upon entry such as shops.

The relaxation of restrictions comes despite WA recording nearly 10,000 new cases for the past two days, however the number of hospital and ICU admissions has been below predicated modelling.

The increase in the capacity for indoor venues comes just in time for our April Breakfast set to take place tomorrow morning as we shine a Spotlight on Strategic Decision Making and ask the question ‘where to next’ with WAPC Chair David Caddy, Urbis Regional Director Karen Wright and panelist Gavin Hawkins from Edge Visionary Living and Fiona Mullen from the City of South Perth.

Quarterly Economic Commentary

This week the March edition of the Bankwest Curtin Economic Commentary was released, which includes the latest economic data and commentary on the Western Australian Economy.

This edition of the publication looks at the opportunities and challenges facing WA following our border reopening, highlighting that capitalising on the once-again open border is not as simple as turning the tap back on.

For more information and to view the latest edition of the publication, click here.

Updated requirements for entering UDIA WA office

As Perth, Peel and beyond begin to experience an increase in Omicron cases due to community transmission, it is more critical than ever to ensure that UDIA WA takes all the necessary steps to minimise the risk of COVID-19 exposure in the workplace.

The WA State Government has mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for many Western Australian workplaces. Further to consultation and endorsement from UDIA WA Staff and Council, UDIA WA has implemented a new COVID-19 Vaccine Policy that requires all workers and visitors to be fully vaccinated prior to entering the workplace premises in Subiaco. This means that all personnel conducting work at the UDIA WA workplace must have received two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

From 31 January 2022, all visitors to the UDIA WA workplace (Level 1, 3 Wexford Street, Subiaco) will be required to allow a staff member from UDIA to sight their vaccination status or proof of exemption. Anyone who doesn’t show evidence when requested will be denied entry.

In line with Western Australian government health directions, our event venues could also start to introduce mandatory entry requirements.

Crown Perth have stated that as of 31 January 2022 all visitors (aged 18 years and over) to the Casino and Pearl Room and visitors (aged 16 years and over) to all other venues including hotels, Crown Spa and events and conferencing facilities must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Crown Perth will request official proof of vaccination or medical contraindication certificate for guests wishing to gain access to these venues. Entry will be denied if official proof of vaccination or a medical contraindication certificate cannot be presented.

Please ensure you keep an eye on our event pages for any venue entry mandates and proof of vaccination requirements.

Please note that in line with the State Government policy, the requirement to manage the COVID-19 vaccinations for your organisation’s personnel solely resides with your organisation.

Further information from the State Government can be accessed via the following link here.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Access to UDIA WA website changed

Access to the UDIA WA website recently changed as part of our aim to provide exceptional member services.

UDIA WA has invested in new technology that will integrate our member database with our website and online event registration capabilities with our new UDIA WA online Community Portal providing our members with seamless, integrated services and up to date information at the click of a button.

As part of the change all login details for the website were removed and each member organisation’s Key Representative was granted access initially and the Key Representative can now provide access to a further 2 representatives for their organisation.

All the necessary information was emailed to Key Representatives last week and can be accessed here for more information.

Once active the UDIA WA Community Portal includes exclusive member only access to:

  • Urban Express weekly news
  • The Urbanist quarterly magazine
  • The Urban Development Index quarterly market update
  • The Urban Intelligence economic data report
  • UDIA WA Members Directory listing details of all UDIA WA members
  • UDIA WA Diversity Toolkit
  • Relevant governance documents including the UDIA WA Annual Reports and Constitution
  • Ability to update you and your organisations details

For more information or any queries, email