Awards judging underway

Judging is in full swing for the UDIA Awards for Excellence with our esteemed judges Cameron Shephard and Gavin Hegney making their way around the numerous sites making up our 47 entries. Judging will continue over the next couple of weeks with the winners announced at the gala dinner on Saturday 15 September.  Make sure you are there to enjoy what is a fantastic night celebrating the best of the best across the urban development industry.

The UDIA Frasers Property Women in Leadership and the Young Development Professional Award sponsored by Stockland nominations close this Friday, it’s still not too late to enter!

Nominate for the Young Development Professional Award here.

Nominate for the Women in Leadership award here.

Get your tickets to the WA development industry’s night of nights here.

Concerns about PEXA’s Conveyancing System

Members may have seen articles in the media this week highlighting Victorian developers’ concerns about the PEXA electronic conveyancing system.  There are a number of concerns related to the system’s ability to process bulk transactions; potential security breaches; and the impending mandatory use of the system.

UDIA WA has discussed the matters raised in Victoria with PEXA in WA.  PEXA has provided a range of information in response to UDIA’s queries and has offered to meet with UDIA WA and interested developers to explain the actions that are underway to address existing concerns.

In addition PEXA is continuing to develop PEXA Projects, a tool specifically for developers and/or their legal representatives to deal with settlements of lots / apartments in bulk.  UDIA WA will be holding a workshop for developer members to discuss any concerns at the end of August.  Further information will be provided shortly.

UDIA / DWER meeting – Water Wise Perth

UDIA met this week with senior DWER officers to discuss industry views on the need for better strategic planning for water in the Perth and Peel regions.  UDIA highlighted opportunities for current planning to be improved and the need for a more strategic approach to be taken.  The government has confirmed it is aware of the drivers for Perth to become a water wise city and is looking to work together with industry and the community to further progress initiatives.  In the first instance a series of roundtables is to be held on transitioning Perth to Australia’s leading water wise city later this month.  UDIA staff, committee members and member representatives will be participating to provide input on behalf of industry.  Further information will be provided following the roundtable sessions.

Main Roads WA
UDIA representatives met with Main Roads WA to discuss the progression of MRWA’s Draft Guidelines for the Selection of Intersection Control. UDIA reiterated the importance of ensuring that intersection treatments and designs are appropriate to the setting and considers the safety of all road users, not just vehicles. UDIA also repeated its call for the setting out of clear guidance for determining where the number of pedestrian and vulnerable road users is considered significant by Main Roads. MRWA stated that the Draft Guidelines were being amended to ensure that ‘safe system’ approach is adopted and that they would be preparing a position paper to provide guidance to identify where pedestrian and other vulnerable roads user volumes are significant. MRWA agreed to provide an update of this work to UDIA’s infrastructure committee and to engage on a regular basis with UDIA.

UDIA/DPLH meeting: Draft Position Statement – Fibre Ready Telecommunications Infrastructure  

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage provided UDIA representatives with an outline of their proposal to ensure that development is designed to enable the connection to telecommunication infrastructure. The Department is proposing to introduce controls through a position statement and the use of the model conditions to ensure that development has the capacity to connect to fibre ready telecommunications, through the provision of conduits. UDIA will continue to work with the Department on this proposal to ensure that any industry concerns are fully recognised and addressed.

Local government reforms: phase one

UDIA was pleased to see that a number of recommendations included in our submission to Phase One of the Local Government Act Review have been adopted, including mandatory training for candidates and elected members along with improvements to CEO recruitment processes and the introduction of a mandatory code of conduct that is applicable to all members and candidates.

Other changes included in phase one include stricter rules around gifts, access to information and a number of out-of-date provisions that will be removed from the Act.

Drafting of an Amendment Bill including the phase one reforms will now commence and detailed information sheets on each of the phase one reforms are available here.

UDIA’s full submission on phase one is here and we are now engaging in phase two of the consultation that includes the review of community consultation processes, integrated planning and reporting and a range of other areas.

CRC Research: water and urban planning integration

The CRC for Water Sensitive Cities commenced a two year project in July 2018 that will explore and facilitate collaborative planning approaches that consider how urban form, built form and water system servicing options can deliver water sensitive outcomes for urban development.

Researchers will investigate development in different contexts, at a range of scales, and with multiple actors, with the aim to create an integrated planning framework, and apply the framework in case studies across multiple regions.

More information on the project can be found here.

State of the states

According to the July 2018 State of the States by CommSec, the Western Australian economy remains the slowest in the nation, although there are signs of recovery emerging. The report shows that WA is seventh on three indicators and lags other economies on three indicators. But equipment spending is now the highest in just over three years.

Full report can be downloaded here.

WA dwelling approvals rise

According to the latest statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the trend estimate for total number of dwelling units approved in Western Australia rose 1.7% in June. The trend estimate for the number of private sector houses fell 1.4%.

WA’s results were actually higher that the national average, where the number of dwellings approved across Australia rose by a minimal 0.1 per cent for the month.  The highest state or territory approval rates were in the ACT, experiencing a 5.8% rise in dwelling approvals.

More information here

UDIA members are best employers!

Congratulations to Wood & Grieve Engineers (WGE), who have been awarded their eighth Aon Hewitt Best Employer Accreditation, becoming Australia’s longest running accredited Best Employer in the history of the program. Last year, more than 80,000 employees from 123 organisations were surveyed with just 16 organisations receiving Best Employer status – including WGE.

WA development offers peer to peer energy trading

Evermore apartments in White Gum Valley are the first residential development in the country where residents can trade renewable energy. Yolk Property Group has partnered with Power Ledger to implement world-leading blockchain technology – powered by solar photovoltaics and lithium battery technology – allowing residents to buy and sell solar power amongst themselves.

It has been forecast the 53.6kW solar system with 150kW of battery storage at Evermore will produce approximately 80 per cent of the apartments’ power, with residents expected to benefit from a 30 per cent saving on their electricity bills.

More information here.