National CEO Meeting

CEO Allison Hailes this week participated in a national meeting of UDIA’s State CEOs in Melbourne. The focus of the meeting was the development of UDIA’s new national policy and advocacy strategy, which will be used to guide the Institute’s advocacy in the lead up to the next federal election. Key areas of priority identified in the draft strategy include addressing supply side barriers to housing affordability; federal taxes; and infrastructure investment. The draft strategy will be considered by National Council at it’s July meeting.

UDIA meets with Chairman, WA Planning Commission

Senior UDIA representatives had a very positive meeting with the new Chairman of the WA Planning Commission, David Caddy last Friday and discussed a range of issues that are of concern to members.

Topics of discussion included consultation on the Planning Reform Green Paper; a range of matters related to implementation and review of the Perth and Peel @3.5m Frameworks, including how and when areas marked for further investigation will be progressed and with UDIA suggesting the need for a proponent led option to be included; review of the current developer contributions for infrastructure policy and establishment of a joint Industry/State/Local Government Committee to provide input and guidance; development of the Design WA State Planning Policy, including industry’s outstanding concerns about the Apartment Guidelines and the need for a new Medium Density Code; and when the outcomes of the Bushfire Planning Review undertaken by Dr Buti will be released.

UDIA was pleased with the open discussions, and looks forward to working with the Chairman going forward.

Perth and Peel Green Growth Plan for 3.5M: under review

UDIA has welcomed an independent review on the Strategic Assessment of the Perth and Peel Regions that will be carried out over the next six months and report directly to the Deputy Premier Roger Cook MLA.  Work is currently suspended on the Strategic Assessment process to allow for the review.

The four members of the review panel include Darren Cooper (Chair), current National President of UDIA; Robyn Glindermann, expert in planning law; Ross Holt, economist and former senior public servant; and Professor Michael Poole, inaugural Chair of the WA Biodiversity Science Institute.

Terms of Reference for the review include identifying the merits or otherwise to the State Government and key stakeholders of undertaking a strategic assessment along with pin pointing the risks and benefits to private landholders from implementation of strategic assessment.

UDIA looks forward to engaging with the review process and ensuring that industry’s interests are considered.

More details including the full terms of reference can be found here.

Infrastructure reforms could boost economy

Infrastructure Australia (IA) released their latest report in their infrastructure reform series entitled Making Reform Happen at the Australian Financial Review (AFR) National Infrastructure Summit in Sydney earlier this week.

The paper includes new economic modelling that suggests introducing incentive payments to encourage the states and territories to progress nation-shaping infrastructure reforms could boost the economy by $66 billion.

There are five reforms that IA says are well suited to an incentive-based funding approach, including: introducing road user charging; reforming the urban water sector; reforming the electricity market; reforming land tax; and franchising public transport services.

UDIA National welcomed the modelling and advised that leadership needs to come from the Federal Government to drive infrastructure reform.  Importantly, reform must be implemented in a way that improves the supply of housing through cutting red tape, in order to improve housing affordability.

More details on the reform paper can be found here.

UDIA seeks member feedback

If you are interested in assisting UDIA in our advocacy work, we welcome feedback for inclusion in our submissions on the following items to

  • Planning Reform Green Paper (submissions close 20/7) (here)
  • Draft Industry Regulation Guide to Licensing (closing 20 July) (here)
  • Draft Position Statement On Renewable Energy Facilities (closing 27 July) (here)

National economy grows while WA still behind

Good news for the national economy yesterday with the ABS releasing their latest Australian National Accounts data that reflected a 1% growth (seasonally adjusted) in the Australian economy in the March 2018 quarter. The Australian economy has grown 3.1% through the year.

The news is not as positive for WA, where state final demand decreased 1.1% in the March quarter following a revised increase of 0.5% in the December quarter. The fall in the March quarter was driven by reduced private capital investment.

Despite the quarterly fall, the WA economy has experienced incremental growth over the year.

More details here.

New industrial estate for West Mundijong

The state government has granted approval to rezone 449ha of rural land to industrial in West Mundijong. The area is adjacent to a freight rail line and major roads, making it a key long-term link to the Inner Harbour and future Outer Harbour.

Metropolitan Region Scheme Amendment 1298/41 changes the zoning from rural to industrial, and according to the state government, will facilitate job-generating developments in the area and provide a new employment hub for nearby residents.

The Minister for Planning has also approved Amendment 187 to the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale’s Town Planning Scheme, which will facilitate detailed planning of the land and a development contribution scheme to assist local infrastructure funding.

Interest rates hold as national house prices decline

The RBA held the official cash rate at 1.5% this week, taking it to the 20th consecutive meeting that it has held rates.

While economic conditions remain somewhat weakened across the nation, recent declines in house prices, particularly on the east coast, may indicate a move upward for rates later in the year.

According to CoreLogic RP Data, Australian dwelling values decreased by 0.1% in May 2018 and 0.4% for the year to $555,274. Sydney has experienced a 4.2% decline in prices for the year.

In Perth, prices were also down 0.1% for the month to $463,319.

People will pay premium for energy efficient homes

New research undertaken by Thrive, based at the University of Melbourne, has found that people are paying a premium for more energy efficient homes.

The research is based on property transactions in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) occurring between January 2011 and December 2016 including 42,000 sales transactions.

The results demonstrate a sales premium is associated for higher star ratings, in particular up to 9.4% for a 7-star rated home (3 star is a reference level).

More information on the research can be found here.

National strata data reflects importance of sector

A new report by the City Futures Research Centre based at the University of New South Wales outlines the economic value of the strata sector to the national economy and provides a breakdown of the information state by state. This is the first report of its kind in Australia.

The Australian National Strata Data 2018 report shows that 4% of the West Australian population live in apartments and while 40% are lone person households, 8% are couples with children. Less than half of all apartment residents are born in Australia and the majority (40%) are rentals.

There are 43,001 residential and 5,636 non-residential strata schemes in WA and the total insured value of schemes is $82,404,741,806.

The report goes into further detail regarding the economic benefits of strata and can be downloaded here.