Land sales increase

Preliminary data from UDIA’s Urban Development Index for the December quarter 2017 shows that new land sales have increased by 4% in Perth and Peel.  Prices have also risen a minor 0.5% to $235,941. The data confirms positive market sentiment that has been brewing in recent months and is a good indicator for positive growth in 2018.  Look out for the full Urban Development Index publication that will be distributed to members early next week.

Developer contributions for community infrastructure

You may have noted the significant media attention earlier this week regarding the funds held by local governments across the State, for the purpose of local community infrastructure.  UDIA is concerned that funding collected via development contribution schemes, voluntary agreements and through cash-in-lieu contributions is not being spent in a timely way and is not being reported in a transparent and accountable manner by some local governments.  UDIA is advocating for stronger governance and management arrangements to be established to ensure that these types of infrastructure funding are equitable, transparent and properly reported on.

Today UDIA’s CEO and several State Councillors met with a number of local government CEOs and senior officers to discuss the industry’s concerns and how they can be addressed.  The meeting was very positive, with attendees acknowledging there are opportunities for improved management of contributions.  The City of Cockburn’s DCS model was highlighted as the preferred model for others to follow.  It was agreed that a joint committee, comprising of senior industry, local government and State Government representatives would be established to work through the issues and make recommendations about the changes that should be implemented to improve the system.

UDIA looks forward to working collaboratively with the local governments that attended today’s meeting.

Infrastructure WA blueprint released

UDIA welcomed the launch of a blueprint for Infrastructure WA on Tuesday, responding to an ABC News interview, UDIA CEO Allison Hailes advised that it is a step toward a more coordinated approach to infrastructure provision in our growing state.  UDIA has been advocating for many years on the need for an independent body like Infrastructure WA to be established in order to ensure long term planning for infrastructure is undertaken to ensure proper funding for much needed projects. Despite the importance of forward planning, the funding and the coordinated delivery of infrastructure to enhance social, economic and environmental goals has become increasingly challenging over the years.

UDIA will be providing a formal submission on the draft blueprint and we welcome any member comments or feedback to inform our final document by 13 March to

UDIA represents members on clean fill arrangements

UDIA recently lodged a submission to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation on the Consultation Paper: Amendments proposed following the decision on Eclipse Resources Pty Ltd v The State of Western Australia [No.4] (2016) WASC 62.

While broadly supporting the proposed amendments, our submission outlined industry concerns that the proposed amendments do not explicitly exclude either ‘clean fill’ or ‘uncontaminated fill’ from the definition of ‘waste’.

In accordance with the findings of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal in the Eclipse Resources Pty Ltd decisions, material will still be ‘waste’ if it is leftover, superfluous, or unwanted. As such, any leftover material could still attract the waste levy.

We have recommended that the proposed regulations make it clear that both ‘clean fill’ and ‘uncontaminated fill’ do not attract the waste levy, even if the material is leftover, superfluous, or unwanted.

Similarly, the restricted definition of clean fill premises, which is defined as “premises on which all of the waste that is, or has ever been, accepted for burial is uncontaminated fill or clean fill” indicates that the levy will apply to any material that is received by premises which currently accept, or have previously accepted any waste material. UDIA recommends that the proposed Regulations are amended so that the criteria for determining whether or not material attracts the waste levy, is determined by the nature and composition of the material itself and not the existing use or any previous use of a site receiving material.

Our full submission is available here.

Rates hold

As expected, the official cash rate remained on hold following the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) meeting on Tuesday. The RBA governor said that “the low level of interest rates is continuing to support the Australian economy. Further progress in reducing unemployment and having inflation return to target is expected, although this progress is likely to be gradual.” Find the full statement from the RBA here.

Changes to GST on sales of new property

UDIA National President Darren Cooper sent out an advisory to all members yesterday outlining the proposed changes to the GST system and how UDIA is representing members on this issue at a national level.

To date, GST on sales of new properties has typically been included in the contract price and is normally collected by the seller (developer) at settlement and is then remitted to the ATO during your normal BAS return process.

The Federal Government is aiming to crack down on ‘phoenix’ entities, which collect GST, but declare bankruptcy before remitting to the ATO. Whilst this unscrupulous practice was only conducted by a small part of our industry, the changes will affect everybody.

Under the changes, the amount of GST collected by the ATO will remain the same, however there may be cash flow implications for developers.

UDIA National has been in consultation with the Federal Government, voicing our industry’s concerns since the proposal was announced in May 2017. UDIA is now aligning with other industry bodies, seeking to influence the final legislation to mitigate any unintended consequences, and ensure that any GST collection and refund mechanism is as practical as possible for our developer members.

More detail here

Harley Dykstra- proud sponsors of the 2018 State Conference

At Harley Dykstra we provide integrated town planning, survey, urban design and project management services to add value to your project. Our business has been serving the land development and infrastructure sectors for over 60 years.

Whether it’s built form, infrastructure, or land development, at Harley Dykstra we offer local knowledge with combined expertise to optimise your project outcomes.

Harley Dykstra has a strong reputation of service through well-established offices catering to the Perth Metropolitan, South West and Great Southern Regions. Our unique combination of local knowledge and integrated expertise is used to resource all our projects to the benefit of clients and stakeholders alike.

Visit our website for more information.

Member briefing – Water Sensitive Cities

UDIA was pleased to host a Members Only Briefing featuring a presentation from Professor Tony Wong, CEO CRC for Water Sensitive Cities on Tuesday morning. Professor Wong provided an overview of the role and goals of the CRC and the importance of working with industry and the community to develop solutions and strategies.  Professor Wong’s presentation slides are available for download here

Strata Titles reform progress

The strata reform team has advised UDIA that good progress has been made drafting the Community Titles Bill (CTB) and UDIA will soon be given the opportunity to provide feedback on the confidential consultation draft in the coming week.

UDIA will also be attending a briefing session to discuss the draft Community Titles Bill later in the month.

Guidance on fire safety Performance Solutions

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has updated the Guidance on fire safety Performance Solutions document to inform building surveyors, fire engineers, designers and others involved in developing and approving Performance Solutions relating to fire safety, of the practice that is expected by the Building Commissioner when developing fire safety Performance Solutions in Western Australia.

The update reflects the change of terminology from Alternative Solution to Performance Solution in the building code and includes some minor editorial changes.  More information here.

Reducing bushfire risk funding

The first round of funding under the new $15 million Mitigation Activity Fund has been announced by the state government with fifteen regional local governments, which have endorsed Bushfire Risk Management Plans, sharing $1.47 million of funding.

The Mitigation Activity Fund, supported by Royalties for Regions over three years, will help local governments carry out practical works to reduce the risks they face.

More information can be found here

360 Environmental – proud sponsor of the 2018 UDIA State Conference

360 Environmental is a proud sponsor of the 2018 UDIA State Conference Developing WA. We believe that this is a very important conference for our local development industry and we are proud to support UDIA and its members.

The last few years have seen us all working harder to make better developments in a demanding business environment.  The 360 team understands that challenging times are a great opportunity to develop innovative and cost effective ways to create better developments. We ask ourselves, can we do better than the same standard approach? How can we save our client money? Can we get a better outcome?  We find that when we ask these questions we get something better for our clients.

360 Environmental has a team of over 40 specialist environmental scientists and engineers to get better outcomes for your project. We have true in-house experts in flora and fauna, water, contaminated land, acid sulfate soils, bushfire, hazardous materials, wetlands, and federal and state approvals. Our team has worked with many of you over the last 18 years developing expertise to provide innovative answers to any environmental question in development.

We encourage attendees to the conference to join us in asking how can we do better. The program has impressive presenters talking about important state projects and providing lots of information to help achieve business success. How will you use this information to do better? In these times of increasing regulatory requirements, social change, market pressure and changing consumer demands perhaps you need consultants with a different perspective to do better. 360 Environmental Directors Tamara Smith and Scott Bird will be attending the conference and they look forward to meeting you and joining in on the discussion! Make sure you seek us out, especially if you can see an environmental opportunity in your project to do better.

Visit our website to find out more about us:

Contract awarded for Kalbarri’s renewable microgrid

Energy Minister Ben Wyatt has today announced a joint venture by Energy Made Clean (EMC) and Lendlease has been awarded a $6.8 million contract for Western Power’s 100 per cent renewable energy-powered microgrid project for Kalbarri.

The five-megawatt (MW) microgrid, once built, will improve reliability for businesses, local residents and holiday-makers, removing the vast majority of unplanned outages affecting the Mid-West town and tourist hot spot.

A key part of the microgrid design will be a utility-scale 4.5 megawatt hour (MWh) battery with a minimum of 2MWh that is accessible at any time for reliability back-up services. This will supply power to the town when renewable generation sources are not available.

The project being one of Australia’s biggest 100 per cent renewable microgrids.

Awards for Excellence 2018 – entrants briefing

If you are considering entering a project into this year’s awards program, please come along to our Award Entrants Briefing on Thursday 8 March. The briefing will assist entrants in optimising the effectiveness of their entry and will cover areas such as submission requirements, site visits, category specific information and common mistakes made by entrants.

For more details and to register download the booking form here.

Raise your profile & build your brand in the WA Development Industry; 2018 Sponsorship Opportunities with UDIA WA

With a new President, a revised business plan and a refreshed team, UDIA WA has an exciting future and we are gearing up to deliver exceptional member value into 2018 and beyond!

We are proud to present here a refreshed sponsorship offering to our members. We’ve worked hard to ensure the sponsorship options cover a range of investment levels, presenting everyone with an opportunity to get involved.

Whether you seek an annual partnership that offers extensive engagement, simple brand awareness through a one off sponsorship, or advertising options to get your key messages out into the market; we’re confident you’ll find an option that will meet your needs. Terms can be negotiated to round out the 2017/2018 financial year, or to tie in with the new 2018 calendar year. Just let us know what works for you, and we can tailor a solution to deliver the outcomes required!

Should you have any questions or require additional information to assist with your considerations, or wish to discuss packaging options that meet your budget & will complement your marketing strategies, please contact Erin Meikle (Director Commercial & Member services) at UDIA – 08 9215 3409 or

Download the 2018 Sponsorship prospectus here