Community Titles Bill passes Parliament

As UDIA was pleased to advise members yesterday, the Community Titles Bill 2018 was passed by state Parliament with minor amendments on Tuesday. This follows the passing of the Strata Titles Amendment Bill 2018 last week.

Significantly, the Community Titles Act will allow for the introduction of Community Schemes for the first time in Western Australia, bringing us up to speed with our eastern states counterparts.

This means there will now be an option for subdividing a single parcel of freehold land into multiple community titles schemes that together are called a ‘community scheme’.

As our members will be aware, UDIA has been working closely with Landgate on the drafting and introduction of Strata Titles Reform legislation suite over several years.

We commend the McGowan government and Landgate for the excellent consultation process to date.

We look forward to seeing the relevant regulations finalised in the near future so that the opportunities that Strata Reform will bring to WA can be realised.

UDIA hosted an Industry Breakfast this morning on ‘Intensity not Density’ and the need for government policy that facilitates quality, medium density development in appropriate areas including activity centres and transport nodes was a big focus of discussions.

Community Title is one aspect that should deliver better outcomes for this type of development.

Visit the Landgate website for more detailed information about the Strata Titles Reform process and legislation here.

Defining medium density housing

UDIA’s industry breakfast yesterday morning centred on the theme ‘Intensity not Density: delivering a diverse and compact Perth’ and how we can achieve more quality medium density housing options in the right locations including key employment, transport and community nodes.

Key note presenter Michael Webb, Director at Urbis, provided a personal insight into the current challenges associated with trying to find affordable housing options that meet a diverse range of buyers needs in inner and middle ring established suburbs of Perth.

Michael provided a comparative case study between housing options in Chermside, Queensland and Innaloo in Perth. Highlighting the lack of product mix in Innaloo due to blanket density codes that have resulted in a plethora of four unit lots and battle-axe lots.  This is as opposed to Chermside, where focused nodes of density have resulted in a greater mix of housing typologies, from apartments and multi-units through to medium and larger lots.

This mix of housing typology caters for a broader range of buyers from young singles, couples and families through to multi-family and downsizer households.

Michael also provided case studies on Aura Urban Village, Robina Gold Coast, North Lakes Queensland and Habitat Byron Bay.

Following Michael’s presentation, WAPC Chairman David Caddy presented an update on relevant state government policy including Design WA parts one and two, the position statement on lots under 100 sqm; the Better Urban Forest Planning guide for local government, and the Strata Reform package. It is hoped that more up to date policy in this area will assist industry in delivering better outcomes.

David also outlined some of the major challenges to achieving more medium density in Perth including community resistance, lack of sizeable development sites/ fragmented ownership, a complex policy framework, poorly-designed existing development, uncertainty around service infrastructure, construction and labour costs and the need for greater guidance and support for local government.

For the most part, the panel discussion following the main presentations reinforced these issues and discussion focused on the need to more clearly define what medium density housing is or means for the community.  That includes providing examples of quality medium density housing so that people can identify with the vision for new development in an area.

UDIA looks forward to continuing to work with the state government on the Medium Density Code and how we can better engage the community on these issues.

A huge thank you to our presenters along with panellists Col Dutton (Stockland); Ray Haeren (Urbis) and Dale Page (City of Joondalup) and facilitator Jane Bennett.

Also thanks to our valued sponsors Harley Dykstra, LandCorp and James Hardie.

Missing in Action: Strategies for delivering the ‘missing middle’ in Perth

Our breakfast event yesterday on Intensity not Density coincided with the release of a report by the Australian Urban Design Research Centre (AUDRC) on strategies to deliver the missing middle in Perth.

The report recommends that to achieve high amenity, well connected medium density development, from terrace housing to low rise apartments (2-5 stories), minimum site areas and densities need to be set for infill development.

AUDRC says that such controls will reduce the amount of low-density infill occurring in suburban backyards, which has negative impacts in terms of eroding urban forests and aggravating local communities.  It will also build impetuous (over time) around coordinated medium density development, in appropriate forms and locations. For this to happen, there needs to be greater consistency between local and state government and investigation into alternative construction technologies already being used elsewhere. These technologies also offer alternative ways of building and designing medium density which work with, rather than against, Perth’s enduring suburban sensibility.

The full report can be downloaded here.

Urban intelligence outlines current market conditions

UDIA’s monthly Urban Intelligence report was released to members on Tuesday, providing a rundown on the latest economic and property market statistics for the last month.  While the WA market continues to feel the impact of the downturn, UDIA’s feature article within the report provides a comprehensive rundown on how we see the three tiered market currently operating and green shoots in high end suburbs and small scale development sites leading the recovery.

We are pleased that the continuation of record low interest rates, as confirmed at the RBA meeting on Tuesday, may foster further improvement in the market.

Members can download the full report here.

WA Alliance to End Homelessness

UDIA is proud to support the WA Alliance to End Homelessness (#EndHomelessnessWA) along with other organisations and individuals including Shelter WA, Mission Australia, Department of Communities and WACOSS.

The Alliance launched a 10 year strategy to end homelessness in Western Australia in April that lays out 10-year targets. Since then the Alliance has successfully attracted funding from Lotterywest to implement the actions from the strategy and the grant was presented to the Alliance by Simone McGurk, Minister for Community Services during Homelessness Week.

UDIA looks forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the Alliance to implement the strategy.

Your feedback is valued!

UDIA is currently working on several submissions on behalf of members.  We encourage you to forward any feedback to these items to

The ERA Issues Paper on Proposed Revisions to the Mid-West and South-West Gas Distribution Systems Access Arrangement for 2020-2024. Submissions are due by 14 November, 2018. More information here.

The DPLH and DWER joint discussion paper on Planning for Entertainment Noise in the Northbridge Area is out for comment. Submissions are due by 26 November, 2018. More information here.

The next stage of the Local Government Act Review has been released for comment, with submissions closing 31 March, 2019. More information here.

DWER Review of thresholds for uncontaminated fill – Consultation paper (available here). Submissions close Friday 18 January, 2019.

Draft SPP 2.4 Basic Raw Materials (available here). Submissions close Friday 25 January, 2019.

UDIA supporting Youth Futures this Christmas

Each year up to 6000 young West Australians will not have a safe secure place to stay. Through the Youth Focus homelessness and Education services, almost 150 young people will have a brighter Christmas and UDIA will be supporting this important cause at our Christmas Luncheon on Friday 7 December.

Through the Youth Foucs Christmas Cheer program, support workers will deliver a special package for each young person. The package contains essentials such as toiletries and stationary, and some treats to help them celebrate the Christmas period.

Support from UDIA members will help achieve the delivery of these special packages, ensuring that the young people have a smile on their face this Christmas.

The Youth Focus organisation started as a simple idea to minimise youth homelessness in 1986 when a group of passionate community members decided to seek funding for a crisis accommodation refuge in Perth’s northern suburbs. TINOCA (Teenagers in Need of Crisis Accommodation) opened in 1988, and still offers young people experiencing homelessness with safe, secure accommodation today.

Youth Futures supports thousands of disadvantaged and disengaged young people each year through a variety of homelessness, education and support programs with a vision for a community where young people are valued, respected and celebrated.

UDIA is proud to partner with Youth Focus at our Christmas Luncheon in 2018 and our guests will have an opportunity to support this worthy cause on the day.  Please register for the luncheon here.

To donate now, you can text CHEER to 0437 371 371 today and donate $70 to support a young person this Christmas.

Read about Sheridan’s Christmas here and James’ experience of homelessness here.

City of Wanneroo Design Review Panel

The City of Wanneroo is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified design professionals to join the City’s new Design Review Panel. Acting in an advisory capacity, the Panel will play a vital part in delivering high-quality development in the City of Wanneroo. Suitably qualified professionals with demonstrated expertise in architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, sustainability or other related specialist design professions are invited to nominate for membership. Nominations close at 5.00pm on Friday 23 November 2018.

For further information, and to nominate for membership, please visit here.

Research project: managing stormwater in areas of high groundwater

The Land Development in Groundwater Constrained Environments Working Group was established by IPWEA and WALGA in 2015 to assist local governments to address issues facing development in areas constrained by high groundwater.

UDIA is represented on the working group by Peter Bowyer, Rebecca Epworth and Sasha Martens. The working group has successfully developed the Specification: Separation distances for groundwater controlled urban development which was released by IPWEA in 2016. Since then the group has prepared additional information to support the design and construction of subsoil drainage.

The Working Group has identified that the next phase of work required to improve development outcomes in areas of high groundwater is to investigate alternatives to the use of soakwells for better outcomes on small lots; and methods of retention/detention which facilitate treatment of stormwater.

The outcome is anticipated to be a range of on-lot solutions which are supported by local governments, leading to greater certainty of outcomes and assessment timeframes. Funding for the above project is being sought from the members of the Working Group. If you are interested in supporting this research, please contact the executive officer of the Working group, Shelley Shepherd, on 0403 170 040 or at

Thank you to Peter Bowyer  

The UDIA Council and Executive would like to acknowledge outgoing UDIA Councillor Peter Bowyer for his significant contribution to the Institute.  Peter is stepping down from Council after well over a decade of service.  During Peter’s tenure on Council, he has volunteered his extensive experience and much time to the Infrastructure and Urban Water Committees in particular, with highly valued involvement in the policy and technical work of the committees.

Peter’s time and expertise has been greatly appreciated and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the coming years as a valued life member of the Institute.

Draft Waste Strategy response

UDIA has made a submission on behalf of members to the Waste Authority on the draft Waste Strategy 2030.  We have reaffirmed our support for the aims and objectives of the strategy and the intention of moving towards a ‘circular economy’ that retains materials in the economy for as long as possible.

We have strongly encouraged the Authority to ensure that material is not regarded or defined as ‘waste’ simply because it has previously been used, stored at a particular premise, or is considered a by-product of another process. We recommend that the Authority seek to ensure that the waste levy operates effectively and delivers appropriate levels of resource recovery, particularly with regard to the practices of the development industry.

UDIA also outlined disappointment in that the Strategy is silent on the issue of the commercial collection of household waste, believing that opportunities to allow for commercial, household waste collection should be examined, particularly as our communities, lifestyles and built environment continue to evolve.

Our full submission can be viewed here.

Markets to make a return to Subi

Blackburne Property Group has shared the first concept images of the proposed ground level of their new project on the old Subiaco Pavillion Markets site. The plan includes a modern market area that is a nod to the past use of the site. To view visit here.

UDIA Congress early bird extended

UDIA National Congress is set to be held on the Gold Coast from 26-28 March 2019 and the early bird registration price has been extended to this Friday!  With a range of highly experienced key note presenters including Saul Eslake, Richard Florida and Gea Sijpkes it is shaping up to be a fantastic event.  More information here.

PowerBank trial goes live

An innovative, Australian-first community battery storage trial was launched by Energy Minister Ben Wyatt at Meadow Springs in Mandurah on Monday. The government says the trial is three months ahead of schedule due to local residents ‘snapping up’ the opportunity to participate in the trial.

PowerBank, a joint initiative between Synergy and Western Power, with the help of the City of Mandurah, is the first time a utility-scale battery has been integrated into an already established major metropolitan network in Australia.

A 105kW (420kWh) Tesla battery has been connected to the electricity grid in Meadow Springs, allowing households with rooftop solar panels to maximise their existing grid connection.

At a cost of $1 per day, each customer participating in the 24-month trial will be able to virtually store up to eight kWh of excess power generated during the day from their solar PV systems in the battery.

They will then be able to draw electricity back from the PowerBank during peak time without having to outlay upfront costs for a behind the meter battery storage system.