UDIA WA CEO Allison Hailes to resign

It was with regret that UDIA WA President Nick Allingame advised members yesterday that UDIA WA CEO Allison Hailes has tendered her resignation after two and a half years at the helm. Her resignation is effective early November 2018.

Allison has been integral to the institute’s continued success and growth as the leading organisation representing the urban development industry in Western Australia.  UDIA’s profile has grown considerably during her time as CEO.

During her tenure, Allison has successfully navigated the organisation through the recent property market downturn and tackled the challenges associated with a volatile market with a talent for identifying opportunities and leading with confidence.

The full statement from Mr Allingame is available here.

UDIA meets with Senator Dean Smith

The UDIA President, CEO and Environment Committee Chair Darren Walsh, met with the federal Liberal Senator for Western Australia Hon. Dean Smith this week to discuss industry concerns about federal environmental approvals and opportunities for greater infrastructure investment into WA.

UDIA highlighted the increasing range of development projects that are required to be referred to and assessed by the federal Department of Environment and Energy; the increasing delays in the approvals process; and the cost / affordability impacts this is having on land and housing.

Senator Smith indicated he would discuss the matter with his colleagues and provided advice about other opportunities for UDIA to engage with the Government on this.  Discussions were also held about the poor historical rate of federal investment in WA and the proposed City Deal for Perth.

UDIA thanks Senator Smith for his support and commitment to ongoing engagement.

UDIA meets with WAPC Chair and Director General of DPLH

UDIA’s President, Chair of the Planning Committee and CEO had a very positive and open meeting this week with WAPC Chair David Caddy, Director General Gail McGowan and senior Departmental staff to discuss a number of planning matters of keen interest to the industry.

Topics of discussion included: industry views on the recommendations in the Planning Reform Green Paper; implementation of Perth and Peel @ 3.5m and establishment of a joint Implementation Committee;  the status of Design WA, in particular finalization of the Apartment Guidelines and development of a new Medium Density Code; DAPs; release of the revised SPP 3.6 Development Contributions for Community Infrastructure; as well as the status of a number of other SPPs that have been reviewed by the Department such as Industrial Lands, Road and Rail Noise and Basic Raw Materials.

UDIA looks forward to finalising these matters with the Government in the near future.

Transitioning Perth to being Australia’s leading water wise city

This week UDIA and a number of industry representatives participated in a roundtable event held by the Minister for Water and the Department of Water and Environment Regulation on how we can move Perth towards being a more water wise city.

Significant progress has been made in moving Perth in this direction and Perth has demonstrated its leadership through its active role in the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, its water supply planning, Water Wise programs, and some leading examples of water sensitive urban design.  To build on this the Government is looking to work together with industry and the community to further our progress.

Participants in the roundtable were asked to contribute ideas about what would make a difference in transitioning Perth to a leading water wise city.

Amongst other topics attendees participated in discussions about what constitutes a water wise urban form, making our community water wise and planning for water wise cities. UDIA looks forward to working collaboratively with the government on this initiative going forward.

UDIA unites with seven peak bodies on strata reform

UDIA released a joint statement with seven other leading industry bodies calling on the state opposition leader Mike Nahan along with the Nationals and Greens to support the swift passage of strata reform legislation through Parliament.

The importance of the proposed strata reforms in achieving better housing outcomes such as affordability, diversity and sustainability have been outlined in a united submission by the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA), Strata Community Association (SCA WA), Property Council WA, Real Estate Institute of WA (REIWA), Australian Property Institute (API), Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) and Facilities Management Association of Australia (FMA).

The full statement is available here.

Development in the Wungong Urban Project Area

UDIA and major landowners in the Wungong Urban Project Area met last week with the MRA and City of Armadale to discuss a range of issues related to planning and approvals for development in the area.

The meeting was very positive, with the MRA and City advising that they are currently working on a process to transition the area back under the control of the City.  The two organisations are looking at what needs to occur to ‘normalize’ the planning arrangements, building approvals and development contribution scheme and will undertake further consultation with landowners and stakeholders in the area in the coming months.

The major landowners at the meeting expressed their appreciation to the MRA and City for their willingness to collaborate and engage with them over the last 18 months to resolve concerns.

Planning reform green paper: UDIA response

UDIA recently lodged a comprehensive submission to the Planning Reform Team led by Evan Jones in response to the green paper Modernising Western Australia’s planning system.

Our submission addressed all of the proposals within the paper in great detail and advised whether UDIA is supportive of each recommendation.

From a broad perspective, UDIA supports the intent of the reform agenda and proposed some high level recommendations with regard to implementation and a strategic approach. UDIA has suggested that a framework is required to manage the implementation of the proposed planning reforms and  that appropriate reporting mechanisms with Ministerial/Government oversight are established to monitor that implementation.

We have also advised that reforms to improve transparency and evidence based decision making with land use planning are investigated and that planning reform proposals examine the efficiency and effectiveness of the involvement of referral agency roles in all aspects of the land use planning decision making process.

A full copy of UDIA’s submission can be found here.

Review of the Strategic Assessment for Perth and Peel: UDIA submission

UDIA has lodged a submission on behalf of members to the review of the Strategic Assessment for the Perth and Peel Regions (SAPPR).

Our submission focussed on three key areas including the need for simplification of the SAPPR in terms of scope, spatial scale and the timeframe that it covers; achieving certainty in the outcome; and transparency and governance associated with the process for its ongoing development and finalisation.

A copy of the UDIA submission can be downloaded here.

Latest Urban Intelligence released

The July edition of UDIA’s Urban Intelligence Report was released to members on Tuesday.  Providing a comprehensive rundown on all the data relevant to the development industry including economic, housing and land information.

This month’s edition also includes a feature article on how job indicators are showing positive signs for the WA market.

Download the full report here.

Cash rate holds

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left the official cash rate on hold at a meeting on Tuesday and adjusted the near-term inflation forecast down to 1.75 per cent this year, not rising to 2.25 per cent as has been suggested previously.

The unemployment forecast was also revised down marginally and is now expected to decline to 5 per cent, rather than 5.25 per cent “over the next couple of years”.

Commentators are now adjusting their expectations for the next rate rise, with many not expecting a move upward until mid to late 2020.

Full statement from the RBA here.

The industry’s quarterly health check: UDIA’s latest data revealed

UDIA will release the June quarter Urban Development Index (UDI) figures at a members only briefing on Monday.  The presentation will provide a comprehensive, ongoing assessment of the health of WA’s residential development industry.

Conducted specifically to fill a critical gap in available knowledge for industry and policy-makers, the UDI is a sophisticated UDIA-driven research initiative using extensive data analysis to identify and measure Residential Land Activity including:

  • comprehensive analysis of land sales activity in the state
  • region by region analysis
  • Data and analysis of land sales, lots on the market, and developer lot construction intentions over the next 12 months.
  • average prices, size of lots and number of lots in each area.
  • current property market and economic conditions

Register for this free of charge (member only) event here.

Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 regulations: feedback

UDIA will be making a submission on the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 – Biodiversity Conservation Regulations. Members are welcome to provide feedback to assist in informing our submission in the coming weeks.

Feedback on the Ministerial Guidelines closes on 30 September and initial comments on the discussion notes were being sought from stakeholder reference groups by 31 July 2018 however will still be received up until end of September.

More information and documentation available here.

City of Wanneroo fauna management

The City of Wanneroo is inviting public comment on their draft Local Planning Policy 3.3: Fauna Management by 11 September. The draft Policy applies to all land holdings being transformed from ‘uncleared/ intact’ natural habitat into development sites.

The Council says that the objective of the draft Policy is to ensure the effective management of macro-fauna by landowners and/ or developers of land proposed for urban development, and to avoid the unwanted impacts of displaced macro-fauna (such as kangaroos and emus) due to habitat disturbance.

More information here.

Looking Forward to Spring? Native vegetation surveys

We are all looking forward to Spring, but no one more than 360 Environmental’s Principal Ecologist, Scott Walker. Spring is an important time for developers because it’s the only time when a developer can get native vegetation surveys done that meet the full requirements of the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation for the State’s south west.

There is a real risk that projects could be delayed without a suitable survey completed when most plants are flowering. A Spring survey will help avoid the risk of the regulator being unhappy with the quality of work and asking questions about whether the survey can be relied upon. A lack of confidence in the work will lead to time delays and in the worst case needing to do the work in the following Spring.

Getting an accurate understanding of the flora and vegetation community is very important when seeking approvals to clear native vegetation for a land development. The recently listed Banksia Woodland Threatened Ecological Community or TEC is an example of where an understanding of all the species within a plant community can make a very real difference to whether you have a Federal approvals issue. Get this wrong and you could need a Federal approval and thus an expensive offset to gain approval to clear the land.

When asked about the importance of planning for Spring, Scott replied:

“The importance of planning is vital for any project, however it becomes further restricted when undertaking flora and vegetation investigations. The EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) has implemented technical guidelines that provide recommended survey timing for specific botanical provinces in Western Australia. Spring is the crucial time for the Southwest and Swan Coastal Plain Bioregions”.

Scott Walker has 20 years of scientific experience and he has completed numerous flora-based investigations, on the Swan Coastal Plain and the Southwest. Scott also brings extensive project and business-related experience. He heads up 360 Environmental’s Biological Science group which contains botanists, zoologists and ecologists. 360 Environmental Pty Ltd has successfully completed over 300 spring-based flora and vegetation assessments and investigations since 2004.

Contact us:

W) 360environmental.com.au

P) (08) 9388 8360

E) scottwalker@360environmental.com.au

Connecting the property industry to property students

The Property Education Foundation (PEF) placed 19 property undergraduates from Curtin University with industry organisations during the June-July winter break.

PEF has thanked LandCorp, Landgate, Savills, Primewest, Perron Group, Mark Hay Realty and Realmark Commercial and all their staff who provided the interns with valuable practical training.

The students reported the experience gave them a better understanding of the industry as they explored the various facets and identified their career paths.

The key take outs were site visits, team building, community engagement, report writing, and operational process planning.

Congratulations to Lavan

UDIA congratulates member organisation Lavan for reaching a significant milestone this week.  Lavan has been operating for 120 years in Western Australia having been established by Michael Gibson Lavan in 1898.