Boardroom luncheon with Minister for Energy

UDIA was pleased to host a boardroom luncheon with invited members and the Minister for Energy the Hon. Bill Johnston, MLA in collaboration with Western Power on Wednesday.  There was plenty of discussion around the future of the energy network in WA including the impact of new technology.

UDIA is pleased to provide opportunities for members to engage with key ministers and policy makers on a regular basis in order to ensure our members perspectives are considered across a range of relevant portfolios.

Building reforms deal

The Federal Government announced today that they have ‘struck a deal’ with the states to introduce tighter regulations relevant to the building and construction industry.

An agreement between state governments has been reached today to implement recommendations of the Shergold-Weir report including improved compliance with approved building materials, site documentation and rectify all buildings identified to have combustible cladding.

The announcement follows UDIA National’s calls for the Commonwealth Government to help break the impasse on reforms needed to tackle the crisis facing the building and construction industry.

UDIA Executive Director Connie Kirk stated on Monday that risks around a collapse of the insurance market for building professionals and concerns around consumer confidence needed to be resolved.

Read the full statement here.

APRA’s capability review

An independent review has been completed and a report issued on APRA’s capability to deliver upon its statutory mandate under the APRA Act and relevant industry acts. The review was also charged with undertaking a forward-looking assessment of APRA’s ability to respond to an environment of growing complexity and emerging risks for APRA’s regulated sectors.

Recommendations broadly look at how APRA can improve transparency, adjust to changing financial and regulatory environments and better prepare for and respond to the consequences of digital innovation and disruption.

APRA has indicated to Government that it supports all 19 recommendations directed to it and in turn, the federal government has undertaken to address all five recommendations relevant to its role.

Read the full report and government response here.

Women in Leadership winner calls for champions

Our 2018 UDIA WA Frasers Property Women in Leadership award winner Vivienne Edwards has called for more champions within the property industry to support women into leadership roles.  Vivienne has reflected on the benefits for her personally in winning the award last year and proposes what can be done more broadly to support diversity and inclusion in the industry.

Read more here.

Optus Stadium wins international award

Perth’s Optus Stadium has been awarded the international Prix Versailles for Sports, recognising it as the most beautiful sporting facility in the world.

The $1.6 billion venue, which was opened in January last year, held off five other impressive stadiums around the world to secure the award that recognises architecture and design.

Congratulations to the team involved including UDIA members Hassel; Wood and Grieve Engineers now part of Stantec; CLE Town Planning and Design and Multiplex.

NEW – Environmental licensing regulations

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has published guidelines relating to the regulation of works approvals and licences under Part V of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act).

Guideline: Industry Regulation Guide to Licensing provides guidance for the environmental licensing framework for prescribed premises under the EP Act. It provides, among other matters, crucial information around changes to the way the transition of a prescribed premises from a works approval to a licence is managed.The new Guide to Licensing reflects changes made to the department’s processing and assessment of applications for works approvals and licences.

More information here.

PIA announces new Executive Officer

Congratulations to Emma Thunder, who has been appointed to the position of Executive Officer at the Planning Institute in Western Australia.  Emma is a qualified planner and former ministerial and policy adviser for the WA state government.

We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with PIA in the future.

Units lead potential market recovery

According to the latest data from REIWA, Perth’s unit median price has strengthened in the June 2019 quarter improving by 3.9 per cent to $385,000.

The median house price has also stabilised since last quarter, settling at $490,000. The data shows there were 6,649 sales recorded during the June 2019 quarter which is a decrease of 23 per cent since March 2019.

Perth’s top selling suburbs for house sales during the quarter were Baldivis, Thornlie, Ellenbrook, Dianella and Canning Vale, while the suburbs to record the biggest improvement in house sales activity were East Victoria Park, Innaloo, Currambine, Ellenbrook and Wembley Downs.

Young Development Professional Award fosters growth

UDIA WA Stockland Young Development Professional for 2018 Mark Mackenzie has shared his story this week. Outlining the significant professional development and networking opportunities that have arisen throughout the year since receiving the award in September.

Read more here.

Exploring social housing pathways

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) has released a report into the construction of social housing pathways across Australia. Housing pathways describe the changing experience of housing by tenants and their households over time and space.

The report has found that many of the operational policies that shape housing pathways have been introduced in the context of sustained high demand and a lack of supply. They are therefore arguably designed to manage wait lists by rationing supply rather than focusing on ensuring positive outcomes for households.

This report is the first of three to be released as part of an inquiry into understanding and reimagining social housing pathways.

More information here.

Lendlease to partner with Google

Lendlease has entered into an agreement with Google to jointly undertake the master planning, entitlement and development of three major areas in the San Francisco Bay Area in California.

It is estimated that up to 15 million square feet of residential, retail, hospitality, and other associated community uses will be developed in the new neighbourhoods.

Under the terms of the agreement, Google and Lendlease will work together for the next 10 to 15 years to redevelop the company’s landholdings in San Jose, Sunnyvale and Mountain View into vibrant mixed-use communities.

WA unemployment rate down

According to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) the WA unemployment rate fell 50bps month-on-month (MoM) and 67bps year-on-year (YoY) to sit at 5.3%, the closest it has been to the national rate since January 2018.

The number of employed persons in WA increased 0.8% MoM in June to 1.366 million, 1.6% higher than the same time in 2018.

However, the number of underemployed persons increased 5.5% MoM to 219,600 (16.1% of total employed persons), 5.2% higher than in June 2018.

WA house costs rise

The latest ABS Survey of Income and Housing for 2017-18 has revealed that 70% of households in WA own their own homes (43% with a mortgage; 27% without a mortgage) and 28% of households are renting.

In WA, 83% of households spent 30% or less of gross household income on housing costs.

For lower income WA households with a mortgage, housing costs made up 31.8% of gross household income. This was above national housing cost proportions of 28.6% and the second highest housing cost proportion in the country, behind NSW at 33.2%.

In 2017-18, 46.6% of WA lower income renter households were paying in excess of 30% of household income on housing costs, this has risen from 30.1% in 2007-08.

WA’s mean weekly gross household income for 2017-18 was $2,409 (up from $2,190 in 2007-08), with the lowest quintile (or 3.7% of households) averaging $441 per week and the highest quintile (or 49.1% of households) averaging $5,903 per week.

The average value of owner-occupied dwelling property assets in WA was $459,400. This was slightly below the national level of $500,600.

We value your feedback!

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

EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment Guidance (here). Submissions close Monday 2 September, 2019.

DWER issues paper ‘Waste not, want not: valuing waste as a resource’ out for comment (here). Submissions close Wednesday 4 September, 2019.

Draft State Planning Policy 3.6 – Infrastructure contributions (here). Submissions close Monday 2 September, 2019.

Guiding smart sustainable low carbon urban development

The CRC for Low Carbon Living has released a Precinct Design Assessment: a guide to smart sustainable low carbon urban development.

The guide has been developed to help speed a transition to sustainable urban development in two key environmental domains related to resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE).

This is an advanced information platform for transformative built environment planning and design focused on precinct scale modelling and performance assessment. This platform can enable the transition from a system of built environment assessment that is largely prescriptive in nature to one that is more innovative and performance-based.

More information here.