UDIA refutes urban infill cost claims

UDIA has strongly refuted claims in the media late last week by the City of Fremantle that a 100 per cent urban infill target would save the government $30 billion in infrastructure costs.  We believe the figures referred to are unsubstantiated and such a target would be impossible to achieve without resulting in extremely poor housing choice and affordability outcomes for Perth residents and new home buyers.

We are disappointed that simplistic arguments pitting urban infill against greenfield development continue.  You can read more in our press release here.

UDIA Urban Intelligence released

The March 2018 UDIA Urban Intelligence report was released to members on Tuesday providing a comprehensive rundown on the latest industry trends and economic data pertinent to WA. Positive signs continue to emerge as employment rose 1.1% in February 2018.   Population figures also revealed a further decline in interstate migration, with less people moving out of WA.  The annual population growth figure is now 0.9%. for all the latest information, download the full report here.

Design WA Apartment Guidelines – economic testing

UDIA met today with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and Office of the Government Architect to discuss the outcomes of the economic testing that has been undertaken by Departmental consultants to determine whether the proposed Apartment Guidelines will result in increased development costs.  The Department outlined the methodology utilized, the design improvements achieved and the general findings, which indicated a relatively modest increase in costs.  While UDIA is supportive of improved design outcomes, the Institute has ongoing concerns about some of the assumptions in the testing, and will be seeking further details to confirm whether matters such as market sensitivities were factored into the testing parameters.  The Guidelines are expected to be introduced in October 2018.

MRA stakeholder industry roundtable

In light of the forthcoming merger of the MRA and LandCorp, a review of the MRA planning function is being undertaken to identify opportunities to enhance transparency, accountability, operational efficiency and our working relationship with key stakeholders, including State and Local Government and the development industry. UDIA has been advised that the review will consider the broader role and function of the MRA, its legislative obligations and how this is facilitated through the Redevelopment Scheme and related planning framework documents.

UDIA participated in a roundtable yesterday to provide feedback to the MRA on how the MRA Planning Directorate fulfils its development control functions and to identify opportunities for operational improvements that can be achieved.

We look forward to continuing to engage with the MRA on behalf of members as the merger process progresses.

Housing industry forecasting group update

UDIA is an active participant in the Housing Industry Forecasting Group (HIFG) which met today to discuss their forthcoming report. We can advise that the group’s forecast is unlikely to change significantly from the previous release as market conditions remain similar. UDIA has suggested that the group include reference to the potential impact of the recent GST changes that are coming into play due to the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 1) Bill 2018.

UDIA policy team seeks member feedback

The UDIA policy and research team is currently drafting submissions on the following documents and welcomes member feedback to policy@udiawa.com.au

  • Use of Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) for groundwater clean-up. Feedback for UDIA submission due by Monday June 4. More information here
  • Discussion paper – Controlled Waste Review. Feedback for UDIA submission due by Monday June 4. More information here
  • Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas. Feedback for UDIA submission due by Monday May 7. More information here
  • Draft position statement for Housing on Lots less than 100m2.  Feedback for UDIA submission due by Wed 9 May. More information here

Support for Scarborough development

Recent research conducted by WA Apartment Advocacy on the revised 3 Oceans development application in Scarborough showed that there is strong local support for the project. A survey of 890 people found that 56% of Scarborough residents supported the proposal compared to 38% who opposed it. In addition 62% of Stirling Council residents supported the project compared to 30% who opposed it.  The research also demonstrated that 64% of Perth residents (outside the City of Stirling) also supported the proposal compared to 27% who opposed it.

Awards for Excellence open soon!

UDIA held our annual Awards for Excellence briefing last week that provided interested members with an overview of the award entry process and tips on making a successful award submission.  There have been some changes to the award categories this year as well as several new categories including Excellence in Small-Scale Infill Development; Excellence in Government and Public Use; and Excellence in Retail, Commercial or Mixed Use Development.

Nominations for the UDIA Awards for Excellence officially open on Tuesday 1 May.  All the documentation including key dates and an intent to enter form can be found here.

Extra time granted for e-conveyancing transition

WA Registrar of Titles Jean Villani has granted a general exemption from the requirement to electronically lodge certain documents relating to the registration of interests in land until December 1, 2018.  The original timeline had been for a May 1, 2018 start date. Lands Minister Rita Saffioti says the decision will provide the industry – including settlement agents and lawyers – with more time to prepare for the transition to electronic conveyancing.

More information available here.

Morley – Ellenbrook line planning – tender awarded

A tender for engineering and planning for the Morley-Ellenbrook Line has been awarded and applications are now open to help develop a business case for the project.  Perth-based consultancy group ARUP has been chosen to work with the METRONET team to investigate and plan the early stages of the Morley-Ellenbrook Line project.

The team including ARUP, Roberts Day and Ernst and Young will undertake the options analysis and design work required for the project, as part of developing a business case.

Once the business case has been finalised and a preferred option is confirmed, work will begin to develop the concept designs to inform a final government investment decision, enabling the project to move into procurement and delivery.

Knutsford Street, Fremantle – Development Site – Invitation for Tenders

On 24 January 2018, the City of Fremantle Council resolved to invite tenders for the purchase and development of some or all of its depot site at No. 81 Knutsford Street.  The site is 25,316m2 and located within the Knutsford Street East Local Structure Plan area, immediately east of the Fremantle Monument, opposite the Fremantle Golf Course.

The City has a desire to demonstrate leadership in sustainable development through the redevelopment of the site and is keen to facilitate one of the first (re)developments in the precinct. The request for tender will be for redevelopment for a medium/high density mixed residential incorporating leading edge environmental sustainability performance.

In accordance with Council’s resolution, the City of Fremantle now invites tenders from interested parties for the sale of the land and development of 81 Knutsford Street, Fremantle on the terms and conditions set out in the Request for Tender https://www.tenderlink.com/fremantle/.
The City may be prepared to negotiate the sale of a portion of the site rather than the whole site (the portion for sale to be a minimum of 60 % of the total site area) with the remaining area retained by the City for development and operation of a light industrial/mixed use operations centre.

Tenders are to be received by the City BEFORE 2pm (AWST) Thursday 7 June 2018.

For probity reasons, and to ensure consistent information is shared with all interested parties, it is important that all queries on the tender be made through the on-line portal, rather than through personal communication.

UDIA WA Free Member Briefing; Fraud Awareness Session, hosted by Macquarie Bank

UDIA WA is running a series of Member Briefings throughout the year. These short, sharp information sessions are designed to offer members the opportunity to hear from area experts from across industry, who will share their technical knowledge on a specific topic & answer questions relating to the presentation.

Macquarie Bank is holding a session on Fraud Awareness in August. See below for further details:

Reducing risk exposure to fraud across your business is a vital activity. We all have the responsibility to remain vigilant to the potential threats and likely exposure to fraud, faced by our business and our clients.

Recently, there has been a significant increase in attempts to de-fraud businesses using new and sophisticated methods, such as malware and client email compromises.

Jonathan Martin, Fraud Investigations Specialist Macquarie Banking Financial Services will be delivering an informative session that will update you on the current fraud trends that can affect your business (as well as your own personal life) and how best to mitigate the risks by following correct procedures and avoiding potential losses.

Date:                     Wednesday 1st August 2018

Time:                     12.00pm – 1.00pm

Location:              Ground Floor, 235 St Georges Terrace, Perth, WA 6000

This session is free of charge for all UDIA WA members, but places are limited and RSVPs are essential by Friday 20th July.

Registration form can be downloaded here.

Confirm your place by emailing events@udiawa.com.au