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21 February 2019

Industry News 21-02-2019

Design WA unveiled

UDIA WA was pleased to host the launch of the highly anticipated Design WA (stage one) by the Minister for Planning, Rita Saffioti to a capacity crowd of over 600 people at our business luncheon on Monday.

Stage one of Design WA sets out 10 principles for ‘good design’ and includes the new State Planning Policy 7.0: Design of the Built Environment and Apartment Design Guide along with establishing new ‘design review panels’.

The 10 principles of Design WA address areas such as safety, aesthetics, landscape, community and sustainability.

While UDIA supports good design outcomes to ensure quality of living standards for residents in WA and we welcome Design WA as a concept that will lift the standard of built form across the board, we have raised some concerns around the potential impact on affordability along with the need for support and training for local governments to implement the new guidelines.

You can read more on our position in our media release here.

More detailed information and to download the documents visit here.

Infrastructure WA introduced to Parliament

Legislation to establish Infrastructure WA (IWA) was introduced to state Parliament yesterday.  UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck joined the Premier on Tuesday morning to announce this important step toward a more strategic approach to infrastructure planning and provision in WA.

UDIA has been calling for a more strategic approach to infrastructure planning and provision across the state for many years and we are pleased to see that one of the key objectives of IWA will be the development of a 20 year State Infrastructure Strategy.

We also hope that IWA will provide the leadership necessary for WA to gain more traction with Infrastructure Australia, and in turn, secure much needed increased federal infrastructure funding.

The draft legislation can be downloaded from here.

Our full media release can be found here.

UDIA launches latest market data

The 2018 December quarter Urban Development Index (UDI) was launched at a UDIA Member Briefing hosted by our Research Partners Urbis and Landgate on Monday, outlining the latest land market data including average sales prices, volumes, construction activity and more across the Perth Metro Area and the regions.

Headline figures include the average price of new land in Perth Metro is down 2.6% to $223,767.  The number of lot sales has remained relatively steady with a slight decline of 0.4% for the quarter. The volume of lots under construction has declined significantly this quarter, down 16.7%, however this will ensure that stock available to the market in the coming year balances out more evenly with demand.

UDIA members can download the full Urban Development Index publication, including figures broken down by local government here.

Jonathan Pain calls dramatic rate cut

UDIA hosted our first industry luncheon for 2019 on Friday 15 February featuring a high energy presentation from renowned international economic commentator Jonathan Pain.

According to Jonathan’s upbeat predictions, “it’s a wonderful world where the ‘big, big picture is very bright’ for future economic growth.”

In particular, Mr Pain said in the next 20 to 30 years, WA will be one of the brightest spots on the global economic landscape, on the one condition that we further diversify the economy from being so reliant on China.

He recommended further investment in tourism, education and the promotion, through attractive tax breaks, of WA as a safe and stable place to invest.

Jonathan’s presentation also outlined how the electric car business is going to have a significant impact on WA’s economy moving forward.  He suggested that EV batteries require 35 raw materials, all of which are available here in WA, and could be a niche market for the state.

Ending on a somewhat controversial note, Jonathan predicted that the RBA would cut the official cash rate to as low as 0.5% this year.  He said they would wait to make any move until after the Federal election in May.

It will be interesting to see how the RBA responds to his predictions, when the Assistant Governor speaks at the UDIA Industry Breakfast on Wednesday 20 March.  More details here.

Thanks to our supporters LD Total; James Hardie; Western Power; APD Engineering and Property Education Foundation.

Premier’s priorities

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck attended a breakfast event on Wednesday where the Premier launched the Our Priorities: Sharing Prosperity program.

The Premier said that an additional 150,000 jobs will be created in WA as part of the program which includes six key outcome areas and 12 priorities, or targets.

The six outcome areas include a strong economy; a bright future; a liveable environment; a safer community; regional prosperity; and Aboriginal wellbeing.

Of particular note to UDIA members, is the priority around a liveable environment which includes a target to increase the number of homes in Perth and Peel within close proximity to a public transport node by 45% by 2031.

The priority also includes a target to increase land reserved for conservation by 5 million hectares, an increase of 20% of the current conservation estate by 2023-24.

You can find more information and download the document here.

Meeting with DG Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries

On the 14th February, UDIA met with the Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries Director General, Duncan Ord. While a number of issues were discussed, much of the focus of the conversation related to local government operation and management of developer contribution schemes. The Institute greatly appreciates the Department providing the opportunity to discuss this matter and looks forward to working with the Department in order to resolve these issues effectively.

Meeting with Landgate’s Acting Chief Executive

UDIA recently meet with Landgate Acting Chief Executive, Bruce Roberts to talk about a number of issues relevant to Landgate’s portfolio and the development industry. Items discussed included Strata Titles Reform; the commercialisation of Landgate process; the timeliness of issuing of titles; and opportunities for using land and spatial data held by the agency more effectively.

UDIA greatly appreciates the opportunity to discuss these issues with Landgate and looks forward to continuing to engage with newly appointed CEO Graeme Gammie.

DWER Review of thresholds for uncontaminated fill

UDIA took part in DWER’s stakeholder reference group reviewing the uncontaminated fill thresholds set out in Table 6 of the Landfill Waste Classification and Waste Definitions 1996 (as amended 2018). Whilst the Department highlighted the challenges of a limited amount of reliable data available, the Department remains confident that the review will be completed on schedule with recommendations presented to the Minister for consideration in April.

UDIA appreciates the Departments efforts in reviewing the thresholds set out in Table 6 and looks forward to working with the Department on the broader waste reform program and seeking to encourage recycling and ensure that fill material is used on a fit for purpose basis.

Opportunities to collaborate with Department of Communities

With more than 100 years’ experience in providing quality homes for Western Australians, the Department of Communities plays a key role in shaping the landscape of the state’s residential communities.

By collaborating with industry, our approach continues to drive new land use, housing design and construction, catalysing diversity, choice and opportunity for WA homebuyers.

We continually seek to set new standards in the creation of affordable, liveable and sustainable master-planned communities and provide leadership in the delivery of innovative, small-scale developments that meet the needs of WA’s changing demographics.

By supporting and investing in new concepts in small-lot construction, such as the 80sqm micro-lots and 4.5m narrow-lots launched in our award-winning Ellenbrook community, we are challenging traditional constraints to housing affordability, planning and design to deliver high-quality scalable solutions to address the “missing middle” in medium-density housing.

We are also responding to the state’s increasing housing demand through well-considered infill and thoughtful density, redeveloping existing state government assets to create diverse and inclusive destination communities.

Through this approach, we have led and supported the renewal of suburbs dominated by single-detached dwellings and ageing or underutilised land and housing assets. Prime examples are the suburbs of Spearwood and Willagee where we have recently replaced former public housing assets with contemporary multi-dwelling developments, injecting much-needed diversity and choice into the local housing market.

By delivering these affordable and diverse housing options, we are better able to meet the needs of our diverse population and ensure the sustainability of our communities into the future.

If you’re interested in collaborating with Communities to respond to the changing needs within our state and to develop for the future, please visit our Business Opportunities webpage to find out more about the ongoing Call for Submissions process here.

We value your feedback

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

Draft Position Statement for Tourism land uses within bushfire prone areas (here). Submissions close 20 March, 2019.

Local Government Act Review, submissions closing 31 March, 2019. More information here.

Index of Biodiversity Surveys

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation is seeking participants for an online survey regarding the Index of Biodiversity Surveys for Assessments (IBSA).

The results of this survey will be considered by the IBSA team during an upcoming review of the implementation and operation of IBSA, and may also be used to inform further development of the IBSA platform and related guidance documents.

The survey can be found here.

The survey takes about ten minutes to complete and will be open until 11:59 pm, Friday 8 March 2019.

Catch Up with the outer suburbs

The National Growth Areas Alliance launched the “Catch up with outer suburbs” campaign in Canberra this week that is aimed at securing more government funded infrastructure to service outer metropolitan communities across the country.

Their three key recommendations include: get 5 million people to work, study or home on time; create jobs where the workforce live; and build the facilities to build communities.

More information can be found here.

Ahead of the curve – planning our future electricity grid

UDIA is pleased to host a free briefing for our members with our Energy and Innovation Partner Western Power on how the organisation is planning the grid for Western Australia’s future. This is a very timely topic given the changing nature of the electricity industry and new technology.

Ben Bristow, Distribution Grid Strategy Manager and part of the Grid Transformation team will present on what Western Power is doing to transform their approach to planning to stay ahead of the demand; how does this new approach benefit customers; and what will be the impact on connection standards and manuals.

Join us on Wednesday 13 March from 3.30pm.  This event is free to UDIA members, please register using the form here.

State Lot Activity released

The December 2018 version of the State lot activity publication has been released by the WAPC. The publication contains statistical details of residential subdivision activity in Western Australia. Statistics of residential lots are compiled from subdivision applications lodged with and approved by the WAPC.

Interestingly, the report shows that during the December 2018 quarter, the number of developer-lodged applications totalled 543 for residential purposes and 130 for non-residential purposes across Western Australia. This represents an increase of two per cent and six per cent, respectively, from the previous quarter.

The full report can be downloaded here.