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24 January 2019

Industry News 24-01-2019

Design WA: exclusive release at UDIA Luncheon

UDIA is pleased to announce that Planning Minister Rita Saffioti will release the first stage of the highly-anticipated Design WA that aims to guide the development of Western Australia’s urban landscape at a special UDIA Luncheon on Monday 18 February.

This will be an exclusive opportunity to be one of the first to hear about Stage One, including policies on design for the built environment and guidelines (State Planning Policy 7.0), and the apartment design policy (State Planning Policy 7.3) which replaces part 6 of the current R-codes.

Developed by the Western Australian Planning Commission after extensive consultation with key stakeholders – 788 contributions from 210 practitioners over 43 sessions ‒ Design WA is the State Government’s initiative to ensure that good design is at the critical heart of all development, from the concept stage through to the delivery of a project.

It builds on 10 key design principles that shift the focus away from compliance of specific standards towards outcomes that contribute towards the development of vibrant, liveable communities that are innovative, flexible and efficient for all of the community.

So how will the new policies impact planners, designers, architects, developers and other key stakeholders? How will they be implemented? And how do they align with other key priorities such as accommodating greater infill and density, and planning reform?

Look out for the official event flyer in your inbox tomorrow morning for more details and to register!

Bushfire management

UDIA CEO Tanya Steinbeck will meet with Minister for Emergency Services the Hon. Fran Logan next week to highlight our concerns with the Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas policy framework.

We are very aware of our member’s issues in relation to the bushfire protection regulations and we are seeking workable solutions to overcome the problematic planning outcomes that the framework has inadvertently brought about.

Please email policy@udiawa.com.au if you have any issues that you believe should be considered at this meeting.

UDIA releases latest Urban Intelligence

UDIA released the latest monthly Urban Intelligence report to members on Tuesday. We are pleased to see evidence of further improvement in the market, with the vacancy rate in Perth down to 2.9% and the median rent per week is up another 2.9% to $360.

It is early days, but we are starting to see the flow on impact of this activity to residential sales, with the average number of selling days in Perth down 9.3% to 68 days.   This is still significantly up on previous years but a promising sign that the tide may be turning.

Housing approvals are also on the up, with a 6.2% improvement this month and up 5.7% year on year.

Housing affordability in the spotlight

The Productivity Commission has released Part G of the Report on Government Services 2019 that refers to Housing and homelessness. The report focuses on social housing services, specialist homelessness services and financial assistance such as private rental assistance and home purchase assistance.

According to the report, total Australian, State and Territory government recurrent expenditure for social housing and specialist homelessness services was $5.0 billion in 2017-18. The Commission says that drivers of housing instability and homelessness include market factors affecting housing affordability and household factors such as adverse personal, social and economic circumstances.

The report provides a comprehensive breakdown of government expenditure in these areas and can be downloaded here.

New Assistant Minister appointed to infrastructure portfolio

The Federal Government has announced the appointment of a new Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, who is set to bring a focus on rural and regional infrastructure. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Michael McCormack, has announced Andrew Gee MP as the newest addition to the frontbench. Mr McCormack said Mr Gee’s experience in both state and federal politics will be an asset in the infrastructure portfolio.

Mr Gee will be sworn in later in January.

Labor releases housing affordability plan

In the lead up to the Federal Election, the Labor party has released their “Positive Plan to Help Housing Affordability” which focuses on reforming negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount.

The policy says that Labor will limit negative gearing to new housing from a yet-to-be-determined date after the next election.  Labor also plans to halve the capital gains discount for all assets purchased after a yet-to-be-determined date after the next election.

UDIA National is advocating strongly at a federal level for negative gearing and CGT regimes to remain unchanged.

See the full Labor policy here.

Private sector opportunity in East Keralup

The State Government is undertaking a Registration of Interest (ROI) process to identify future land use options for a 1,608-hectare portion of its East Keralup landholding near Mandurah.

The ROI is an invitation for the private sector to submit concept proposals for a project that will lease, or partly lease portions of the site.

East Keralup’s southern part is located in the Shire of Murray and is part of the rapidly developing Peel region. The site is about 17 kilometres south-east of Rockingham, 10 kilometres north-east of Mandurah and 20 kilometres north-west of Pinjarra.

The Government is keen to identify opportunities for passive and active recreational use of the site, and wants to incorporate and maximise the area’s natural features including its topography, drainage corridors, wetlands and vegetation.

A wide range of development options and uses may be considered but they must be sensitive to the local ecology and environment. Urban use or proposals for traditional in-ground agriculture will not be considered.

The call for ROI is managed by the Department of Communities, and the invitation for submissions closes on February 1, 2019. For more information, email east.keralup.future.use@housing.wa.gov.au and to view the ROI document, visit http://www.tenders.wa.gov.au

Twilight opening hours for display homes

A group of WA builders and developers including Summit Homes Group, SSB Group WA, the ABN Group, Ventura Homes Group and Satterley, are spearheading an initiative to trial twilight opening hours at their display homes on Wednesdays from 4pm until 7pm for the summer months. The home building industry has traditionally opened their display homes on Wednesday’s from 2-5pm.

The trial is aimed at better accommodating busy families and is supported by all major builders and land developers, meaning display villages across pert will be open on Wednesday evenings until Easter.

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 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.

IPWEA WA Local Government Subdivisional Guidelines: Expressions of Interest for Review Group

IPWEA WA and the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage are inviting Expressions of Interest from individuals prepared to volunteer their time to participate on the upcoming Subdivisional Guidelines Review Group (RG).

The Review Group will comprise of representatives from across the public works industry and will undertake the detailed review for the next edition of the Subdivision Guidelines.

The current edition, Edition 2.3 of the Local Government Guidelines for Subdivisional Development was released to the Public Works Industry in November 2017.

In keeping with the previous practice to review the guidelines every two years it is now proposed to start the next review.

Generally, it is proposed to review the current document to consider and align with  new or updated WA State planning policies and development control policies, and other relevant policy including: Department of Water and Environmental Regulation guidelines, groundwater management, consideration of contemporary technology and practice (e.g. street lighting, smart controls, innovative construction techniques) and updated further reading references.

The review process is anticipated to take over 12 months with the Review Group generally meeting monthly over this period.

If you wish to participate on the Review Group forward a brief statement of your relevant work experience together with a current CV to admin@ipwea.asn.au. Expressions of Interest close Thursday 28 February 2019.

Lending and Labor data released

According to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) WA investment housing finance fell 7.2% in November from the month prior to sit at $517.57 million, 21.4% below levels at the same time in 2017 and forming 5.2% of the national total.

National investment housing finance also fell 1.1% over the month to $9.925 billion, 23.9% lower than in November 2017.

In December the unemployment rate for WA lifted 17 basis points (bps) to 6.2% (in original terms; 6.3% seasonally adj.), 57bps higher than at the same time in 2017 and 144bps higher than the national rate of 4.8%.

The number of employed persons fell 0.3% over the month to 1.348 million, 0.4% lower than in Dec-17.

The WA participation rate fell 14bps to 68.67%, 44bps below the figure at the same time in 2017 and 252bps higher than the national participation rate of 66.14%.

UDIA National Congress 2019

The UDIA National Congress is fast approaching. With a program packed full of international and local experts across industry, this annual event is not to be missed.  Featuring informative study tours, plenary sessions and networking opportunities along with the prestigious National Awards for Excellence on the closing night. Join colleagues and meet new contacts on the Gold Coast from Tuesday 26 March 2019. More details at www.udiacongress.com.au