Perth’s road to revitalisation

UDIA hosted an industry breakfast on Wednesday themed the ‘road to revitalisation’ with discussion based around Perth’s transformation, particularly over the last 20 years.

Keynote speaker John Burton, General Manager Urban Regeneration for Lendlease, shared his insight and experience working on projects both nationally and internationally, including places such as Euston Station and Elephant Park in London; Melbourne Connect; and MIND Milan Innovation District.

One of the key messages from John’s presentation was the importance of attracting overseas investment and really championing the opportunities that Perth has to offer.  He says that continuing to diversify the economy away from mining is also important to WA’s long-term economic sustainability.

In terms of lessons learned from working on several iconic regeneration projects, John said that acknowledgement and genuine respect for the history and heritage of a place is critical, along with recognising the needs of local communities and the people that live in them.

One of the biggest challenges to overcome in modern, growing cities, particularly when increasing density, is loneliness and isolation and ensuring there is a sense of place and connectivity.  John referred to creating a ‘place not a project’ as a good mentality to have when starting out on a new project.

Sean Henriques, CEO of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, reinforced many of Johns’ points in outlining his experience with the development of Yagan Square in particular, as well as Elizabeth Quay and the Scarborough Foreshore.

Sean said that historically, in terms of design and development, Perth has not engaged well with its natural assets including the river and the beach.  He said that in the initial concept design stage of Yagan Square, it was important to focus on what the team wanted to achieve and what people wanted to do there rather than just trying to design a physical space.

Yagan Square was conceptualised as a meeting place that respects the rich cultural history of Perth and WA.

During the facilitated panel session, both speakers also recognised the importance of the suburbs, not just the CBD, in creating a great city and providing connectivity to suburban areas along with employment opportunities is extremely important.

It was agreed that upfront planning and taking the time to figure out what a community really needs and wants and understanding local issues and challenges is integral to developing and regenerating urban places.

Thanks to our partners Western Power and James Hardie along with event sponsor Douglas Partners for supporting this fantastic event.

Meeting with Gail McGowan David Caddy

UDIA representatives met with Gail McGowan and David Caddy earlier this week to discuss a series of planning reform initiatives identified by UDIA’s Land Use Planning Committee.

The initiatives identified by the Committee are focussed around six themes including development contributions; medium density housing; Local Planning Scheme updates; community benefits of density; Perth & Peel @3.5m Sub-regional Frameworks; and DPLH acting as the lead decision making agency.

At the meeting UDIA also discussed the land supply assumptions underpinning the Urban Growth Monitor (UGM) and how these relate to strategic identification of future urban land by the Sub-regional Frameworks.

UDIA is pleased to advise members that the Department agreed to discuss the UGM methodology in further detail.

Draft SPP3.6 Infrastructure Contributions Working Group

Following the release of the Draft SPP3.6 Infrastructure Contributions, the UDIA working group met this week to discuss the development of UDIA’s submission regarding the draft Policy.

Whilst the draft Policy is a positive step forward toward resolving several existing issues, UDIA welcomes feedback from members to help guide our submission in offering recommendations to further improve the draft Policy and its implementation.

Feedback on the draft SPP can be sent to, or alternatively to discuss the draft SPP please call UDIA WA Director Research and Policy Chris Green, 9215 3400.

UDIA-CRC Urban Water Forum

UDIA members joined members of the Urban Water Committee and Mike Mouritz and Josh Byrne for a round table meeting to discuss opportunities for collaboration with the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWCS) in order to enhance learning opportunities for the whole sector through demonstration projects.

The meeting discussed key blockages, opportunities and solutions, and the role that CRCWCS can play in advancing these solutions.

UDIA looks forward to further collaboration with the CRCWCS in order to deliver effective urban water solutions.

SBEnrc National Industry Research Workshop

UDIA took part in the Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre’s (SBEnrc) National Industry Research Workshop in Perth last week.

The workshop discussed several opportunities for research to address current challenges facing industry. Although much of the research initiatives proposed at the Perth workshop were focussed around transport, research regarding asset maintenance and the promotion of ‘liveable homes’ was also suggested.

UDIA will keep members informed as SBEnrc finalise their 2019 research program.

Fibre Ready Telecommunications Infrastructure

UDIA WA has responded on behalf of members to the draft position statement on fibre ready telecommunications infrastructure released by the Department of Planning; Lands and Heritage.

UDIA has suggested that definitions are required to clearly determine which policy requirements will be applied in relation to infill vs greenfield developments.  We have also requested that more guidance is provided to local governments in application of the policy measures to ensure consistency.

To read our submission in full, please download here.

A lesson in rehabilitation

UDIA staff were pleased to participate in a site tour of the Hanson Gaskell sand quarry recently to gain a deeper insight into the impressive restoration and rehabilitation work that is occurring on the site.

Hanson work closely with the Botanical Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA) who conduct research projects and trials to ensure rehabilitation criteria and best environmental practices are met. The site is often host to international visitors as well as government agencies seeking to learn more about restoring native species in cleared areas.

Read our latest blog to find out more here.

Homelessness Week event

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck will participate on the panel for Shelter WA’s Build to End Homelessness event on Tuesday 6th August, coinciding with Homelessness Week.

The panel will discus how the corporate and community sectors can truly collaborate and adopt innovative ways to tackle the growing number of West Australians experiencing homelessness.

For more information and to register, visit here

To find out more about what is happening during Homelessness Week and how you can help via a donation to get someone off the street, visit here.

Further improvements in Perth rental market

According to the latest data from REIWA, positive signs are starting to emerge in the rental market as the market held onto its first increase in median weekly rent prices since the December 2016 quarter.

There has been a significant decline in vacancy rates over the last few years, with Perth currently the most affordable capital city to rent in the country.

In the June 2019 quarter there was a 15 per cent decrease in listings for sale and a 10 per cent increase in listings for rent, which demonstrates that some owners are choosing to hold and rent their properties, rather than selling.

Aside from the increase in house and unit median weekly rent, REIWA says it takes only 41 days on average to lease out a property whereas it takes around 79 days to sell.

Both Perth’s house and unit median rent price have risen $10 per week to $360 and $330, since June 2018.

There were 7,448 properties for rent in Perth at the end of the quarter which is 10 per cent more than the March quarter, however 15 per cent less than June 2018, demonstrating a significant annual decrease.

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.

Security update

Pact Site Security reported incidents over the past 2 weeks have included a spate of damage reports in Golden Bay where 4 sites had windows and ceilings damaged over a 3 day period.  Burglaries in Armadale, Brabham and Bushmead included theft of uninstalled hotplates and installed blinds and mirrors.

Stealing offences were spasmodic with individual reports of installed hot water units in Willetton and Maddington and general materials stolen from sites in Jindalee, Hocking, Treeby, Hammond Park, Alkimos, and Wellard.

CCTV footage has been passed to Police and posted on social media of an offender stealing plants from a display home in the Lakelands Estate. To view visit here.

Report all incidents of onsite crime @

Matagarup Bridge climbs a step closer

The McGowan Government has requested three shortlisted applicants submit their final plans to run Perth’s newest attractions – the Matagarup Bridge climb, zip-line and Optus Stadium rooftop climb by September 2019.

The bridge climb would potentially allow locals and visitors to ascend 314 steps to the highest point of the locally built Matagarup Bridge, some 60 metres above the Swan River.

Meanwhile, thrillseekers could opt for the Matagarup Bridge zip-line, travelling 300 metres via cables from the halfway point of the bridge to a landing platform on Burswood Peninsula.

The Optus Stadium rooftop climb will start with a 220 step climb to the top of the venue and a 360-degree circumnavigation of the internal perimeter roof.

The tour finishes at the western edge of the roof, where visitors will be able to enjoy amazing views of the Swan River and Perth skyline from a new gantry.

Some events will also make use of new rooftop seats which provide a bird’s-eye view of the action below.

Aboriginal Heritage Act update

The second phase of consultation on the Aboriginal Heritage Act has recently concluded and the state government has announced that it will replace the current act with new legislation.

According to the government, consultation has highlighted that Aboriginal stakeholders want to be empowered to take ownership of managing their heritage and become strategically involved in land use proposals.

The proposed reforms will also include an updated system for land use approval that strikes the right balance between protecting Aboriginal culture and economic development.

A draft Bill will be made available for public comment early in 2020.