Anti-phoenixing measures to commence 1st July 2018

Last night, the Senate voted to pass the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 1) Bill, which changes the method GST is paid in the development industry. The new law requires buyers of new homes to pay GST directly to the ATO, rather than to the vendor.

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer said, “This measure targets illegal phoenix activity in the property development sector. It puts an end to the problem of some developers collecting GST on new properties but then dissolving their business to avoid remitting the tax when it is owed to the ATO.”

UDIA met with a number of decision-makers, including crossbench Senators, to raise industry’s concerns about the implementation of the reforms.  Following consultation with UDIA, Senator David Leyonhjelm said, “this bill is an extraordinary overreaction to the rare event that is phoenixing. It uses a sledgehammer to crack a nut. The government seems to want to chase down every tax dollar regardless of the consequences.”

Senator Leyonhjelm also raised UDIA’s concerns that the method of paying GST will not be fully operational by the time the new laws come into effect, “the PEXA system, an e-conveyancing tool, is available and preferable for dealing with this transfer, but time is needed for the industry to move across to this system.”

It is understood until the PEXA system is operational, vendors will have to sight a cheque made out to the ATO on the day of settlement.  While the Bill is unchanged from its original form, we have managed to secure more flexibility in its implementation.

Follow the links below for more details:

Perth and Peel @ 3.5 Million frameworks finally released

The Perth and Peel @ 3.5 million land use planning and infrastructure frameworks to accommodate 3.5 million people by 2050 were released by the State Government late on Friday 23 March 2018. A preliminary study of the documentation by UDIA on behalf of members has pinpointed a number of issues, in particular the limited number of amendments undertaken during the revision period.

Our concerns are mainly in regard to the incorporation of METRONET and the potential impact on dwelling targets, the lack of consideration for introducing a proponent led planning system, limited rationale behind dwelling and employment targets and the lack of an avenue for appeal for landowners with holdings outside of designated areas.

More detail on our concerns can be found in our Member Alert that was distributed to members on Monday, here.

WA projects recognised on national stage

Alkimos Beach by LandCorp and Lendlease, and Elizabeth Quay by the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, have won top honours at the UDIA National Awards for Excellence, presented in Melbourne last Thursday night.

Alkimos Beach won the award for best Residential Development. The first development in WA to achieve a six leaf rating under UDIA’s EnviroDevelopment program, Alkimos Beach is now a multi-award winning estate.

The landmark Elizabeth Quay project in the Perth CBD won for the best Urban Renewal project. The project has transformed the Perth waterfront, which is attracting international investment and creating a foundation for new economic development opportunities in the surrounding area.

A huge congratulations to our deserving WA winners!

Winners in eligible categories in the UDIA State Award for Excellence program are nominated in the national awards.  We are hosting an Awards briefing for those interested in entering the state awards on 12 April.  More details here.

MRA Stakeholder industry roundtables – invitation to members

UDIA is inviting expressions of interest from members currently active in MRA development areas, to participate in a stakeholder industry roundtable which is being held as part of a review process of the MRA planning function. The review is being undertaken following the announcement of the merger of the MRA and LandCorp, to identify opportunities to enhance transparency, accountability, operational efficiency and their working relationship with key stakeholders. It is intended that the new entity will retain the planning powers of the MRA however 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. The meeting with key stakeholders would be to gain feedback on how the MRA Planning Directorate fulfils its development control functions, to identify opportunities for operational improvements that can be achieved in the short term and to inform how these planning powers are best utilised by the new entity. Members can express their interest in being involved to, along with which MRA development area they are active in.

Infrastructure Australia’s priority lists updated

Infrastructure Australia has released an updated Infrastructure Priority List (IPL) that sets out a prioritised list of nationally significant investments. In particular, Priority Projects are potential infrastructure solutions for which a full business case has been completed by the proponent and positively assessed by the Infrastructure Australia Board.  Priority Initiatives are potential infrastructure solutions for which a business case has not yet been completed.

For Western Australia, the IPL only includes one Priority Project, being the Myalup-Wellington Water Project to develop industry and agriculture in the south west.  There are however two high priority initiatives, including the widening and introduction of smart freeways technology on the Mitchell and Kwinana Freeways to address congestion and the north corridor capacity to the Perth CBD.

The Perth rail network capacity is also listed as a priority initiative.

Full report here

WALGA Economic Development Framework

UDIA met with WALGA to discuss the development of the Association’s ‘Economic Development Framework’. The proposed Framework will offer Local Governments advice regarding the economic development activities of local government throughout the state. UDIA reiterated the need to recognise the importance of the development industry towards economic development and of ensuring that local government’s development contribution schemes remain transparent and well-structured to support economic development.

Contaminated sites submission requirements

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) has advised that it no longer requires hard copy submissions (including technical reports) relating to contaminated sites or acid sulfate soils. The Department is intending to develop an online submission portal in the future.

In the interim, all submissions relating to contaminated sites or acid sulfate soils should be submitted via email to, unless the Department has specifically requested otherwise (such as when a report is required urgently).

Formal submissions, including statutory forms and technical reports should not be emailed to individual officers or to the generic Contaminated Sites email address.

More information here

Liv apartments feature impressive local artist installation

Acclaimed Perth visual artist Rick Vermey will design a new public artwork for Defence Housing Australia’s Liv Apartments in Fremantle, WA.  Mr Vermey was commissioned to design the permanent installation in Liv’s entrance as part of the City of Fremantle Percent for Art scheme that specifies local developers contribute to the city’s public art.

As part of the creative process Mr Vermey partnered with emerging computational design specialist and architect, Daniel Giuffre to come up with the winning design. The tunnel-like structure will be visible from the Queen Victoria and Quarry Street entrances and will be illuminated from within.

Imagery of the unique proposed artwork can be found here.

Census uncovers Australia’s most advantaged and disadvantaged areas 

Four West Australian local government areas featured in the top ten most advantaged areas in Australia according to the latest Census study from the ABS.  No WA areas featured in the most disadvantaged.  Cottesloe (listed fourth), Peppermint Grove (fifth), Nedlands (sixth) and Cambridge (ninth) all featured in the top ten. The ratings are based on people’s access to material and social resources, and their ability to participate in society.

More details here  

Professional Development Program – first module commences April 23

This comprehensive program is tailored directly to those working in the property industry in Western Australia and ensures participants gain a practical understanding of the tools needed to navigate through complex development processes and the different roles within a project team. Join our experienced presenters Marie Mills, from Mills Wilson; Stephen Carter, from CLE Town Planning + Design; and Lavan’s Brian McMurdo and Brendan Foley, for the first module, Basic Skills and the Planning Framework, on April 23. More information can be found in the program brochure here, and please contact Carissa at for program queries. Registrations for Module 1 close April 16, don’t miss out.