UDIA National releases 2019 Policy Priorities

As we edge closer to a federal election in early 2019, UDIA National has taken the initiative to release a document that encompasses the key issues of relevance to our industry entitled “Building a Better Australia”.

The six key issues set out by the document call on Federal politicians to get population settings right; deliver urban infrastructure; boost housing supply and diversity; reform taxes and charges; improve clarity and certainty; and future-proof our cities.

Pivotal to our advocacy at a national level will be potential changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax. UDIA’s position on this issue is clear in that negative gearing and capital gains tax settings should remain unchanged until the potential impacts of any proposed changes are fully understood and the impacts to the wider economy are more accurately modelled.

Find a letter of introduction from UDIA National President Darren Cooper and the full policy document here.

UDIA meets with key federal ministers and members

UDIA WA President Nick Allingame, Vice President Kim Lawrence and CEO Tanya Steinbeck attended UDIA National Council in Canberra earlier this week.  The meeting focused on the release of the 2019 national priorities document and provided the opportunity to meet with several key members of Federal Parliament including The Hon. Alan Tudge, Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population; The Hon. Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development; John Alexander, Chairman of Infrastructure, Transport and Cities; along with Senators Cameron (Shadow Minister for Housing);  Seselja (Assistant Treasurer) Bernardi; and Hanson.

Meetings focused on the critical role of the development industry across Australia, the economy, tax policy and the importance of a strong federal government role in Australia’s cities policy and development.

Housing Industry Forecasting Group releases latest report

According to today’s Housing Industry Forecasting Group (HIFG) report, an increase to 19,000 dwelling commencements is expected in WA in 2019-20 on the back of a strengthening economy and a further pick-up of 20,000-22,000 in 2020-21.

UDIA WA is represented on the HIFG along with a wide range of representatives from organisations including the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia, the Housing Industry Association, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WA), and Landgate.

Read the full report including the main factors behind the forecast here.

Design Review Panel to be introduced

UDIA has welcomed the introduction of a WA State Design Review Panel that will provide independent advice on the design of buildings and infrastructure projects, however we have advised that strong State-led policy was needed to support the panel’s mission.

UDIA is supportive of ensuring that we are achieving excellent design outcomes for our new buildings and infrastructure and one of the key elements to achieving that is to ensure that there is a clear vision in place for an area from the outset.

Where there has been a failure to clearly articulate the design intent, this has created uncertainty for the community and the development industry alike which can lead to poor outcomes.  Therefore, we are keen to see the government progress a Medium Density Housing Code that will guide the delivery of a more diverse range of medium density housing options to the WA market.

That type of clear policy, in conjunction with ensuring that local governments have appropriate precinct plans in place, will provide greater certainty for all stakeholders and much better outcomes for local communities.

The State Government is looking for suitability-qualified, built environment design experts to join the review panel and more information can be found here.

Industry round table – diversity and density

UDIA participated in an industry round table today led by Shelter WA to discuss how we can work together to shift the community narrative around housing affordability, diversity and density.

Other participants in the round table included representatives from Property Council, Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, Royal Australian Institute of Architects and Master Builders.

Topics for discussion included the potential impact of the new strata legislation, the state government’s planning reform agenda and METRONET, which all provide an opportunity to influence change.

We look forward to continuing the dialogue on this important issue.

We want 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

The next stage of the Local Government Act Review has been released for comment, with submissions closing 31 March, 2019. More information here.

DWER Review of thresholds for uncontaminated fill – Consultation paper (available here). Submissions close Friday 18 January, 2019.

Draft SPP 2.4 Basic Raw Materials (available here). Submissions close Friday 25 January, 2019.

Round two of smart cities funding allocated

The Federal Government has announced $21 million in funding for Round Two of the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program. The program will assist 32 innovative local government projects, including two from Western Australia.

Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population, Alan Tudge, said many of the projects will collect valuable, sensor-based data that, once analysed, could mean sharing the projects nationally, and internationally.

More information on the projects receiving funding can be found here.

City of Wanneroo Design Review Panel

The City of Wanneroo is extending the advertising period for expressions of interest to join the City’s new Design Review Panel.

The extended close date for expressions of interest is Friday 7 December 2018. The remuneration of Panel members has also been revised to offer an hourly rate rather than a per-meeting rate.

For further information, and to nominate for membership, please visit the city’s website here.

DPLH launches new website

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) launched a new website today which aims to consolidate the department’s services into one portal and provides a search driven approach to finding information.

Some of the major changes to the site include the section on Development Assessment Panels which now includes agendas, minutes and a document search module for greater accessibility to information.

Local planning strategies, schemes and structure plans are now available in consolidated form with a page for each local government.

For more information and to view the new website, visit here.

Outlook end of year party

UDIA Outlook, representing young professionals within the urban development sector, hosted a fantastic end of year event last Thursday at Henry Summer in Northbridge.  Welcoming over 150 guests, the event proved extremely popular and it was a great way to network with colleagues and meet new contacts in a relaxed setting.

We are looking forward to welcoming everyone back for the first outlook event next year, the extremely popular mini golf at Holey Moley!

See pics from the EOY event here.

Perth offers job opportunities

In a further sign that the WA economy is moving into another growth cycle, a new study by German relocation assistance company Movinga has ranked Perth number 22 in the world for job opportunities.

Finn Age Hänsel, managing director of Movinga, said that the study identifies the most attractive cities and assists people who are eager for professional opportunities, either abroad or in their own countries, by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of every city.

The criteria that the cities are assessed against include standard of living, job opportunities, economic strength for startups and businesses, healthcare and opportunities for women, youth and immigrants.

Perth’s scores were highest in the categories of total employment, expatriate employment, women’s freedom and legislation and youth employment.

The number one city for opportunity was Boston, USA followed by Munich, Germany and Calgary in Canada.