Development Contributions – draft policy discussed

Close to 350 guests attended UDIA’s Industry Breakfast on Wednesday to hear from WAPC Chairman David Caddy on the latest progress in drafting the new State Planning Policy 3.6: Development Contributions for Infrastructure.

Mr Caddy’s presentation outlined the broad policy aims including to achieve greater clarity of the ‘rules of engagement’ and improving consistency and transparency.  David also wanted to highlight that development contributions are just one way of delivering infrastructure.

In particular relation to Development Contribution Plans (DCPs), the new policy will aim to provide greater guidance around scope of items to be included along with improving transparency and looking at how better consistency across local governments can be achieved. David also said that processing times and achieving greater competencies to process within statutory timeframes is another consideration under the draft policy.

The keynote presentation was followed by an honest and frank panel discussion facilitated by UDIA Councillor Jeremy Cordina.  Panellists included City of Cockburn CEO Stephen Cain; Stockland’s Col Dutton; Jane Bennett (@CLE Town Planning + Design); PwC’s Craig Shepherd; and The City of Swan CEO Mike Foley.

Both local government CEO’s highlighted the financial risks involved for local governments in managing DCPs, particularly in larger areas with significant numbers of landowners.

Industry panellists highlighted the need for greater transparency in fund management and also the need to consider a more consistent process for costing infrastructure delivery, as well as more information around the ‘need and nexus’ for community infrastructure.

Thanks to our Industry Partner PACT Site Security and valued sponsors Harley Dykstra and Longreach Recruitment for their ongoing support.

Housing Industry Forecasting Group – interim report

The Housing Industry Forecasting Group (HIFG) has revised down its forecast for the 2018-19 financial year, now expecting commencements of 15,500 dwellings, down from its previous forecast of 18,000.

The latest report pinpoints that deterioration of building approvals and household lending numbers have impacted forecasts along with factors such as tightened lending criteria and acknowledged industry concerns around the Foreign Buyers Surcharge dampening foreign investor demand.

See full report here.

Federal Ministry reshuffle

Following the weekend’s announcement about the new Morrison Ministry, UDIA National issued a media release congratulating the Prime Minister, The Hon Scott Morrison MP on his appointment of such a strong mix of experienced performers.

See our Member Alert for more details here.

New – City of Perth Planning Strategy

The City of Perth will release a draft City Planning Strategy for public comment on June 10th that will guide future land use planning and decision-making for Perth city over the next 10-15 years.

Strategy documents will be uploaded by the 10th June. In the meantime, Part 1 of the Strategy can be viewed within the 28th May Council Agenda on the City’s website here.

Minimum Wage increases

The Fair Work Commission has determined that it is appropriate to increase the National Minimum Wage (NMW) by 3.0 per cent. The new NMW will be $740.80 per week, or $19.49 per hour. This amounts to an increase of $21.60 per week to the weekly rate.

More information here.

Design WA in operation

Design WA Stage One became operational following publication in the Government Gazette on 24 May 2019.  Stage 1 includes:

State Planning Policy 7.0: Design of the Built Environment: the lead policy that elevates the importance of design quality across the whole built environment. It includes 10 principles for good design and establishes the framework for integrating design review as a part of the evaluation process.

State Planning Policy 7.3: Residential Design Codes Volume 2 – Apartments: This is a policy for apartments and mixed-use developments which focuses on improved design outcomes for apartments and will replace Part 6 of the R-Codes.

Design Review Guide: this works with SPP7.0 to assist local governments with the establishment and operation of design review panels and will support consistency in the design review processes already in operation across the State.  It also provides a framework for the operation of the State Design Review Panel.

Since the public release of the State Planning Policy 7.3: Residential Design Codes Volume 2 – Apartments, several minor edits to the policy have been made prior to gazettal. These changes have been incorporated into the online version of the document.

All relevant documents can be found here.

Clearing permits now required for Typha orientalis

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) has advised that as a result of the reclassification of Typha orientalis as native to Western Australia (WA) a Clearing Permit will be required for the clearing of T. orientalis under Part V of the Environmental Protection (EP) Act.

More information here.

State Design Review Panellists announced

The state government has confirmed the membership pool of the newly established State Design Review Panel (SDRP) that will provide advice and guidance on major projects including significant public works, infrastructure projects and significant private sector projects.

The panel comprises 37 experts from the core disciplines of planning, architecture, urban design and landscape architecture, and 13 specialists with expertise in heritage, sustainability, engineering and public health.

The panel will provide advice to government agencies, decision-makers and proponents, including the WA Planning Commission, Development Assessment Panels, redevelopment authorities, statutory authorities and local governments and will be chaired by the Government Architect Geoff Warn.

Congratulations to several UDIA members who have been appointed to the panel pool.

New directors at Western Power

Guy Chalkley and Kathryn Barrie have been newly appointed to the Western Power Board.

Mr Chalkley has been the Chief Executive Officer of Western Power since 2016 and he has had previous contribution to board level discussions and has extensive financial management knowledge from across a range of sectors and continents.

Ms Barrie joins the Western Power board bringing almost 18 years of experience from energy and education in the Western Australian State Government, including from her current senior role at the WA Department of Treasury (Public Utilities Office).

Mr Chalkley will remain in his position at Western Power but, due to his appointment to the board, his title will change from CEO to Managing Director.

Latest building approvals continue to fall

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in April, the total number of house approvals in Western Australia fell 6.9% month-on-month (MoM) to sit at 947, 9.7% below levels at the same time last year.

The total value of new private building jobs for houses in WA fell 8.6% MoM in April to $269 million, following two months of increasing figures, and also decreased 5.6% from numbers recorded for the same time last year.

The total value of residential building jobs in WA fell 15.2% MoM to sit at $360.7 million, with numbers also down 17.0% YoY. This total consisted of: $320 million for building jobs for new construction jobs (-15.6% MoM; -17.3% YoY); and $40.65 million for building jobs for alterations and additions, including conversions (-11.8% MoM; -15.0% YoY).

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

Draft Position Statement – Fibre Ready Telecommunications Infrastructure (here). Submissions close Monday 22 July, 2019.

GST at settlement webinars

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is hosting a series of three webinars on issues related to GST at settlement.

The first in the series on 11 June is already full. However the subsequent two still have places available.

Wednesday, 12 June at 11.00am – 12.00 noon EST on the topic of how to get GST at settlement right, including:

  • Carrying on an enterprise
  • Relying on a vendor notice
  • Creditable purpose of land
  • Margin scheme
  • Penalties
  • Reporting non-compliance

Register now

Wednesday, 12 June at 2.00pm – 3.00pm EST on the topic of GST at Settlement – Cutting through the complexity and case examples, including:

  • Meaning of a subdivision plan
  • How to treat a subdivision
  • Discounts and rebates
  • Mortgagee in possession issues
  • Non-resident issues

Register now

All webinars will be recorded and available on soon after the live event.

PACT crime report

Theft reports of electrical cables and water meters have increased dramatically in the past week with electrical cable stripped from ceilings, walls and main power boxes on sites in Baldivis, Treeby and 2 sites in Ellenbrook, water meters were stolen from sites 3 sites in Hammond Park and 1 in Success.

Discussions are underway with WA Police and key stakeholders to enact legislative reform on the scrap metal industry, including prohibiting cash transactions. Ensure all crime is reported here.

The Synergistic City

As the Internet of Things networks connect devices and systems across a city, automation, artificial intelligence and real-time data acquisition come together to create Urban Environments that can ‘think for themselves’.

Data sourced from a range of systems in the community such as Smart Poles, Embedded Power Networks and Smart Buildings can be applied in real time so that the urban environment can adapt dynamically to changes in people and vehicle movement as well as local environmental conditions to optimise efficiency in the use of energy and water as well as safety and security outcomes for the community.

See more in our guest blog from Opticomm here.