BAL assessments under the spotlight in Ministerial meeting

UDIA CEO Tanya Steinbeck and President Nick Allingame met with the Minister for Emergency Services, Fran Logan today to discuss the increasing level of frustration that is being experienced by industry in regard to Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessments.

The Minister advised that a briefing was held with Minister Saffioti and the Commissioner for Fire and Emergency Services last week that involved their counterparts in the ACT. The purpose was to view their automated BAL assessment system. The system uses LiDAR technology and provides automated assessments for development approvals.

We are pleased to advise that Minister Logan and the Commissioner have offered to brief UDIA State Council personally on progress on these issues, including potential benefits of the ACT system which seeks to address some of the issues the industry is currently experiencing with assessments.

Luncheon with the Hon. Stephen Dawson MLC, Minister for Environment

Yesterday UDIA hosted a Boardroom Luncheon supported by our Industry Partner Strategen Environmental with the Hon. Stephen Dawson MLC, Minister for Environment.

This was the second in a series of luncheons designed to provide an opportunity for senior industry and government representatives to engage in an informal discussion about the urban development goals that we have in common, and how these can be achieved through greater collaboration and new ways of thinking.

Minister Dawson participated in an open and frank discussion covering a number of issues relevant to his Ministerial portfolio, including the status of the Strategic Assessment for Perth and Peel, adequately resourcing environmental approvals and improving approval timeframes.

As the Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council, the Minister highlighted the challenges of ensuring the passage of legislation through the upper house and discussed a number of broader industry issues including growing and diversifying the state’s economy. The Minister noted feedback from industry representatives and the many challenges currently facing the development industry.

UDIA thanks Minister Dawson for his participation and Strategen for sponsoring the luncheon. UDIA looks forward to strengthening engagement with the State Government and growing the boardroom luncheon series across many further topics.

New local planning scheme for Nedlands

Minister Saffioti has signed off on a new City of Nedlands local planning scheme (LPS 3) that will replace the current scheme that has been in place since 1985.

According to the Minister, the new scheme will enable more housing choice, ageing in place opportunities and higher residential density around transport corridors while leaving about 75 per cent of the local area unchanged.

UDIA welcomes the Minister taking a leadership role in progressing planning outcomes that will facilitate appropriate density and infill.

The City now has 42 days to make any modifications to the draft LPS 3 and return it to the Minister for final approval.

More information here.

National Migration Program up for consultation

The UDIA National office lodged a submission today providing feedback on the federal Migration Program for 2019-20.  The program considers the size and make-up of Australia’s migration intake for the coming year.

UDIA has advised that, given our ageing population, any migration program needs to target working age skilled migrants and families.

Our submission also outlines how migration and population settings need to be carefully considered and inform strategic land use planning to ensure our cities deliver in a globally competitive market.  Uncoordinated planning across Australia has left some major cities with housing backlogs, driving up prices.

Overall, UDIA recommends that the migration plan work closely with other arms of Local and State Government to:

  • Establish regular short/medium/long-term population forecasts to better inform strategic land-use and infrastructure plans.
  • Identify the base level of services expected for key elements of liveability to accommodate a larger population including housing affordability measures, transport, key infrastructure and the environment.
  • Use data to inform a national strategic population plan that predicts infrastructure and housing requirements, to accommodate population growth and delivers detailed, costed infrastructure and land release plans, including delivery time frames.
  • Examine options for settlement planning to ensure the benefits of population growth are more evenly distributed across Australia.

Design WA Launch imminent

Over 300 guests are already registered to attend our special UDIA business luncheon on Monday 18 February where Planning Minister Rita Saffioti will launch the highly anticipated Design WA.

Stage One includes 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.

To join us for this exclusive opportunity to hear firsthand about the policies that will shape the future of our urban landscapes, register here.

CommSec releases State of the States

CommSec released their latest State of the States report yesterday in which Western Australia has been ranked seventh in terms of economic performance across a range of indicators.  According to the report, Western Australia is seventh or eighth on all indicators except equipment spending (sixth). In fact equipment spending has been growing in annual terms for 18 months.

CommSec Chief Economist Craig James said that despite the ranking, there are some encouraging signs for WA including that population growth is starting to accelerate and spending on plant and equipment is also growing.

More information here.

UDIA supports The Big Issue

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck is participating in The Big Issue’s ‘CEO Selling Week’ on Friday 8 February.  The Big Issue magazine is sold on streets around Australia by people experiencing homelessness, marginalisation and disadvantage.

CEO Selling is an initiative held during International Vendor Week, is an annual event that celebrates vendors who are working hard to change their lives.

Look out for Tanya on Wexford Street, Subiaco at 11am next Friday. Tanya will be selling The Big Issue alongside street vendor Malcolm. Every magazine sold helps a homeless or disadvantaged person who are proudly working to earn a meaningful income.

More information about The Big Issue here.

State Conference almost sold out!

There are only limited spaces available to the UDIA State Conference held in Bunker Bay from Wednesday 27 February to 1 May 2019.  Featuring a fantastic line up of speakers including an opening dinner key note address from the Hon. Alannah MacTiernan and a presentation on day one by Hon. Rita Saffioti.

The conference also features what is sure to be a lively presentation from Professor Ian Harper, back by popular demand, due to his no nonsense and entertaining insight into the economy and WA’s future growth prospects.

The schedule is packed full of industry experts, government leaders and of course plenty of opportunity to network with peers and meet new business contacts.

Don’t delay in registering or you will be disappointed, find out more information here.

We value your feedback!

UDIA is currently working on several submissions on behalf of members.  We encourage you to forward any feedback to these items to

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.

Consumer Price Index on the rise for Perth

According to the latest from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) In the December 2018 quarter, the All Groups CPI for Perth lifted 0.5% from the previous quarter. In the twelve months to December 2018, the Perth All Groups CPI increased 1.3%, the highest twelve-month increase reported since the December 2015 quarter (1.5%).

For Perth the highest quarterly price increases were seen in alcohol and tobacco (+2.7%); recreation and culture (+1.6%); insurance and financial services (+0.9%); and furnishings, household equipment and services (+0.9%). In the twelve months to December the highest price increases were in alcohol and tobacco (+6.1%); health (3.7%); and transport (+3.6%).

Prices for housing in Perth fell 0.2% in the December quarter, and also fell 1.2% over the 12 months to December 2018.

Leasehold Schemes: Strata Titles Regulations Discussion Paper

This week, UDIA submitted comment on behalf of members on the Leasehold Schemes: Strata Titles Regulation Discussion Paper released by Landgate. UDIA advised that the regulations are critical to ensuring that development is able to respond to changing demographics and lifestyle preferences.

More specifically, UDIA has queried why shorter leaseholds have been restricted to government agencies; and we are seeking clarification on who is appointed to determine the valuation of improvement to lots.

For further details and to view our full submission, see here.

Draft State Planning Policy 2.4 – Basic raw materials and Associated Guidelines

UDIA has written to the Department of Planning, to outline our strong support for the intent of the draft State planning Policy 2.4 to safeguard the supply of basic raw materials (BRM) and to protect people and the environment by ensuring land uses are compatible.

However, whilst supporting the intent of the policy, UDIA has raised a number of concerns regarding the application of the draft policy, specifically in regard to when the policy should be applied and the blunt nature of the policy wording which could deliver unintended consequences in some instances.

To read our submission in full, download it here.