Planning Reform Green Paper released

The much anticipated Green Paper into the independent review of WA’s planning system, headed by Evan Jones, was released for public comment on Friday.  The paper, entitled Modernising Western Australia’s Planning System: Green paper concepts for a strategically-led system, provides an outline of the challenges for the current planning system and proposed five key reform areas to help make the system more efficient, open and understandable.

The five key reform areas include a strategically-led system; a legible planning system; a transparent planning system, an efficient planning system; and planning for consolidated, connected and smart growth.

UDIA is supportive of the planning reform process and is a strong advocate for the streamlining of the planning system in order to improve housing affordability, efficiency and productivity.

To ensure members are kept well informed about the reform process and in particular the Green Paper, UDIA has organised a Member Briefing with Evan Jones on Thursday 7 June from 4.30pm.  More details on this free event for members here.

All the details, including a full copy of the Green Paper can be found here. The public comment period is open until Friday 20 July and UDIA will be making a comprehensive submission on behalf of members.

Community Titles showcase provides WA learnings

UDIA’s May Industry Luncheon last Friday featured insightful presentations on the experience of implementing Community Title schemes into the New Rouse Hill project in New South Wales.

Carolyn Chudleigh, Partner at HFW, provided a legal perspective on implementing the schemes and how they work in the reality of a large scale urban development.  Carolyn said that while Strata Title was still the most popular scheme in use in NSW, Community Title is an important regime for growing populations.

Ranisha Clarke, General Manager Operations, from Lendlease Communities provided an ‘on the ground’ perspective on implementing Community Title, saying that Lendlease could not have achieved the outcomes they did at Rouse Hill without Community Titles, particularly where they wanted to push boundaries and implement innovation.

She said that while a three tiered system may look complicated, it provided good flexibility in how amenity is provided and maintained and ensuring protection over time.

A big thank you to our sponsors for the event: LD Total; Strategen Environmental; and Strata Community Association WA. As well as networking drinks sponsors APD Engineering.

For those keen to learn more about the implementation of Community Title in WA along with the broader Strata Title Reform agenda in WA, our Industry Breakfast on 13 June will feature a presentation from the Hon. Rita Saffioti, MLA on the key objectives of the new Community Title Bill and Strata Titles Amendment Bill.  More details here.

We want your feedback!

UDIA is making submissions and appreciates member’s feedback on the following items:

  • Draft Position Statement On Renewable Energy Facilities (closing 27 July) (here)
  • Use of Monitored Natural Attenuation for groundwater clean-up (closing 8 June) (here)
  • Draft Industry Regulation Guide to Licensing (closing 20 July) (here)
  • Discussion paper – Controlled Waste Review (closing 8 June) (here)
  • Planning Reform Green Paper (closing 20 July) (here)

Revisions to the arrangement for the Western Power network

UDIA recently made a submission to the Economic Regulation Authority outlining our support for Western Power’s appraisal that the deployment of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) is the logical next step in providing safe and sustainable grid-supplied electricity to WA residents.  The ERA is currently considering Western Power’s fourth access arrangement proposal (AA4) which proposes to install AMI with supporting communication infrastructure for new and replacement meters over the AA4 period.

The ERA’s draft decision indicates that while it considered installing advanced cable meters, it was not convinced of the benefits of investing in the associated communication infrastructure.

UDIA supports innovation and the introduction of technology that provides more detailed and reliable energy data in an efficient and cost effective manner and we will keep members advised as to the ERA’s final decision.

Our full submission is available here.

Connecting with future property leaders

UDIA Councillors as well as the current and previous UDIA Frasers Women in Leadership winners were among the industry leaders participating in a Property Education Foundation (PEF) event last week aimed at highlighting the broad range of career opportunities available in the property sector. The students were from a range of disciplines including property development and construction, valuation, finance, marketing, engineering and many more.

Leaders included Justin Crooks, Development Director at Cedear Woods and UDIA Councillor; Tamara Heng, Partner at Lavan and Women in Leadership Winner; and Tanya Steinbeck, Director at Department of Communities and former Women in Leadership recipient.

Showcasing the property sector as a fantastic area for career progression and opportunity is a great way of attracting students into the relevant fields.

Apartment market attracts downsizers

According to new research by UDIA Research Partner Urbis, Perth’s apartment market achieved the highest number of sales recorded in two years during the March 2018 quarter.  The Urbis Apartment Essentials Report recorded 410 new apartment sales in Perth, up from 348 in the previous quarter.

Owner occupier sales dominated the market, with 65% of transactions and Director of Property Economics and Research David Cresp says this figure has been driven by both ends of the market, first home buyers and downsizers.

This quarter 55% of sales (226 sales) were in projects in a presales stage, up from 34% in the previous quarter.  Apartment development approvals remained low in the quarter, with only 257 new apartments approved. Though new approvals remain low, this allows existing approved stock to be absorbed into the market.

The weighted average sales price for the March 2018 quarter was $682,000 and two-bedroom, two-bathroom product made up the majority of sales at 48% of total sales.

Overall, the positive results in this report reflect a broader property market recovery in Perth and WA.

WALGA Business Survey – your input is valued

The Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) has recently commenced a project to develop a practical framework to assist Local Governments across the state in the implementation of their economic development strategies and activities and to ensure ongoing alignment with contemporary practice.

As part of this project, WALGA is undertaking a survey of businesses to understand their experiences working with Local Government. We encourage you to complete the survey and share your views and experiences.

The survey is confidential, takes around 20 minutes to complete and can be found here

Responses are due by COB Friday 22 June 2018.

For further information, please contact WALGA’s Policy Manager – Economics, Dana Mason, on 9213 2096 or

The Great Australian ‘BrewDog Bar Hunt’

Beer lovers may be interested to know that BrewDog, an independent brewer originating in the UK and recently opening a premise in Queensland, are looking for sites to establish several local bars in Perth as well as Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

BrewDog came to notoriety in recent years for masterminding the UK’s strongest every beer and quickly became Scotland’s largest independent brewery.  For more information on the Great Australian BrewDog Bar Hunt see here.

NEW – 2018 Map of Bushfire Prone Areas

The Office of Bushfire Management will release the latest edition of the Map of Bushfire Prone Areas on Friday 1 June 2018.  All designated bushfire-prone areas will be coloured pink, while newly designated areas will have an additional blue cross-hatched overlay for the first four months of designation.

From June 2018 you can view the new edition of the Map on the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) website and download the latest GIS layer from

UDIA Women in Leadership winner to participate in CEO Sleepout

The UDIA Frasers 2017 Women in Leadership winner and Lavan partner Tamara Heng will participate in this year’s CEO Sleepout, raising awareness of the increasing number of people experiencing homelessness in our community. Tamara will join fellow Lavan Partners Dean Hely and Jessica Patterson.

To support the Lavan team and help them reach their goal visit their fundraising page here.

Making biodiversity information more accessible online

The Minister for Science, Innovation and ICT Dave Kelly has launched the Index of Biodiversity Surveys for Assessments, aimed at making biodiversity information more accessible.

Approximately $38 million is spent by industry each year in WA, collecting biodiversity data for environmental assessments under the Environmental Protection Act. This new system will capture and consolidate data contained in more than 500 biodiversity surveys conducted every year, and provide a platform to make this information publicly accessible.

More information can be found here.

Final report – affordable housing supply

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) has released the final report into Increasing affordable housing supply: Evidence based principles and strategies for Australian Policy and practice.  The report poses that Australia’s housing system is failing to deliver a sufficient supply of affordable homes and wider affordability pressures are affecting household wellbeing and a national strategic framework is required to address these issues.

Some of the key findings include that government funding has proved critical to delivering affordable housing at scale and some jurisdictions such as WA have developed comprehensive strategic frameworks for increasing affordable supply.

The report also suggests there is potential to expand inclusionary approaches as a means of integrating affordable homes with wider planning and development processes. Government-facilitated access to land is also central to generating development opportunities.

The full report and more information can be found here.