UDIA Committees announced

Following a comprehensive review of our committee system, the UDIA Standing Advisory Committee members for 2018-19 have been announced.  We received a huge 211 nominations across the seven committees. These nominations represent 72 different companies and the final committee members come from over 60 different companies which is fantastic representation across our membership.

It was a difficult task to narrow down the lists with such a high calibre number of industry professionals nominating and we thank all those that have shown an interest in getting involved.

The committees and associated Chairs are:

  • Environment – Darren Walsh, CEO Strategen Environmental
  • Housing Diversity – Justin Crooks, Development Director Cedar Woods Properties
  • Industry Diversity – Allison Hailes, CEO UDIAWA
  • Infrastructure – Jeremy Cordina, General Manager Land Development, Parcel Property
  • Land Use Planning – Jane Bennett, Director CLE Town Planning + Design
  • Outlook – Vivienne Edwards, Principal Wood & Grieve Engineers
  • Urban Water – Avril Thomson, Director Cossil & Webley

The UDIA committees play a critical role in our policy and advocacy work and we appreciate the volunteers who assist us in this capacity.

A full list of committee members along with an outline of the purpose of each committee is available here

State Conference draws a crowd

We had a full house at state conference last week with over 100 delegates descending on Bunker Bay Resort for two days of learning and networking.  As we mentioned in last week’s edition, key note presenter Professor Ian Harper from Deloitte Access Economics stole the show with an energetic delivery of the latest economic data plus a positive outlook for future growth.

Discussion and debate throughout the program raised several key issues that UDIA will progress, including researching successful value capture models; increasing the opportunities for Public Private Partnerships; investigating the option of moving to a broad based land tax system; as well as continuing to work with the state government on planning reform and ensuring industry feedback is taken into consideration during finalisation of the model for Infrastructure WA.

UDIA is also keen to lead discussion on creating a new ‘brand’ and identity for Perth in order to attract more people to the state and clearly position Perth as a diversified economy with plenty of opportunity following the mining boom.

We will be publishing a blog series in the coming weeks, highlighting more detailed learnings and information from our presenters.  In the meantime, you can check out a selection of photos from the event on our Facebook page, feel free to tag yourself if you find a photo!


International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day and the aim is to raise awareness about the barriers and issues women still face across all areas of contemporary life, push for change to achieve gender equality and celebrate the achievements that have been made. This year a social media campaign has been launched with the theme #PressforProgress with a focus on how far we have come and how far we still need to go.  We encourage members to support the campaign on social media and promote how your organisation might be leading the way in gender inclusion.

More information and resources about the day can be found here

Infrastructure WA – opportunity to have a say

Delegates at UDIA’s state conference last week received a comprehensive rundown on the proposed model for Infrastructure WA from Department of Premier and Cabinet, Director of Infrastructure Policy and Governance, Lance Glare. Mr Glare outlined the draft governance model and the proposed functions of IWA including short, medium and long term planning, improving the quality of WA’s infrastructure proposals and timeframes.

UDIA will be making a submission during the consultation period on behalf of members and we welcome your feedback to policy@udiawa.com.au by 13 March for potential inclusion in our paper.

More details on the proposed establishment of IWA can be found here

UDIA secures GST withholding policy wins

UDIA National representatives have met with the Minister for Revenue’s office, along with Treasury, the Australian Tax Office, and key advisers to non-government members raising our concerns about substantial matters and the risks to implementation of the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 1) Bill 2018.

The Bill requires that where an entity (the supplier) makes a taxable supply of new residential premises or a subdivision of potential residential land by way of sale or long-term lease, the recipient of the supply (the purchaser) is required to make a payment of the GST part of the consideration to the ATO directly, prior to or at the time consideration is first provided for the supply (other than as a deposit).

Our continued advocacy regarding this matter has secured some critical wins in the implementation of the policy:

  1. Where the Margin scheme applies a lower GST withholding proportion applies at 7% instead of 1/11th.
  2. Payment to the ATO can now be made on the day of settlement as a payment to the vendor, which mitigates many of our concerns relating to the settlement process.
  3. There are less strict notification time periods to purchasers and the ATO.

The Legislation has passed the House of Representatives on 27 February with bipartisan support and is due to be debated in the Senate on 19 March. UDIA will continue to work with the ATO on ensuring the implementation of the policy minimises impacts on the industry.

Negative Gearing and CGT reform proposals

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) have released a paper entitled – The income tax treatment of housing assets: an assessment of proposed reform arrangements. The study develops and models pathways to reform the income tax treatment of housing assets. It focuses on key tax arrangements including negative gearing arrangements and CGT provisions.  The study has recognised the potential impact of abolishing negative gearing and current CGT arrangements on housing affordability and proposes moderated reform scenarios.

The full report can be downloaded here

Housing affordability improves

Housing affordability is at its highest level in 20 years in most cities in Australia except for Sydney and Melbourne, according to the Housing Industry Association’s latest quarterly index.  According to the report, Perth is leading the way in affordability with an average monthly mortgage repayment of $2,194 representing 27.5 per cent of gross average earnings. During the December quarter, the largest improvement in affordability occurred in Darwin (+3.6 per cent), followed by Sydney (+3.1 per cent), Brisbane (+1.4 per cent) and Perth (+1.3 per cent).

More information here

Economic update

According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Australian economy grew 0.4 per cent in seasonally adjusted chain volume terms in the December quarter 2017. In particular, household final consumption expenditure increased 1.0% in the current quarter compared to the upwardly revised September quarter estimate of 0.5%.

New building investment grew by 3.3% in the current quarter and is up 12.3% through the year. The states which contributed to growth were WA, NSW and ACT. This growth aligns with the strength observed in building approvals over the past year.

Western Australia’s state final demand decreased 0.2% in the December quarter and follows a 1.4% increase in the September quarter. The fall in the December quarter was driven by reduced private capital investment. There was a large fall in non-dwelling construction which was offset in part by a rise in expenditure on machinery and equipment. Total final consumption expenditure increased, spread across government and households.

Dwelling units rise

The trend estimate for total number of dwelling units approved in Western Australia rose 0.5% in January after falling for four months. The trend estimate for the number of private sector houses rose 0.3% in January after being flat in the previous month.  More details here

City of Perth Commissioners commence work

According to a statement by the Minister for Local Government, Heritage; Culture and the Arts the three commissioners appointed to run the City of Perth while its council is under suspension have commenced work and met with staff at the City.

The authorised inquiry, which is being undertaken by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, is continuing to collate and analyse evidence while the terms of reference are drafted to establish an inquiry panel.

Once the inquiry panel has been established, the authorised inquiry will cease and provide its information and evidence to the Inquirer. The inquiry panel will have the powers of a Royal Commission and the authority to make recommendations as to whether the council should be dismissed or reinstated.

Following the inquiry, which could take a number of months, a report will be prepared for the Minister for Local Government to decide what action the State Government will take.

Yagan Square opens to public

It was fantastic to see Yagan Square open to the public over the weekend.  The Square provides a direct connection between William Street from the Perth central business district and Northbridge, improving access across the Perth Train Station, Perth Busport and Perth Arena. According to Minister Saffioti, hundreds of jobs were created during the planning and construction phase, and there are now exciting opportunities for new small businesses that will help support future economic growth.