Opening statement from UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck at the first Industry Breakfast for 2020: Planning Matters.

Planning matters are very much in the spotlight, as we progress into a more sophisticated and detailed conversation around accommodating the future growth of Perth and providing greater housing choice throughout the metropolitan area.

Housing choice provides opportunities for more people to find an affordable home that suits their family and lifestyle needs, in an area they want to live, whether that is close to employment, family and social networks or services and facilities.

Inevitably, we will see more development in existing communities – in infill locations that are appropriate, that are close to public transport and activity centres – areas that will benefit from medium and higher density that will deliver greater vibrancy and economic sustainability for high streets, local business and provide access to services for local residents.

UDIA firmly supports and advocates for density done well. There are of course examples throughout Perth of density that has delivered a poor design outcome and negatively impacted the local street and neighbourhood.

The State Government has recognised this and responded with an ambitious planning reform agenda, and the delivery of Design WA. As with any significant legislative and regulatory reform process, it takes time to work through the operational challenges and opportunities throughout implementation until the changes begin to deliver the intended outcomes to the mutual satisfaction of all stakeholders.

UDIA is looking forward to the release in coming months of the Medium Density Design Code, which is anticipated to make significant strides towards the delivery of higher quality design and development outcomes for multi-unit sites up to four or five storeys high.

Perth is growing up and as a result of going through our awkward adolescence there is an emotive and at times challenging conversation occurring as to how we grow into a vibrant and mature city.

The fact is, that before Perth & Peel @3.5 million, we were rolling out infrastructure and development based on a plan that was largely put together 60 years ago.

Now – we have a framework for growth – that needs to be flexible and adaptive in its execution – in order to deliver a liveable, prosperous, connected and sustainable Perth.

We are also fortunate that we have a Minister for Planning, in Rita Saffioti who is across the detail, pragmatic, balanced and not afraid to show leadership when required when its in the broader public interest.