The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) continues to engage with governments on how the industry can help sustain and revive the Australian economy following the effects of COVID-19.

The urban development industry is not immune from the economic fall-out. However, we also have a vital role to play in maintaining activity for as long as it is safe to do so, as well as ensuring we are central to the recovery.

UDIA National has today released ‘Helping Australia Bounce Back’ – an advocacy document that details six strategic steps governments can take now to stimulate housing and construction, and how they fit in the context of our larger policy goals.

Housing is vital to the economic wellbeing of the nation and needs to be front-and-centre in the thinking of governments and policy makers in the months ahead.

UDIA National will now be engaging with the Federal governments key Ministers and their advisors  on the initiatives and making a clear case – as an industry central to Australia’s economic prosperity, we are well-positioned to drive growth, jobs, wages and activity.

Our solutions have been deliberately designed to represent a low barrier-to-entry for government and be easily triggered without substantial legislative or administrative work.

Our advocacy endeavours complement the sustained work being undertaken by state divisions of UDIA, who are working diligently with state governments on local solutions.

The six immediate steps being promoted to the Commonwealth Government are:

  1. Release a second tranche of the First Home Buyers Deposit Gap Scheme, but exclusively geared towards new stock
  2. Introduce guaranteed deadlines for major projects currently caught in the EPBC assessment regime
  3. Pull forward projects on the Infrastructure Australia priority list that have the dual benefit of stimulating infrastructure development and housing construction
  4. Incentivise the states to cut assessment times in half for major project approvals and remove regulatory barriers to ‘shovel-ready’ housing projects
  5. Continue the partnership between governments, financial regulators and financial institutions to ensure a continued flow of credit to homebuyers and mortgage holders – and APRA reconsider the loan serviceability buffer in its residential mortgage guidance
  6. Commonwealth and states to expand stamp duty exemption schemes, roll back barriers to foreign investment and boost build-to-rent to underpin new land release and off-the-plan stock.

A link to the document can be found here.

We look forward to keeping you informed of progress. In the meantime UDIA National wishes every member well during the difficult period and hope you stay healthy.


Simon Basheer