Economy

Investment in strategic infrastructure at the right time brings long term benefits for our urban growth and ensuring new housing is affordable and suitably serviced.  Importantly, investing in infrastructure supports the state’s economic growth and boosts local job prospects.

At a local level, communities deserve to enjoy the local infrastructure that they pay for when purchasing their new home sooner rather than later – this builds vibrant, resilient communities.

UDIA Recommends: 

  1. A more strategic approach to infrastructure planning. Specifically,  Infrastructure WA should establish a clear pipeline of priority infrastructure projects to support infill, greenfield and regional growth areas;
  2. Roll out strategic infrastructure within set timeframes so private sector can identify opportunities;
  3. Unlock the $2 billion currently held in local governments Development Contribution Schemes and bring forward investment in community infrastructure;
  4. Get SPP 3.6 right and implement it so that we are keeping management of community infrastructure funds transparent and efficient; and
  5. Collaborate with industry to identify strategic infrastructure that the $444 million balance of the Metropolitan Region Fund could be spent on.

Sensible population growth will benefit the local economy and provide all West Australians with a more stable future in terms of employment, prosperity and allow investment into much needed infrastructure to keep our cities and regions operating at their best.

Given the effective management of COVID-19 in WA we now have the opportunity to build on the attractiveness of WA as a safe haven to live, work and invest.  We can grow the state in a careful, sustainable manner that keeps us all safe while ensuring that we can grow our economy and tap into global opportunities for the benefit of all West Australians.

In order for our economy to keep growing over the next four years and beyond we need a strong foundation for jobs and population growth to keep moving in a positive trajectory.

UDIA Recommends:

  1. Develop a Population Strategy that maps out a sustainable plan for population growth
  2. The State Government work with the Federal Government’s Centre for Population to provide accurate forecasting, demographic profiling and trends in order to influence population policy and maximise opportunities for growth in WA

UDIA congratulates the McGowan government for fast tracking elements of the planning reform agenda in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the state economy, however there is still more to be done to ensure a streamlined and efficient system.

Unnecessary red tape causes delays and can add significant costs to development, with new home buyers footing the bill for these extra costs in the end price of new land and housing.  This has led to critical housing affordability issues in WA over many years.

Cutting red tape will lead to better outcomes for industry, home buyers and government agencies.

We need to ensure that decision makers and government agencies are made accountable for timeframes and deadlines.  Industry is seeking real consequences for failures to meet deadlines so that there is an incentive to work efficiently and be mindful of acceptable timeframes when making decisions across the board.

UDIA Recommends: 

  1. Continue to implement the Planning Reform Agenda, specifically:
    – More consistent state and local government planning policy
    – Digitise the planning system
    – Enforce statutory timeframes for referral agencies
  2. End the moratorium on rental evictions – this is stymieing investment and exacerbating the rental crisis

A fair and efficient taxation system will improve housing affordability, facilitate people moving to more appropriate housing and attract greater investment in the WA housing market thereby increasing the supply of affordable rental accommodation.

WA is currently facing a rental crisis and therefore we need more supply of affordable housing and that comes from private investment which is currently being stymied, particularly by unfair taxation settings.

UDIA Recommends: 

  1. A moratorium on the Foreign Buyers Surcharge which has put a halt on investors buying into the WA apartment market and is exacerbating the rental supply crisis;
  2. Immediately extend the off-the-plan stamp duty rebate scheme;
  3. Facilitate more Build-to-Rent schemes with accommodative taxation settings; and
  4. Look long term to remove stamp duty which is a barrier to ‘right sizing’ in favour of a more equitable system
Image credit: Dion Robeson