The State Government’s announcement today that the State Development Assessment Unit (SDAU) will be reopened to December 2023 has been enthusiastically welcomed by the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA).

“Western Australia is facing a critical housing supply shortage that has been exacerbated by materials and skills shortages,” UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck said.

“The SDAU has performed a critical purpose since its inception in the early stages of the state’s Covid response,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“Given the delays that have been experienced it is imperative that developers are able to see projects that have been in the pipeline able to come to fruition utilising this pathway,” Ms Steinbeck said.

UDIA WA’s submission to Phase 2 of the State Government’s Planning Reform as well as our widely published Housing Our Community Report in 2021 called for an extension of the SDAU.

“Given the proven success of the SDAU in coordinating the multiple agencies and departments that are involved in the planning approvals process, it is prudent to see the unit continue,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“The SDAU has successfully considered and approved several key projects since its formation that will provide much needed housing choice and other essential services and infrastructure to the community,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“Of critical importance here is the benefit to the broader community that a coordinated pathway for these projects provides,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“The SDAU is a rigorous process that provides opportunity for public comment on proposed projects along with allowing relevant agencies to appropriately consider projects.  At the same time the process also has the ability to take in the broader economic, social and environmental benefits that can be delivered for the State by a particular project,” Ms Steinbeck said.

The SDAU also maintains due regard for the local planning framework and all regulatory agencies and the State Design Review Panel are consulted.

“The Minister and the State Government must be congratulated for recognising that there is a need for this type of coordinated pathway in the planning approvals process,” Ms Steinbeck said.

UDIA WA has also welcomed the deferral of the introduction of the proposed Special Matters DAP to next year.

“We hope the extra time to develop a structure for the Special Matters DAP will ensure we get a long term, sustainable process in place for planning approvals in Western Australia,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“At the end of the day, our planning approvals pathways need to reflect the broader needs of current and future communities and have the capacity to coordinate effectively with all stakeholders.  Our housing affordability and broader urban growth plans depend on it.”


Gemma Osiejak

Executive Manager Communications & Marketing
P: 0421 506 819