UDIA WA has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Housing; Planning; Homelessness; Lands John Carey MLA that interim measures for public open space contributions will be implemented for infill development, while broader Public Open Space policy review is undertaken.

With the draft Policy currently out for consultation, new measures will be brought forward to reduce the regulatory burden and cost for infill development.  This will include amendments to local government delegations to ensure the WAPC is the decision maker on any applications of public open space contributions for built strata development in Perth and the South West.

This will ensure a consistent and fair approach across all local government areas and reduce the application of unforeseen costs that could prevent apartment projects happening. The Minister also confirmed Government will not support any changes to the Public Open Space policy that add regulatory burden and cost to the delivery of infill projects.

“Following UDIA WA’s advocacy on this important policy issue, we strongly welcome today’s announcement from Minister Carey of interim measures and reconsideration of the draft Public Open Space Policy to support infill development,” UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck said.

“Amidst the current housing crisis that is impacting Western Australia, it is more crucial than ever for such policies to be closely examined through a housing affordability lens and for the acceleration of supply to be prioritised,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“We have been clear that the draft policy, and the way some local governments are interpreting the existing policy in imposing cash-in-lieu requirements on built strata subdivision, is a major threat to the viability of infill projects and longer-term housing affordability,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“We thank the minister for listening to and acting quickly on the concerns of industry as we continue to work collaboratively towards greater housing supply, choice and affordability,” Ms Steinbeck said.

The Draft Operational Policy 2.3 – Planning for Public Open Space was released on 9 June 2023 and as it stands, it seeks to apply 10 per cent Public Open Space requirement across all urban areas, with cash-in-lieu to apply if land cannot be ceded.

UDIA WA has been engaging with the Minister’s Office and relevant Government agencies on the draft Policy in the context of the market realities of delivering diverse and affordable housing in the current conditions and with the systemic challenges faced by industry.

“UDIA WA has consistently warned that infill development, particularly medium and high-density apartment projects are becoming increasingly difficult to stack up financially and this cash-in-lieu requirement is essentially another tax further reducing the viability and affordability of infill development,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“The public consultation process is an opportunity for industry to participate in the review of the draft Policy by further demonstrating the implications of changes and engaging in identifying evidence-based and pragmatic solutions to support greater infill supply moving forward,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“It is essential for the policy, and other new or amended policies, to be considered holistically with a view to enabling the provision of diverse and affordable housing supply and to support Government aspirations for our growing population and a more compact, connected and liveability city,” Ms Steinbeck said.


Further information:

Gemma Osiejak

Executive Manager Communications & Engagement

E: gosiejak@udiawa.com.au

M: 0421 506 819