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29 September 2021

Push for strategy expertise

The West Australian

WA’s peak property development body has called for the establishment of two expert groups to assist the State’s growing infrastructure needs.

Urban Development Institute of Australia State chief executive Tanya Steinbeck outlined the need for “further industry collaboration” in a submission responding to Infrastructure WA’s latest strategy.

Released for public comment, the draft State strategy has identified infrastructure trends, needs and priorities for the next two decades.

Creating an integrated Statewide plan for the adoption of digital connectivity and technology as well as preparing and implementing a net zero emissions by 2050 transition plan for a greater focus on climate change and sustainability were among the strategy’s 88 recommendations. While accepting the recommendations, Ms Steinbeck’s submission pushed for the establishment of a “State Government growth areas team” and “housing supply advisory group”.

The first would be tasked with bringing together key government agencies to help “unlock” development in strategic corridors and infill precincts, while the group would assists forecast housing and infrastructure needs.

“With the WA population set to grow from 2.7 million to 4.3 million by 2042, it is vital the State Infrastructure Strategy better aligns land use planning with public infrastructure and fosters greater collaboration between Government and the development industry,” Ms Steinbeck said.

Both of the UDIA WA proposals have been identified in its recent Housing Supply Report and State Budget Submission. Ms Steinbeck said Perth’s forecast growth could not be supported by infill alone. She said urban expansion in Perth, Peel and regional centres was unavoidable to help housing affordability.

Among the pitches for two expert groups, UDIA WA also encouraged exploring public private partnership opportunities, modernising infrastructure-related legislation, stronger transport system outcomes, and investment in social and affordable housing.