UDIA Victoria Policy Priorities

15 Apr 2021

, News

Update on our policy and advocacy commitments to members from UDIA CEO and UDIA Director of Policy and Research.

Matthew Kandelaars
Chief Executive Officer
Dr Caroline Speed
Director of Policy and Research

Q2 2021: We are committed to converting advocacy wins into reform on the ground for you.

In this update
Support for the Apartment Sector
Opportunities through Victoria’s Big Housing Build
Reform Agenda
~Infrastructure Contributions Reform
~Planning Systems Reform
~Greenfield Electricity Connection Reform
~Precinct Structure Plan Reform
Member Satisfaction Survey
ICP Revised Ministerial Direction: Free Industry Update

Support for the Apartment Sector.

The Victorian State Budget will be handed down on 20 May and UDIA Victoria is working hard to mount the case for continued support for the urban development industry, particularly for our hard-hit apartment sector.

Drawing from credible data, facts and our members’ on-the-ground experience, we’ve lodged a pre-budget submission with the Treasurer that sets out a range of targeted and considered measures to help bridge the demand gap until overseas migration, tourism and international student inflows resume.

UDIA Victoria has recommended the Victorian Government:

  • Extend the 50 per cent stamp duty waiver on new homes until 30 June 2023;
  • Reinstate 100 per cent off-the-plan stamp duty concessions for new central city apartment builds for 24 months;
  • Extend the Vacant Residential Land Tax waiver until 30 June 2023;
  • Provide a 24-month holiday from the Foreign Purchaser Additional Duty, to encourage investment into Victoria’s apartment market; and
  • Provide funding to the Victorian Planning Authority and local government to support the timely approval of planning applications, reduce red tape and support the supply of new homes throughout Victoria’s suburbs and regions, until planning system reforms take effect.

Separate to initiatives requiring direct fiscal support, we’re urging the Victorian Government to work with the Commonwealth and educational institutions to bring back international students in a safe and expedited manner. We’re also encouraging active promotion of the central city as a great place to reside, alongside the City of Melbourne and others. Together these initiatives represent a strategic and holistic approach to achieve genuine re-activation of the CBD and surrounds.

Members will hear more about our pre-budget advocacy soon.

Opportunities through Victoria’s Big Housing Build.

This quarter, UDIA Victoria is focussed on gaining clarity for members, so you can realise the immense opportunities presented by Victoria’s $5.3b Big Housing Build.

We have established a working group with the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA), to:

  • find the opportunities available to you;
  • highlight the roadblocks for attention; and
  • build relationships between industry and housing associations, so you can move through the approvals process with efficiency and confidence.

The working group is engaging with government, providing a key list of issues to be addressed so industry can play its part in delivering the 12,000+ new homes that will be delivered in the next four years.

Additionally, we are working hard to ensure Victoria’s 10 Year Strategy for Social and Affordable Housing sets a sound framework to equitably elevate the supply and diversity of social and affordable housing available across Victoria. While emphasising our industry’s willingness to contribute, we’re cautioning against shifting all cost and responsibility from where it naturally resides (with government) to our sector, with little regard for the practical impacts.

Reform Agenda Update.

In the first 100 days of 2021, UDIA Victoria committed to converting advocacy wins into reform on-the-ground. Not a day has been wasted, with material progress made across several key areas for members.

Infrastructure Contributions Reform.
In December, the Victorian Government recognised that the ICP system has deviated from its initial purpose and principles, and committed to identifying and addressing key issues with the system. We are working closely with the Infrastructure Contributions Advisory Committee, to provide insight into the operation of the ICP, DCP and GAIC models, and to pressure-test real reform opportunities. 

Our contributions to the review process have been substantial and have included two major submissions, four separate meetings with the Committee and seven in-depth briefings, as well as a major research project we’ve commissioned, revealing that residential development taxes and charges contribute a total of $6.4 billion annually to the Victorian economy, made up of: 
– $2.5 billion of development charges; and 
– $3.9 billion of taxes on residential development. 

With fact-based evidence supporting our rational, timely and well-considered recommendations, UDIA Victoria has emerged as the leading industry body in the Infrastructure Contributions Reform space.

Additionally, we have written to the VPA requesting the Regional ICP process be put on hold pending the outcome of the review process.

A UDIA Victoria members-only briefing on the Infrastructure Contributions research and reform work will be held this quarter. 

Planning Systems Reform.
Leading our reform agenda is our engagement with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) on its Planning Systems Reform initiative. We have cemented our position as the pre-eminent industry body in this space, establishing a UDIA expert panel that provides regular, rapid advice to Government as it fine-tunes and implements a suite of reform measures. This month our expert panel met with DELWP to provide advice specifically regarding the legislative reform component of this initiative.

We are currently engaging DELWP to deliver an exclusive joint briefing to share details of the planning systems reform work with members. Details will be delivered straight to your inbox in the next couple of weeks. 

Complementing the extensive  work being done to reform the planning system, the Government has announced a comprehensive review of Victoria’s building system.

Greenfield Electricity Connection Reform.
Our long-standing collaboration with Government on the connection of electricity to new developments has delivered a solid advocacy achievement. After months working on a Design and Construction Standard to harmonise practices across all distribution businesses, the Standard is intended to be released on 1 May 2021 to provide time for familiarisation and training, before it comes into force on 1 July 2021.

The Standard reflects a successful collaboration between industry, government and the distribution businesses, particularly around constructability issues. You can access a draft version of the Standard here.

Precinct Structure Plan Reform.
We have received a positive response to our detailed submission on the draft PSP Guidelines, and we are engaging the VPA to work through mechanisms and interventions required to achieve density and diversity ambitions. We are also engaged in productive conversations on priority interventions for government to achieve the outcomes and intent of the guideline’s targets, particularly related to engineering design standards and expedited approvals. This work will provide an important framework for the growth and development of Melbourne’s outer urban areas.

3-Min Member Satisfaction Survey.

We are committed to understanding you better than ever before, so we can represent you in the best way possible. Please take a 3-minute survey that will help renew and enhance our understanding of our membership.

Click here to take the survey now. Your valuable time is appreciated.

Thank You.

Thank  you to so many of you who have contributed to our huge body of advocacy work across the first quarter of this year. As an industry, we achieve so much by remaining united and working together.

UDIA Victoria will continue fighting for our industry, the people it supports and the jobs it creates. As always, we’ve got your back.

ICP Revised Ministerial Direction: Free Industry Update. 

On 24 February 2021, the Minister for Planning issued a new Ministerial Direction on the Preparation and Content of ICPs.

The Ministerial Direction specifies where ICPs can be used (development settings) and the requirements for preparing an ICP including standard levy rates, land valuation and indexation methods, and the infrastructure that can be funded by an ICP.

Please join us on April 29 for a free industry briefing presented by the VPA, to help our members understand the changes to the revised ICP Ministerial Direction. 

ICP Ministerial Direction Industry Briefing Details 
Thursday, 29 April, 2:00PM via Zoom
Please add this to your calendar and follow the link at the time of the briefing: 

Questions to add? To raise a particular topic or question to be included on the agenda, please send through to Tyler Agius, Senior Infrastructure Planner, tyler.agius@vpa.vic.gov.au.

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