Urban Insights: Your wrap-up of the latest industry news

12 Mar 2021

, News

In this e-newsletter
– Set the Scene
– New Bus Services Connecting the South East; Upcoming Research Project
– Latest UDIA Victoria Submissions
– COVID-19 Guidelines for Victoria’s Building and Construction Industry
– Update on Electronic Workplace Mapping and Compatibility
– Appointments
– Headline Media

Set the Scene.

  • New Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that unit construction approval figures in January plunged to their lowest levels since the global financial crisis. The figures bolster UDIA Victoria’s calls for targeted stimulus measures for the apartment sector in the upcoming State Budget.
  • The outlook for the greenfield Melbourne new dwelling market is positive for the first half of 2021, with potential softening in the second half as the ‘pull forward’ of demand from HomeBuilder is realised and other government stimulus measures start to ease. Look out for more market insights in the UDIA National State of the Land Report, lauching later today and arriving in your inbox on Monday. 
  • UDIA Victoria met with the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions regarding the State’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out program. Most of the broader Victorian population is expected to be vaccinated by September 2021. A Q&A document on the vaccine is available here.

UDIA Victoria and Bus Association Victoria Research Project.  

  • Submission to Infrastructure Victoria’s Draft 30 Year Infrastructure Strategy
    Infrastructure Victoria’s 30 Year Infrastructure Strategy identifies the top infrastructure priorities across four key sections, with the aim to reduce disadvantage, address environmental risks and build on Victoria’s transport networks and economic strengths, including a focus on the prioritisation and sequencing of growth area infrastructure.

Read our submission to Infrastructure Victoria.

Register for a virtual briefing on the 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy on 23 March.

View all of UDIA Victoria’s policy positions and submissions. Please note confidential submissions and communications will not be published. 

Update on Electronic Workplace Mapping and Compatibility.

The Victorian Government has announced that from 27 March 2021, all businesses using electronic record keeping – such as a QR code system, MUST use a system that seamlessly integrates with the government’s contact tracing system to help contact tracers respond to outbreaks.

Businesses can still choose to keep records manually, but they must apply the four-square metre rule. The requirement to share information will only be activated in the event of a positive case of coronavirus being detected at a specific location.

A four-week grace period will give QR providers time to connect to the API, or allow businesses to switch to the free Victorian Government QR Code Service.

Read more.

COVID-19 Guidelines for Victoria’s Building and Construction Industry. 

Version 11 of the COVID-19 Guidelines for Victoria’s Building and Construction Industry were released  4 March 2021, containing current advice and guidance on managing your project and worksites from a COVID-19 perspective.

The revised guidelines include updates on:

  • The State of Emergency
  • Updated Definitions of Close Contact and Procedures
  • Electronic Workplace Mapping
  • Density Quotients
  • Wearing Face Masks at Work
  • Guidance Note on Airflow and Ventilation

Download the latest COVID-19 Industry Guidelines.

Download the explanatory note outlining what’s changed.

New Bus Services Connecting the South East; Upcoming Research Project. 

The Clyde and Clyde North communities will have better connections to train services, local schools, shops, and healthcare thanks to three new bus services in the booming south-eastern suburbs.

Click here to read more.

UDIA Victoria welcomes the provision of the new bus services, which coincides with a key policy priority we are pursuing in relation to the increasingly frequent practice of developers having to run private bus services to service new communities.

UDIA Victoria has commenced a collaborative research project with the Bus Association of Victoria to put a spotlight on this issue, which arises due to the often multi-year lag between residents moving into a new community, and the commencement of state-funded public route bus services in and around these new neighbourhoods.   

This research project seeks to quantify how widespread the incidence of developer-led bus service provision is across Melbourne and the regions, the pros and cons of developers commissioning these services, and the average lag time between new communities opening and new public bus routes commencing.  

We will seek member input to this important research via a survey and workshops. If you are interested in participating, please email policy@udivic.com.au


We thank Angela Gaedke for doing a brilliant job as Acting CEO while the recruitment process was underway. Angela will resume her position as General Manager and Director of Strategic Projects. 
Matthew Kandelaars will commence as CEO of UDIA Victoria on 29 March. 

Matthew Kandelaars appointed CEO of UDIA.

We are pleased to share that Matthew Kandelaars has been appointed to the position of UDIA Victoria Chief Executive Officer, commencing 29 March 2021.

Mr Kandelaars is currently Victorian Deputy Executive of the Property Council of Australia; a role which has seen him spearhead countless successful advocacy campaigns, and lead the organisation as Interim Executive Director on multiple occasions, including extended stints through a state election campaign, and throughout a key juncture in the COVID-19 crisis.

Prior to the Property Council, Mr Kandelaars held senior roles within Victorian and South Australian ministerial offices, serving as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning in SA, and Senior Adviser to two Victorian ministers.

Angela Gaedke, Acting CEO and General Manager is delighted with the appointment. 

“Personally, I can’t be happier with the Board’s decision to appoint Matthew as I know the UDIA will thrive under his leadership.

“The fact that Matthew is across our industry and policy issues is a huge advantage and means he can hit the ground running as we continue to strive for the right outcomes for you, our members,” says Ms Gaedke. 

Read more.

Ken Munro appointed Development Director, Dahua Group Australia. 

Mr Munro has commenced his new role at Dahua, after almost 13 years at Development Victoria.

In the Media. 

  • Herald Sun: Better Apartment Design Standards, Victoria: New rules for balconies, prices could jump 

    Article excerpt: Apartment buyers may end up paying an extra $20,000 for their homes under new guidelines announced by the state government on Sunday.

    The Urban Development Institute of Australia’s Victorian chapter made this estimate after a range of construction groups warned the update to the Better Apartment Design Standards could stifle the sector’s recovery from COVID-19 and hit the Victorian economy…

    UDIA Victorian division president Ashley Williams said the new guidelines would take choice away from homebuyers and hit the state’s economy as a “significant reduction in new projects that make it into construction”.

    “We estimate the proposed landscaped communal open space will add up to $20,000 per apartment,” Mr Williams said.

    “The rigid application of these guidelines will lead to increasing construction costs that will erode project viability and ultimately lead to reduced housing supply and housing affordability.”

Read the full article.

  • Australian Financial Review: Developers get diplomatic over apartment rules

    Article excerpt: “The industry remains concerned that the rigid application of these guidelines will lead to increasing construction costs that will erode project viability and ultimately lead to reduced housing supply and housing affordability,” the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s Victorian president and developer Ashley Williams said.

    “When taken with a range of previously announced planning controls and increasing regulation, the apartment market will likely suffer a significant reduction in new projects that make it into construction.”

Read the full article.

To subscribe to UDIA Victoria’s Urban Insights e-newsletter and other important industry policy and advocacy updates, please scroll down to the bottom of this page and enter your details.