Weekly wrap: Advocacy in action, HomeBuilder & policy updates

12 Jun 2020

, News

Advocacy in action: UDIA Victoria urging councils and VCAT to unlock $10b development activity.

UDIA Victoria was yesterday featured in a front-page article in The Australian, advocating for development projects to be assessed faster, particularly in light of the time constrained HomeBuilder program.

Our CEO Danni Hunter pictured (below) on-site with UDIA Victoria Board Member Andrew Fortey. 

Article excerpt:

“There is a pipeline of more than $10bn of development activity tied up in local and state planning processes, including at local council and at VCAT,” Ms Hunter said. “If unlocked, this pipeline could generate close to 73,000 new Victorian jobs.”

The UDIA had previously written to councils at the start of the pandemic, urging them to “keep the doors open for business, digitally and remotely” and continue issuing planning approvals “to minimise disruption and to increase the future pipeline of work to ensure the viability of the industry”. However, reports from members have suggested that, at some councils, approvals have slowed.

Click here to read more of the article.

National update.

UDIA National President, Simon Basheer

HomeBuilder Stimulus Package Clarification Sought

UDIA National is engaging with the Federal Government on the detail needed to deliver clarity and certainty to the industry around the HomeBuilder package.

We’re particularly after details related to the  scheme’s  application to off-the-plan apartments and townhouse projects, as well as circumstances where the purchaser has a contract with a developer, but not the builder. 

The latest advice is that an updated FAQ on details of the scheme should be issued in the next 24 hours.

Read more…

UDIA Victoria HomeBuilder Fact Sheet.

Last week, the Australian Government unveiled its HomeBuilder stimulus package to support the nation’s housing and construction sector recover from the economic effects of COVID-19.

What is it? HomeBuilder provides a $25,000 cash grant paid directly to owner-occupiers who purchase a new home or do significant renovations. There are significant terms and conditions to be aware of. 

See the key points for industry in our Fact Sheet here

Learn more about HomeBuilder from the Australian Government here

Streamlining approvals in PSP areas.

The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) has advised UDIA Victoria of recent decisions that will enhance the efficiency and outcomes of post-PSP approvals in VPA structure plan areas. These decisions will positively impact: 

· Generally in Accordance Guidance Note
· Growth Area Model Planning Permit Conditions review
· Small Lot Housing Code review

Read more…

UDIA Victoria Summary Position: Timely electricity connections for new developments.

We have submitted a summary position paper on electricity connections to the Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce, which will inform our submission to the Essential Services Commission’s latest review being undertaken in June 2020 (more information here).

UDIA Victoria has worked with the Essential Services Commission since 2018 to address the significant and ongoing delays faced by the urban development industry inachieving electricity connections to new developments, which is a pre-condition to the transferring of new lots to purchasers, and to settling a sale of land transaction.  Our industry continues to face major delays with little improvement from the electricity distribution businesses evident since the issues were first identified by UDIA Victoria in 2017 and 2018.

We are raising this issue with senior government officials directly as well as making a submission to the ESC through its review this month.

We thank our members, particularly our Greenfield Development Committee for providing input and assistance to our efforts throughout the long journey on this issue.

Read the UDIA Victoria Summary Position: Timely electricity connections for new developments

UDIA Victoria Submission: Implementation of the Melbourne Industrial and Commercial Land Use Plan.

The Melbourne Industrial and Commercial Land Use Plan (MICLUP) is a key output of Plan Melbourne and represents a significant undertaking by DELWP and the broader industrial and commercial land use community in developing the plan.

Our submission in response to the released MICLUP draws particular attention to our key recommendation

UDIA Victoria proposes an MICLUP Standing Advisory Committee or Panel be established immediately, with input from State Government, key industrial users and landowners, UDIA Victoria and other industry groups, and supported by suitable strategic land use and economic experts with a clear focus on generating a detailed plan moving forward for industrial and commercial land.

Read the UDIA Victoria Submission: Implementation of the Melbourne Industrial and Commercial Land Use Plan.