Weekly wrap: National HomeBuilder advocacy, regional reopens, calling for permit extensions, business support & more.

18 Sep 2020

, News

National Advocacy: HomeBuilder mark 2.

UDIA National has lodged a milestone submission with the Commonwealth Government explaining how the loss of immigration and population growth will challenge the national economy.

With input and advice from UDIA Victoria, UDIA National has made a strong case for extending and modifying the HomeBuilder scheme to harness domestic demand to boost housing construction and economic activity.  The submission includes Victoria-specific recommendations including extensions which would reflect the severity and extent of the Stage 4 restrictions on the industry and home buyers in Victoria.

Importantly, the submission unveils new research demonstrating how Australia now faces a sustained downturn in immigration and population growth, which usually fuels much of the nation’s economic prosperity and demand for new housing construction. Key points include:

  • Nationally, we will need 50,000 less homes every year over the next five years due to the closure of our international and interstate borders.
  • The Australian economy will lose $17.9 billion direct gross value from reduced residential construction activity.
  • The Commonwealth and State Governments must urgently consider medium term stimulus measures to drive more residential construction activity and to get more people into new housing in coming years.

View the UDIA National submission here.

Extension of approved planning and development permits and approvals. 

UDIA Victoria has joined forces with the Property Council, to address the impact of delays on building, construction and development projects both under construction and soon to be commenced.

We have written to the Planning Minister Richard Wynne, and Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane, asking Government to consider granting an extension of two years, to all current unexpired development permits issued by both State Government and local councils.

This proposal will allow for:

  • Building, construction and development projects to continue without additional delays and risks to the viability of the existing workforce due to lost time having to reapply for existing permits that may expire in coming weeks and months;
  • The recouping of lost time and costs resulting from the COVID-19 restrictions on workforce and industry activity; and
  • Developers to invest available funds in projects now, while also ensuring the security of a pipeline of projects without concern that project permits might expire before funding can be secured.

View a copy of the letter here. 

Guidelines for PSPs in Melbourne’s Greenfields – consultation open. 

The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) has updated its Guidelines for Precinct Structure Planning in Melbourne’s Greenfields (the Guidelines), to improve liveability in Melbourne’s new neighbourhoods.

The main goal of the updated Guidelines is to provide a clear purpose, pathway and practical toolbox for preparing a successful Precinct Structure Plan (PSP). The Guidelines include updated principles and performance targets to guide minimum standards for PSPs based on 20-minute neighbourhoods.

The VPA and project partners are seeking industry feedback on the principles and performance targets in the Guidelines, to understand if the proposed changes adequately support best practice planning outcomes in greenfield areas. 

The Guidelines are open for comment until Wednesday 11 November.

Click here to view the updated Guidelines and learn more.

Regional VIC progress to Step 3 of reopening roadmap.

In a hugely important development for our regional members, regional Victorians this week celebrated reaching the necessary “trigger point” to progress to step 3 of Victoria’s roadmap to reopening. At 11.59 PM Wednesday night, several key changes to how regional Victorians live and work came into force, including:

  • No restrictions for reasons to leave the house, except where travelling through restricted area. Face covering and gathering restrictions still apply.
  • Real estate inspections can be conducted by private appointment only and in accordance with public gathering limit.
  • Real estate auctions may be held outdoors with up to ten people, plus the minimum number of people required to conduct the auction.

Details of the Premier’s Statement can be found here.

Details of ‘Regional Victoria – The Third Step’ can be found here.

Supporting businesses on road to COVID Normal.

A massive new support package will see $3 billion in cash grants, tax relief and cashflow support delivered to Victorian businesses.

Over $1.1 billion in cash grants will support small and medium sized businesses that are most affected by coronavirus restrictions including $822 million as part of the third round of the Business Support Fund. Around 75,000 eligible businesses with payrolls up to $10 million will receive grants of $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 depending on their size. 

To provide a much needed $1.7 billion cashflow boost for businesses, the Government will now defer payroll tax for businesses with payrolls up to $10 million for the full 2020-21 financial year.

Building on that support, the Government will also provide a further $137 million in waivers and deferrals of charges including the congestion levy and increases to the landfill levy. The 50 per cent stamp duty discount for commercial and industrial property across all of regional Victoria will be brought forward to 1 January 2021 and the Vacant Residential Land Tax will be waived for properties that are vacant in 2020.

Read more.

Melbourne City Recovery Fund.

Recognising that Melbourne’s CBD has suffered as we have acted to slow the spread of coronavirus, the Victorian Government has announced $100 million to reshape Melbourne’s CBD in partnership with the City of Melbourne.

Reflecting our reputation as the cultural capital of the nation, a further $30 million will support COVIDSafe events and cultural activities to attract visitors back to the CBD when it’s safe to do so.  Another $40 million will go towards providing physical improvements to the CBD streetscape, which could include wider footpaths, bollards and street planter boxes.

This is part of a $290 million package that delivers further support to the entertainment industry, repurposes Melbourne’s CBD and gives sole traders a helping hand, with particular focus on facilitating outdoor dining.

The package includes $87.5 million to councils and businesses outside of Melbourne’s CBD to make widespread outdoor dining safe, practical and a reality this summer.

Read more.

R U OK? Day may be over – but the time to ask the question and talk to each other about life’s ups and downs is not. 

If you feel like something’s not quite the same with someone you know – there’s something going on in their life, or you notice a change in what they’re saying or doing – trust that gut instinct and take the time to ask them “Are you OK?”

If someone says they’re having a tough time, make time to listen, encourage action and check in. That conversation really could change, or even save, their life.

You don’t have to be an expert to keep the conversation going. Click below for resources to help you know what to say. Download resources at R U OK?

Building System Review early initiatives.

UDIA Victoria has lodged a submission with the Chair and Commissioner for Better Regulation Anna Cronin, providing industry’s feedback to early initiatives for the Victorian Building Review.

Our submission is structured around the following key initiatives being explored:

  • Establish a centralised building consumer information and support service
  • Introduce a new class of building surveyor
  • Pathway to a project -based insurance in Victoria
  • Promoting consumer awareness about building consultants
  • Strengthen the role of the State Building Surveyor and clarify roles and responsibilities of building surveyors
  • Support improvements in industry compliance
  • Support training system reforms to increase the pipeline of building surveyors

View our submission here.

Delivery timeframes for passive open space.

UDIA Victoria has written a letter to the Mayor of Wyndham City Council Josh Gill regarding the intention for Council to develop a policy mandating the timeframe for delivery of open space. 

We are urging Council to maintain the existing process that has been effective in delivering open space in Wyndham for many years.  We are seeking a meeting with the Mayor and Council to discuss the issue and our submission.

View our submission here.

Complimentary EnviroDevelopment Audit.

See how your project stacks up. 

Ever wondered how sustainable your project really is? Find out with a complimentary EnviroDevelopment Audit.

The EnviroDevelopment team will assess your project and advise what level of certification you may be eligible to achieve. 

Certified projects provide a point of difference in the marketplace and provide evidence to the community, potential home buyers, and investors that your project is sustainable.

Email us to arrange a free audit.

Learn about EnviroDevelopment.

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