Weekly wrap: Reopening schedule, Board update, SRO Duties Online, street trees & more.

25 Sep 2020

, News

Advocacy in action: Bring forward reopening of display homes, sales offices & inspections.  

We are continuing our impactful joint advocacy efforts with other industry associations, calling on the Victorian Government to prioritise the reopening of display homes, land sales offices, sales suites and open-for-inspections, so they can re-open on an appointment basis from this Monday, 28 September.  

As we have done throughout the pandemic, we have been working diligently this week to provide direct advice to Government on the impact of the restrictions on our industry, and a range of solutions for consideration by the Public Health Response team. 

Under the Victorian Government’s Roadmap to Re-opening announced, display homes, sales suites and land sales offices cannot re-open until late October at best. With Spring being the strongest selling season, and December and January traditionally soft, we are demonstrating to Government how this puts the future construction pipeline for the 2021 year under extreme threat. 

We are urging the Premier to agree to this important tweak to the roadmap to reopening, that will boost our economic recovery and safeguard industry jobs.

Click here to read our letter to the Premier of Victoria. 

UDIA Victoria Board Update: Executive Committee Appointments.

We are delighted to share the results of our Executive Board appointment process, which took place at UDIA Victoria’s Board meeting on Monday 21 September.  Under UDIA Victoria’s Constitution, the Board appoints an Executive Committee of office bearers at the first meeting following the Annual General Meeting each year.

Ashley Williams

Founder and Managing Director, Evolve Development

For his outstanding contribution to government relations and his regard in the industry, Ashley Williams has been reappointed as UDIA Victoria President for the next 12 months.  Ashley has been instrumental in guiding and leading UDIA Victoria’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, and we look forward to Ashley’s continued leadership for further term as President.

Jill Lim

Development Director, Land, Frasers Property

For her balanced and insightful way of dealing with issues at the executive level, Jill Lim has been reappointed as UDIA Victoria Vice President for the next 12 months.  Jill has been critical to UDIA Victoria’s ongoing policy and advocacy across vital greenfield development issues.  Her leadership and inclusive engagement approach is a key part of UDIA Victoria’s advocacy for our members.

Tom Trevaskis

Head of Development Residential and Urban Regeneration Victoria, Lendlease

We have a new Treasurer, as Jack Hoffman has stepped down from the UDIA Victoria Executive Committee after two years as Treasurer, and Tom Trevaskis has been appointed for the next 12 months.  Having played a lead role on UDIA Victoria’s Planning Committee, Tom will now play a new leadership role within UDIA Victoria’s Executive Committee.  Welcome to the Executive Committee, Tom!

Ed Krushka

Project Director,

For his valuable contributions, Ed Krushka has been reappointed as UDIA Victoria Company Secretary for the next 12 months. Ed’s diligent leadership of UDIA Victoria’s governance reform agenda has been vital to the ongoing services of our members, and we look forward to working with Ed on other new and exciting membership-focussed projects.

 Damien Tangey

Managing Director, Birchgrove Property

Damien Tangey has been reappointed as Immediate Past President and member of the UDIA Executive Committee.  He is recognised by the Board for his deep experience and long standing, valuable commitment and contribution to UDIA Victoria’s Board and Executive Committee.  As a regional champion and policy-reformist, Damien has played an important role in UDIA Victoria’s housing affordability agenda and we are delighted to have Damien continue in this important role.

Jack Hoffmann

General Manager – VIC & QLD, Satterley Property Group

The Board and team at UDIA Victoria sincerely thank Jack for his time, commitment and strong leadership in his time as Treasurer. His efforts have been integral to UDIA Victoria remaining a financially sustainable and well managed membership association by delivering significant surpluses in his time as Treasurer.  Jack also oversaw the largest investment program in UDIA Victoria’s business through our new CRM and website project, which we are excited to launch in the very near future.  

Important SRO Duties Online update. 

Last weekend there was an update to the Duties Online system which resulted in all transfers which involve rebates being assessed as complex transactions.  This decision was made as a result of a volume of transfers involving rebates, where the comparison of the consideration and the market value determined that a bonafide sale may not have occurred.  

As complex transactions, all transfers involving a rebate will therefore be manually checked and assessed by an assessor until the technology change can be made to Duties online (DOL). This therefore results in settlement delays as the assessment is not instantaneous but can take up to 30 days.

Following feedback from UDIA Victoria surrounding the impact on developers and settlement timing, this issue has been escalated within the SRO as a matter of priority and the SRO has recognised the unintended consequences of its system change.  The SRO has committed to reversing the change and it is anticipated that transfers involving rebates will be able to be processed as a normal DOL/system assessed transaction within 1-2 weeks.

The SRO and DOL have confirmed to the UDIA that they will prioritise the manual assessment of transfers involving rebates on request as per the existing ‘Early Settlement Date’ request process to ensure that intended settlement dates can be met.  This means that the 30-day settlement rule for complex transfers will not apply for rebate transfers, and SRO/DOL will seek to turn them around as soon as practical after they receive them.

Thank you to Bettina Sheeran, Partner, Development team at Maddocks for providing this update for UDIA Victoria members.

Advocacy win: Road authority approval for public lighting.

UDIA Victoria’s member-driven advocacy and collaborative efforts to work with Powercor have yielded positive results for industry. 

Powercor has reviewed the requirement for designers to obtain public lighting approvals prior to submitting a staged plan for audit, and advised that due to a change in the way they manage plan audits, this will no longer be a requirement.  Public lighting approval from the road management authority will still be required, but can be submitted once available.

This change will come into effect from Monday 28 September and should improve the approval and sign off process for developments in our greenfield areas.

What do you need to do
As of Monday, if you have completed designs you may submit them via mySupply for audit.  If you have already received council approval, attach the approval as normal.
How do you provide P/L approval after plans are submitted
When Powercor audit a plan and find it complies with the standards, but have not received public lighting approval, they will reject the plan with a note ‘Plan is compliant, public lighting approval outstanding’
Once road authority advice is received, upload the approval letter via mySupply.  They will then release construction drawings. In this case you will not be charged a plan re-submission fee.
If your submitted plan is not compliant, they will reject the plan as normal.  If public lighting approval is available when you re-submit, please upload with your revised plans.
Will this process remain unchanged?
No. They have introduced this interim process to be able to provide an immediate benefit to developers.
They are in the process of adding a new task to mySupply ‘Submit road authority public lighting approval’.  Once the new task is available, you will be able to submit public lighting approvals at any time.  Please be patient as it may take some time for their programmers to implement.  They will let you know once this work is completed.

Street trees: Innovation, Sustainability & Technology.

At our last meeting, UDIA Victoria’s Innovation, Sustainability and Technology Committee received a presentation from Ray Verratti of Verve Projects, on the issue of street trees in new subdivisions and the steps needed to enhance street tree outcomes.

Exploring both good and bad examples of tree canopies in residential streets, we outlined success factors, including the quality and volumes of soil, water in the right quantities and particular care during early development of the tree stock.

It was noted that there is substantial difference in climate across the Melbourne Metropolitan area, necessitating care in permeability, pavement design and recognition of the effect that lots sizes have on permeability.

Ray outlined the next steps required to enhance tree canopy outcomes; these included alternative street and pavement designs, greater permeability, better soils and innovative irrigation.

Interested? Click here to view the presentation on street trees.

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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