UDIA End of Year Update
UDIA National President, Col Dutton, has taken the opportunity to reflect on policy and advocacy nationally and on some of the major advocacy outcomes UDIA has achieved for members in 2023.
This year the Federal Government has demonstrated a strong focus on addressing the current housing crisis through the National Housing Accord. This major initiative is crucial for Australia to build a supply pipeline to meet the dual need for immigration to deliver more workers for business and housing to meet that demand.
Ensuring UDIA has a seat at the table on every major issue impacting industry is a priority, as is collaborating with Government to create practical and economically sustainable strategies.
We do this by continuing to provide practical and workable solutions with policy makers across all levels of Government and stakeholders throughout the economy. Through our investment in evidence-based research, we seek to build better communities for future generations and the contribution that each State office makes to the National agenda, enables us to gain the trust of policy makers.
Several core themes have emerged around boosting housing supply across the continuum; delivering Australia’s environmental and climate change agenda; and re-tooling of infrastructure coordination.
We have achieved a significant number of wins from our engagement with Government across all core advocacy issues and Andrew Mihno, Head of Policy and Government Relations, has included an analysis of the advocacy and policy that the Government has adopted from our 2023 Pre-Budget Submission and the National Housing Agreement submission. Follow this link to read the document.
Some crucial points to bear in mind for the new year include:
- As the States and Territories complete their Housing Accord Submissions to the Federal Government in Feb/Mar next year, we will see the depth of resolve from Premiers to deliver policies which can turn the corner on a fast-retreating supply of housing across the country. UDIA National will focus on ensuring the Federal Government delivers the urgently needed housing through these initiatives.
- UDIA has been deeply involved with the development of the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) and we are very pleased to see that the HAFF Investment Mandate strongly positions the development industry as the key partner to CHPs to deliver likely mixed-tenure apartments to meet this demand, with tenders opening early next year.
- Every year the UDIA National Board meets in Parliament House with key Ministers and staffers to bring forward a national perspective on key issues in our States and Territories.
- Much of what we heard in Canberra was encouraging for the development industry, and we are keeping a close eye on immigration to deliver a better mix of skilled labour needed to build housing capacity and the extensive detail needed to ensure the EPBC review delivers simple, streamlined and balanced environmental approvals for industry and the community.
- We are continuing to work closely with the Department of Environment and directly engaging with the Minister for the Environment’s office on the EPBC reforms. We have been able to influence the EPBC towards practical outcomes for a better regime through several private workshops, four days of EPBC lockup reviews in Canberra and extensive public consultations, backed up by close dialogue with the Minister’s office.
We are encouraged by their desire to streamline approvals and deliver better data/information for informed decisions and are driving discussions to ensure the focus on Nature Positive initiatives yields effective processes without excessive cost.
As we look forward, the main goal needs to be a ‘productivity led revolution’ where current planning delays and lack of integration across governments causes huge costs and time impacts, weighing down the industry’s ability to match supply to demand.
The key areas of advocacy for UDIA National in 2024 will be to support the delivery of the Accord, which needs to start with a huge turn around in dwelling approvals, commitment to delivery of enabling infrastructure and a huge capacity building push across industry.
We hope to see the items below achieved in 2024:
- Bring forward the performance payment of $3bn based on State performance towards the Accord target over the period.
- Fix the immigration hole for construction related trades.
- Deliver a faster, cheaper and more integrated approach to EPBC approvals.
- Create a stronger link with transport infrastructure investment and integrated housing approvals.
- Improve common performance reporting for urban centres in order to track productivity.
UDIA National Policy and Advocacy Update
At a recent UDIA National TV we welcomed guest speaker Rowena Johnston, Chief Credit Officer at Housing Australia, the independent national housing authority whose purpose is to improve housing outcomes by helping more Australians to access affordable, safe and secure housing.
Rowena was interviewed by Col Dutton, UDIA National President and more than 200 Members of UDIA across Australia joined for this timely update, posting questions on key issues via the chat function.
Housing Australia’s role is supporting the delivery of 40,000 affordable and social dwellings over the next 5 years under the Federal Government’s National Housing Accord and Housing Australia Future Fund initiatives.
As our industry is a crucial linchpin for driving the majority of projects, Rowena’s presentation provided insights on how we can be a part of accelerating Australia’s housing agenda and provided a snapshot of HA’s strategy for boosting housing supply over the next decade including via the Housing Australia Future Fund and the National Housing Accord Facility.
Media have increasingly sought UDIA National for comment throughout the past year both from the 35 media releases we generated and in response to issues and challenges impacting our industry – as a result we achieved 4,561 media mentions on the UDIA brand. From a social media perspective we increased our LinkedIn followers to 4,273 up from 3,024 at this time last year.
On behalf of UDIA, our Board and Staff we wish all our Members, colleagues and friends a safe and happy festive season and we look forward to a productive, positive and prosperous 2024.
UDIA National President