Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA)

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UDIA WA FP

The Urban Development Institute of Australia, Western Australia Division (UDIA WA), is the peak body representing the property industry. It was formed in the 1970’s by a group of property developers who recognized the necessity of working with the government to approach issues within the industry in a more holistic manner. Since its establishment, the UDIA’s membership has grown and diversified to include companies or organisations involved in the development process, from engineers and civil contracting firms to advertising agencies and educational institutions.

 Representing the needs of the urban development industry to government is UDIA’s original and primary task, but it also has a strong role in the education of the community, and a professional development role to those that operate within the state. “It means that we have a lot of events to keep people informed,” says Debra Goostrey, UDIA’s CEO, “And a lot of meetings with government to try and find solutions to very complex problems that are facing not only Perth, but the whole of Western Australia, including our regional urban centers.”

 UDIA’s long-term advocacy goal is a government-wide streamlining of the approvals process. “This is not about making the system easier in terms of the standards that are expected,” Goostrey elaborates, “It’s all about getting the system streamlined so that we’re not wasting money with unnecessary and expensive delays that ultimately get passed on to the consumer.” With many of the issues the peak body seeks to address spanning multiple agencies, such as urban drainage and the delivery of wastewater, UDIA seeks the government’s co-operation for the best possible outcomes.

 Western Australia is facing significant housing shortages in the coming years, with current government estimates at nearly forty thousand homes needed, with predictions of a shortfall of up to ninety thousand within three years. “We must get better about delivering affordable dwellings for the community,” says Goostrey. This objective spans all types of housing, from one or two bedroom, entry-level apartments through to appropriate accommodations for larger families. In order to solve this growing problem, UDIA is working with government to ensure that the planning system is operating effectively, both their members and the public are being educated about new technologies and innovations, and as many barriers as possible are being removed, be they in government or within the industry itself.

 As a state peak body, UDIA works cooperatively with a wide range of organizations. Recently, they worked jointly with twelve different industry associations to release an important document on the funding of urban infrastructure. As well, industry professional development events are run in conjunction with other groups whenever relevant. Communication between organizations is crucial to the UDIA when addressing common issues in relation to their advocacy agenda. “It’s critical to not only understand the things we have in common, but to understand the related sectors and their imperatives,” Goostrey explains, “So that we can better find solutions rather than just creating problems somewhere else in the supply chain.”

 EnviroDevelopment is a new branding system within the property development industry that enables homebuyers to make educated home choices in the context of environmentally sustainable homes and lifestyles. The system uses six core elements; community, energy, water, waste, materials, and ecosystems. Each brand element represents a different sustainability goal that developers work to meet. “Some developments get all six elements, and that is an enormous achievement in Western Australia. Others will focus on energy or water, or developing fantastic communities.” The EnviroDevelopment system ensures that developer sustainability claims are true, as well as educating the consumer about different aspects of sustainability as it applies to urban development as well as one’s overall quality of life.

 Through use of their extensive member database, UDIA raises awareness within the industry through email and media alerts. A high profile within the media, and close relationships with numerous outlets make it easy to communicate useful information, such as market cycles and planning tips for home buying in Perth and other major regional centers to the general community.

 The lack of supply and continued development of affordable housing is fast becoming the greatest issue facing not only the property industry, but also the national community as a whole. “If we don’t have sufficient affordable housing, we are forcing people into partial or complete homelessness,” explains Goostrey, “This is unacceptable as an outcome for our modern community, and it’s a reflection on our economic growth if we cannot provide suitable accommodation for all of the people who are residents of Australia.” UDIA co-operates with every level of government to find new ways to continue the delivery of product, and remove any delays or unnecessary bureaucracy.

 Debra Goostrey’s journey to the position of UDIA CEO is one of policy. Having worked with a broad range of industry associations since the 1980’s, from heavy vehicles to forestry, she is practiced in interpreting industry needs and relaying them to the government. For the last six years she has worked with the UDIA, and through the application of her extensive management experience, she is able to work with a wide variety of interests to find solutions.

The Urban Development Institute of Australia, Western Australia Division (UDIA WA), is the peak body representing the property industry. It was formed in the 1970’s by a group of property developers who recognized the necessity of working with the government to approach issues within the industry in a more holistic manner. Since its establishment, the UDIA’s membership has grown and diversified to include companies or organisations involved in the development process, from engineers and civil contracting firms to advertising agencies and educational institutions.

 

Representing the needs of the urban development industry to government is UDIA’s original and primary task, but it also has a strong role in the education of the community, and a professional development role to those that operate within the state. “It means that we have a lot of events to keep people informed,” says Debra Goostrey, UDIA’s CEO, “And a lot of meetings with government to try and find solutions to very complex problems that are facing not only Perth, but the whole of Western Australia, including our regional urban centers.”

 

UDIA’s long-term advocacy goal is a government-wide streamlining of the approvals process. “This is not about making the system easier in terms of the standards that are expected,” Goostrey elaborates, “It’s all about getting the system streamlined so that we’re not wasting money with unnecessary and expensive delays that ultimately get passed on to the consumer.” With many of the issues the peak body seeks to address spanning multiple agencies, such as urban drainage and the delivery of wastewater, UDIA seeks the government’s co-operation for the best possible outcomes.

 

Western Australia is facing significant housing shortages in the coming years, with current government estimates at nearly forty thousand homes needed, with predictions of a shortfall of up to ninety thousand within three years. “We must get better about delivering affordable dwellings for the community,” says Goostrey. This objective spans all types of housing, from one or two bedroom, entry-level apartments through to appropriate accommodations for larger families. In order to solve this growing problem, UDIA is working with government to ensure that the planning system is operating effectively, both their members and the public are being educated about new technologies and innovations, and as many barriers as possible are being removed, be they in government or within the industry itself.

 

As a state peak body, UDIA works cooperatively with a wide range of organizations. Recently, they worked jointly with twelve different industry associations to release an important document on the funding of urban infrastructure. As well, industry professional development events are run in conjunction with other groups whenever relevant. Communication between organizations is crucial to the UDIA when addressing common issues in relation to their advocacy agenda. “It’s critical to not only understand the things we have in common, but to understand the related sectors and their imperatives,” Goostrey explains, “So that we can better find solutions rather than just creating problems somewhere else in the supply chain.”

 

EnviroDevelopment is a new branding system within the property development industry that enables homebuyers to make educated home choices in the context of environmentally sustainable homes and lifestyles. The system uses six core elements; community, energy, water, waste, materials, and ecosystems. Each brand element represents a different sustainability goal that developers work to meet. “Some developments get all six elements, and that is an enormous achievement in Western Australia. Others will focus on energy or water, or developing fantastic communities.” The EnviroDevelopment system ensures that developer sustainability claims are true, as well as educating the consumer about different aspects of sustainability as it applies to urban development as well as one’s overall quality of life.

 

Through use of their extensive member database, UDIA raises awareness within the industry through email and media alerts. A high profile within the media, and close relationships with numerous outlets make it easy to communicate useful information, such as market cycles and planning tips for home buying in Perth and other major regional centers to the general community.

 

The lack of supply and continued development of affordable housing is fast becoming the greatest issue facing not only the property industry, but also the national community as a whole. “If we don’t have sufficient affordable housing, we are forcing people into partial or complete homelessness,” explains Goostrey, “This is unacceptable as an outcome for our modern community, and it’s a reflection on our economic growth if we cannot provide suitable accommodation for all of the people who are residents of Australia.” UDIA co-operates with every level of government to find new ways to continue the delivery of product, and remove any delays or unnecessary bureaucracy.

 

Debra Goostrey’s journey to the position of UDIA CEO is one of policy. Having worked with a broad range of industry associations since the 1980’s, from heavy vehicles to forestry, she is practiced in interpreting industry needs and relaying them to the government. For the last six years she has worked with the UDIA, and through the application of her extensive management experience, she is able to work with a wide variety of interests to find solutions.

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