Committees underpin advocacy wins

With nominations for Property Council committees closing next week, we take a look at some of the work our committees have done to shape industry outcomes and government decisions over the last term.

Off-the-plan stamp duty rebate

Following the introduction of a Foreign Buyers’ Surcharge on stamp duty in WA from January 2019, our Residential Committee and Division Council set out to highlight the impact this policy was having on apartment sales and flow on effects to the construction industry. The Committee commissioned economic modelling that advised the government on the likely benefits for construction jobs and tax revenue by providing a stamp duty rebate for apartment sold off the plan. Following meetings with key government stakeholders, a 75% rebate was announced in October 2019 and this policy was expanded to apartments under construction as part of WA’s COVID response.

No value capture for METRONET precincts

The State Government had a stated intention to charge developer contributions in and around METRONET stations. Our Residential and Planning Committees made the case that the impact would be to stifle development and Planning Minister acknowledged this by announcing it wouldn’t be pursued at a Property Council breakfast.

10-year plan for industrial lands

Identifying the latest needs for industrial land and creating a strategy to maximise the use of WA’s industrial property has become increasingly important as our State looks to diversify its economy and rebound from COVID-19.

In 2019, our Industrial Lands and Infrastructure Committee worked with key representatives from the Industrial Lands Authority to outline the top blockages to industrial development in WA. One of the key items highlighted was the need for a clearer understanding of the treatment of industrial lands across the State, but particularly in the Perth and Peel regions.

The end result was formal correspondence to the Industrial Lands Authority, who recently confirmed they are undertaking a 10-year industrial strategy, to be considered by Infrastructure WA in the development of WA’s first State Infrastructure Strategy.

Planning reforms

Feedback and participation from our Planning Committee members in Planning Reform Working Groups has seen a range of key planning items put on the table in recently announced planning changes, including the Local Planning Scheme regulations and R-Codes Review.

One notable change advocated for by Planning Committee members was the establishment of the State Development Assessment Unit as a COVID response measure, which provides a fast-track assessment pathway for projects over $20 million. This suggestion, along with many others that were adopted, was put to the Planning Minister in an industry forum, with further changes to the initial proposal also resulting from committee member input.

Retirement Living reforms roundtable

Consumer Protection commenced a reform process to the Retirement Villages Act in August 2019, aiming to produce six consultation papers over twelve to eighteen months. Through strong advocacy to the State Government and post-COVID through the State Recovery Advisory Group, our Retirement Living Committee was able to get key changes to the reform journey so the major issues facing the sector were able to be handled and progressed more quickly.  

First look at East Perth office data

Our Commercial Office Committee demonstrated the importance of capturing data for the East Perth office market separately from the Perth CBD and West Perth office markets. In close consultation with our Research Team in Sydney, Property Council was able to meet this request by providing the first East Perth Office Market Report in February 2020.

Record 500 Women In Property participation

Annual initiatives overseen by our Diversity Committee have gone from strength to strength over the past two-year committee term, including record participation in 500WIP and strong engagement with the Girls In Property program – both of which rely upon committee members to play a role.

The Committee was a strong supporter of the Broadening the Diversity Conversation event held last year that examined the need to expand diversity beyond its current understanding and actively seek equal opportunities for working fathers to enjoy the same paternal work arrangements as women.

Most successful Future Leader of the Year Awards yet

In 2019, the Future Directions Committee was able to host the most successful Future Leader of the Year Awards yet, with a bumper crowd at the Flour Factory to see the best and brightest of our industry recognised for their work. The event was so successful it gained traction in The West Australian and other earned media across social platforms.

This adds to the annual mentoring program overseen by the committee and other professional development opportunities developed through the committee’s yearly program of events.

Perth activation strategies

Through our Retail Committee, Property Council WA has been able to lobby for better attention and initiatives to improve the amenity and appeal of the Perth CBD. This has includes free car parking trials in key City of Perth neighbourhoods, as well as identification of other issues such as homelessness being placed onto the Property Council’s advocacy agenda.

These are just some of our achievements and actions over the past two years. To learn more about our committees and access the nomination portal, click here.