Submissions and Reports

UDIA NSW is in constant communication with their members, key industry stakeholders and the NSW government/Department of Planning. Please click on the relevant links below for the work that UDIA NSW undertakes on behalf of its members and the urban development industry.

For past reports & submissions login to member resource


UDIA has launched a Housing Recovery Plan to stimulate the market and to kick start the development pipeline.

The Housing Recovery Plan includes three key actions which are required to support the commencement of new housing projects in NSW:
  1. A 12-month stamp duty concession for new housing – to incentivise reactivation of the housing market.
  2. A Re-capping of infrastructure contributions – to give the industry certainty to invest in new projects and restock the land supply pipeline.
  3. Removal of foreign investor surcharges – to encourage foreign investment in housing and jobs.
Click here to read the Housing Recovery Plan


BUilding blocks 2.0

The objective of the study is to identify infrastructure that can unlock dwellings within a two to three-year timeframe. Therefore, only zoned or exhibited release areas at the time of the commencement of the study have been investigated. This is because the time taken to run through the rezoning, development application, detailed design, construction and registration would typically be beyond this timeframe. Similarly, we have not investigated some of the major infrastructure such as a new Wastewater (Sewer) Treatment Plant for the same reason.
To reiterate, the purpose of this study is to identify infrastructure that can be delivered in a timely manner to unlock development in the shortest time possible, whilst delivering the maximum number of dwellings per dollar spent on infrastructure.
Pwc: Infrastructure Contributions Review of impact of infrastructure taxes and charges on the NSW economy

Click here to access the report

A PwC report commissioned by the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) NSW has revealed the economic cost of the State Government’s proposed tax increase on housing.

The report shows a 10 percent drop in housing supply over 5 years would lead to a loss of:

  • 190,000 jobs,
  • $25 billion in gross state product,
  • $22 billion in household consumption
  • $2 billion in industry value added, and
  • $2 billion in tax revenue.

The figures come at an important time, as approvals in NSW fell 9.8 percent between in the 12 months to March 2018.

UDIA NSW chief executive, Steve Mann, said the report shows the importance of new housing supply.

“NSW’s very healthy economic state is closely linked to the increase in housing supply, which the Government should be proud of,” said Mr Mann.

Last year the Government increased the tax on new homes after removing a subsidy paid to councils for local infrastructure, which will lead to an extra $50,000 per home by July 2020.

Furthermore, new ‘Special Infrastructure Contribution’ (SIC) zones involving a flat fee per dwelling or hectare of land were announced. In the Parramatta-Olympic Peninsula area, SICs are levied at $20,000 per home.

“The economic health has been achieved while the amount of tax on a new home was 25 percent of the sale price. The Government has since taken the opposite direction on housing affordability by announcing significant increases to taxes on new homes, to around 35 percent by the year 2020.

“The PwC report shows the announced tax hike on homes may harm the NSW economy.

“We are calling on the State Government to ramp up the flow of new housing, but that can only happen if taxes are not increased, or even reduced.

“Reforming NSW’s broken planning system and keeping taxes under control will reap enormous economic rewards for the state’s economy.



Accurate relevant and up-to-date property information is vital in the decision-making process of property development. Unfortunately, this information is distributed in piecemeal format through a mydrid of various government departments and often presented in used-unfriendly verbose textual or tabular formats.

Mecone's Residential Development Review is a new publication reporting on the state of Sydney's housing market that seeks to address the difficulty of access to this information. It brings together statistical and spatial data from various government authorities and presents them in a clear and graphical manner, so that housing development data is simple to find, quick to interpret and easy to understand.

Download the Report here.


UDIA NSW remains supportive of the general direction of the reform packages as the previous legislation governing strata schemes has not been working effectively. These regulations are required to ensure that the reform acts work as intended and reduce costs, red tape and improve clarity.

UDIA NSW has been actively involved in the discussion surrounding the development of strata reform and is wholly supportive of these reforms. However, as in our submission on the draft reform bills, the Institute would like to outline a number of concerns it has pertaining to the draft regulations. Our primary concern remains the costs associated with the building bond and UDIA NSW believes that the regulations do not adequately address these concerns.

See the submission here.


UDIA nsw and mecone: residential development review


For too long vital data needed for residential development and planning has been hard to access, available through a mass of government departments, and presented in user-unfriendly formats.

Now, the state’s Peak Development body, UDIA NSW, has joined with Consultants Mecone, to make it easier for their members, by providing The Residential Development Review (RDR) as a free resource to help them access the information they need.

Download the Report here.


UDIA nsw calls for urgent organised governance structure in the hunter after too long adrift

UDIA NSW is calling for an urgent coordinated governance structure, in response to its recommendations to the Draft Hunter Regional Plan. It believes the creation of a Hunter Commission, modelled on the Greater Sydney Commission, is the best way to lead planning for the Hunter Region.

UDIA NSW Hunter Region Chair, Geoffrey Rock, says the institute also calls for the urgent development of a Hunter Growth Infrastructure Plan.

“Planning in the Hunter has been adrift for over a decade. The Hunter urgently needs a coordinated governance structure to deliver its Regional Plan.”

“The Greater Sydney Commission is best practice in planning and the Hunter deserves that best practice model too,” Mr Rock said.

UDIA NSW will meet with the Regional Director, Hunter and Central Coast region, Department of Planning and Environment on Thursday 31 March, to discuss its recommended changes to the Draft Hunter Regional Plan.

Those changes would ensure the final Plan contains the necessary detail and delivery model to cater for the future housing needs and deliver a strong, robust and sustainable Hunter economy.

See the submission here


Strata Schemes Development and Management Bills

UDIA NSW welcomes, and remains supportive of, the strata reforms the government has put forward in the draft bills. The Institute believes that these provisions will greatly assist in the renewal of Sydney’s building fabric. Strata is recognised as the fastest growing form of property ownership not only in NSW, but nationally. The exponential growth in the popularity of this type of ownership means that reform is urgently needed. The existing legislation is outdated and needs to reflect modern living. The Institute had a number of minor concerns, which are outlined in its submission. 

See the submission.


The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) NSW recently called on the Secretary of the Department of Planning Carolyn McNally to review the SEPP (Housing for Seniors or People with a Disability) group parking requirements.
In a submission to Ms McNally, UDIA Chief Executive Stephen Albin said in general, the SEPP works well to encourage high-quality living accommodation for seniors. He said however, the real car parking needs of seniors living in self-contained dwellings could be better addressed.

Read the submission.



UDIA NSW has commissioned a report by Monteath and Powys to investigate the performance of land supply on the Central Coast. The report identifies that there is a chronic shortage of land available for development on the Central Coast. Despite the fact that there are large holdings that should be made available for release, the Central Coast optimistically has 4 years' worth of supply available. When consideration is given to the fact that it takes at least 5 years to go through the zoning process, there is a real prospect that there will be shortages in the near term.
The report also finds that the region is not meeting the production targets set in the 2008 Central Coast Regional Strategy. The strategy identifies that 2,240 dwellings per annum need to be delivered to meet demand. However, between 2006 -2011 there were only 1,000 dwellings per annum produced.  
The Central Coast population grew on average between 2006 to 2011 by 1.2% per annum. Yet dwelling production growth was only at 0.74% per annum. The interesting longer term trends show that for the region the region is growing at a far slower rate than it did from 1991-2001 and this is probably due to the slowdown in average private dwelling growth.  


GrowSmart is the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) NSW response to the NSW Government’ Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) initiative. GrowSmart articulates a practical and efficient scope for the GSC. Created with expert input from UDIA NSW industry members, the submission provides an in-depth analysis of the following areas:
  • Characteristics of identified jurisdictions with a planning commission
  • The prospective powers and scope of the commission
  • The relationship of the commission with other Government agencies.
The submission calls on the NSW Government to embark on major reforms to address historical shortcomings in planning strategies dating back to the early 20th century. GrowSmart positions the GSC as the planning authority for Sydney, to perform against delivery targets set out by the NSW Government and, ultimately help alleviate the future pressure on Sydney’s existing footprint.
UDIA NSW is committed to working with the NSW Government to get the Greater Sydney Commission right, and ensure the state can cater to growth for generations to come.
See the report



Sydney block sizes have dropped 80sqm over the past year in response to the capital retaining the highest median lot price of any Australian city, an Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) National report found. The State of the Land report details trends in the residential lot size, supply and price in Australia’s five largest cities, and makes recommendations for improvement. Out of the capitals, Sydney experienced the greatest decrease in median block sizes with lots falling by 16 per cent to 430sqm.
UDIA NSW Chief Executive Stephen Albin said that has been necessary because Sydney has hit an affordability ceiling of about $280,000 per block. “We now have smaller blocks at $247,000 but with high taxes and charges that’s the only way we can deliver products at the right price,” he said. Mr Albin said positively, the cost of lots also fell by $33,000 from 2011/2012 to 2012/2013 and the industry successfully adapted to meet demand. “For more than a decade Sydney has been the most expensive city to build in Australia and unfortunately, as a result, traditional housing is frequently out of reach for aspiring first-home buyers,” he said. “Smaller homes offer a viable option for people looking to get into the market or downsize onto a more low-maintenance block.”
The report revealed, that in comparison to other centres, Sydney remains uncompetitive because it maintains the highest development fees, and is crippled under dated regulatory regimes for project delivery. New lot production levels are restoring in NSW, however the report argued that planning and strata reforms are vital to addressing affordability issues in the state. “Due to reform inertia and increasing industry uncertainty, Sydney’s recovery may be short lived,’ the report stated. “Without major structural reforms, the only thing saving Sydney is record low interest rates and the availability of capital.”
See the report


A New Planning Sydney for NSW: White Paper - UDIA NSW Response 

The Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW supported the direction of the State Government’s planning reforms in its submission to the White Paper.

The submission drew on input from more than 250 of the industry’s leading professionals, including a number of expert panels that were established to provide in depth analysis on the following four key areas of the White paper:

  • Culture and community consultation;
  • Planning (strategic and development assessment);
  • Infrastructure contributions; and
  • The Planning Act Bill.

The submission emphasises the need for the new system to restore certainty to the urban development industry, communities and government.  It recognises that the current planning culture must change and that education will play a key role in delivering confidence in the system.  The submission calls on the government to embark on a community education campaign that explains the new system and its benefits.

UDIA NSW supports the NSW Government’s move towards a strategically-focussed planning system that is led by clear, evidence-based strategic plans.  However, UDIA NSW has called on the NSW Government to ensure that the new plans have a level of economic rigour so what is planned can actually be delivered. 

The growth of the State must be supported by affordable and timely delivery of infrastructure.  UDIA NSW, with the help of some the industry’s leading practitioners, undertook extensive analysis and modelling of the proposed developer contribution framework. It found that the proposed contributions framework can potentially reduce infrastructure costs, particularly in greenfield locations. However, the NSW Government must release its modelling, or at least engage in detailed consultation with the industry on the issue.  The industry, community and local government need to be convinced that the proposed reforms are more equitable and will allow for the timely delivery of infrastructure.

In its submission, UDIA NSW also said Government must:

  • Provide an adequate amount of funding and resources to the introduction of the planning reforms, and review plans regularly
  • Given their importance, consult with communities and industry when developing Growth Infrastructure Plans, then make the plans public
  • Depoliticise planning decision making through the introduction of expert panels
  • Consider the introduction of an infrastructure certifier to improve civil works efficiencies
  • Ensure a smooth transition from the current system to the new system through careful management

UDIA NSW is committed to working with Government in finalising the planning reforms to secure the best future possible for NSW.

Download UDIA NSW response to the Planning White Paper


Metro plan positive, but more detail needed

UDIA NSW recognises the importance of strategic planning and the role it plays in setting the future direction for a region. UDIA NSW has submitted its response the Draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney 2013 (the Strategy). The Strategy is a step in the right direction and correctly identifies the challenges that are facing the Sydney region over the next 20 years. 

UDIA NSW supports the Strategy’s focus on the delivery of housing and jobs and the recognition it gives to the importance to the planning and delivery of infrastructure to support the growth of the region.  It is also encouraging that the Strategy provides linkages between the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan and the State Infrastructure Strategy, something that has been missing in recent metropolitan plans and strategies. 

The Strategy contains a raft of positive policies that will provide direction and inform the development of Subregional Delivery plans and Local Plans.  Additionally, the Strategy comprises a series of minimum targets for housing and job delivery, providing minimum targets for ten and 20 year horizons. These and other initiatives are positive steps towards delivering more homes and jobs.

While UDIA NSW supports the direction of the Strategy, the submission emphasises the need for continual review and monitoring of the progress of the Strategy’s objectives.  In its submission, UDIA NSW has identified a number of recommendations to create a robust strategic document that can lead Sydney into the next 20 years.  These include:

  • The release of the background information that informed the   housing and employment targets within the Strategy, and modelling that shows how subregions can accommodate those targets
  • The investigation of the potential to promote growth along the Cumberland rail corridor between Parramatta and Liverpool
  • Expansion of the Employment Lands Development Program to include all areas of Sydney and all types of employment activities
  • Investigation of future transport corridors and ensuring their protection through the acquisition of land
  • Recognising the importance of a second airport for Sydney

UDIA NSW is committed to working with Government in delivering the outcomes of the adopted Strategy.

Download UDIA NSW response to the Draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney 2013


Future Directions for NSW Local Government – Twenty Essential Steps

The Urban Development Institute of Australia New South Wales (UDIA NSW) recently responded to the Future Directions for NSW Local Government – Twenty Essential Steps (The Report).

Local government is the level of government that has the most interaction with the property development community. Councils play a significant role in creating local communities – whether managing regulatory affairs, providing social infrastructure or seeking planning approval. It is vitally important that NSW has a financially sustainable and effective level of local government to ensure that the property development sector is competitive nationally.
UDIA NSW believes that a financially viable and appropriately skilled local government sector is essential to the delivery of many of the NSW Government’s planning and development objectives.
Some of the key recommendations are:
  • Remove NSW Council rate pegging immediately and replace it with a system that transparently benchmarks rates. This information should be made available to the general public.
  • Ensure amalgamations and formations of County Councils are consistent with the subregions outlined in plans such as the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy.
  • Provide councils with an option to use unimproved land value and/or improved capital value rating bases. Both have different purposes and the flexibility may enable councils to get a better yield on their infrastructure investments.
  • Councillors should be subjected to the same requirements as directors under Corporations Act 2001(Cth) and these requirements should be imported into the Local Government Act.


The Urban Development Institute submitted its response to The Lower Hunter Regional Strategy Discussion Paper on Friday, 31 May.
Produced in 2006, The Lower Hunter Regional Strategy (LHRS) is in much need of review. 
The industry looks to this document to coordinate development in the Lower Hunter. If this document fails to adequately establish a strong framework for development, then development will not proceed. 
Alternatively, if this document successfully creates a new, powerful framework, then the Lower Hunter will capture all the benefits that growth brings with it. 
Key UDIA NSW recommendations to the NSW Government include:
  • Set realistic housing targets in the LHRS to assist in alleviating the existing shortage and produce sufficient houses annually over the life of the plan. Methodologies for preparing production targets need to be amended within the LHRS to achieve this.
  • Given the failure of the LHRS 2006 to adequately address infrastructure delivery, the Hunter Infrastructure Plan should be delivered concurrently with the revised LHRS.
  • The Hunter Urban Development Program needs to be implemented as a matter of urgency. This should involve extensive consultation with the development industry.

Strata Scheme Law Review

In December 2011, the New South Wales Government announced the review of the State’s strata and community title laws, with a view to commencing the review in 2012. As part of the initial consultation process, the Government set up a forum where owners and occupiers of strata developments as well as industry stakeholders could post their concerns and potential reforms.  

UDIA NSW believes new strata scheme laws should be governed by some core principles. These include that all newly-created strata schemes allow those schemes to be dissolved with a majority vote with a threshold that represents the collective will of the owners. Existing schemes should be allowed to “opt in” to the new laws, via a majority vote of strata owners. Protections for dissenters must be enshrined in law to ensure the scheme dissolution process is carried to the letter and that there are rights of appeal to an independent authority on issues such as fair and reasonable compensation.