UDIA NT strives to ensure that excellence and innovation are the priorities in property development in the Territory, through advocating for access to land for development, investment in infrastructure, and a strong planning framework to foster housing affordability and economic growth.
The UDIA NT will shortly release our 2022 Priority Policies paper, which outlines strategies and key targets to facilitate advances in our industry across the Territory. This agenda will outline how UDIA NT is advocating for the Territory development industry to deliver the homes, jobs, economic growth, infrastructure, services, and amenities required now, and well into the future. Our mandate of Resilience. Environment. Reform largely mirrors that of the UDIA national policy but is specifically tailored to the NT context.
From a development industry perspective, we are on a course that is likely to result in an upsurge in housing costs due to the lack of resources, staff and materials. There may not be a simple solution to all of these issues, but the UDIA NT is striving to ensure that we do not add to the issues by advocating for minimised red tape and the fast tracking of suitable development.
As noted by former UDIA NT president Hermanus Louw recently in our annual report, the pandemic and intersecting crises have been accelerators of change.
The exciting aspect about rapid transformation is that it provides a once-in-a generation opportunity to build a better “normal”. We have the opportunity to learn from our past mistakes and shape our industry to respond to development hurdles more quickly and more effectively.
In 2020, the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission report was quickly released and included directives to government and industry to do just that.
While the report itself was nothing earth-shattering in terms of “new” ideas, it did bring together the goals and objectives of each industry into a singular document, allowing the NTG to hold themselves accountable across all facets of the NT economy.
Following the 2021 Budget, the Chief Minister announced an independent review of the land development process, recognising the importance of the land development industry to the sustainability of the Territory’s economy.
The NTG has recently released the independent Bringing the Land to Market report from Dick Guit, co-chair of Team Territory and long-term NT development industry figure. The report includes 23 recommendations to improve the land development process, to ensure that we streamline the established industry processes without sacrificing integrity. The UDIA were heavily involved in the consultation process, and welcomes the release of the report.
As always, reports and recommendations are good. But implementation is vital. We therefore see the need for strong leadership to communicate the intent, the objective and the goal of what this process is aiming to achieve, right through to the implementation phase.
There needs to be a top-down approach to ensure that all levels of NTG departments, councils and service authorities have the same objective – to facilitate good development in a timely manner.
In my second year as CEO, and backed by a strong board and committee, the UDIA NT will continue to facilitate a collaborative approach between public and private sectors, so that we can successfully implement changes to the land development process and ensure the economic growth of Darwin for all Territorians. Because Darwin deserves to reach her full potential.