Getting Urban Development Right: Inform and Lead, Rather Than Simply React


In our modern day reality of constant LinkedIn updates, minute by minute news alerts and ever frequent changes in political leadership, businesses and entire industries face a daily challenge of informing and leading the public agenda, rather than just reacting.

The urban development industry for example, operates in strictly regulated environment but requires a high level of certainty to make proper business decisions.

Policy changes such as APRA’s recent changes to prudential controls, increases to state taxation on property and changes to planning rules change the investment environment and impact the certainty with which business can make decisions now, that will determine the way our cities look and feel years into the future.

The housing industry is one that resonates strongly with the community, houses mean something to people. The urban development industry has a strong emotional connection with consumers and as the peak body for the industry, we strive to lead the public debate, rather than just follow it or allow it to be hijacked for short term political gain.

Responsible policy proposals are not developed in silos, they are not dreamed up without consultation and they are not introduced without warning. Responsible policy changes are developed with deliberate engagement and a solid base of evidence to support reform. Most importantly, responsible policy changes are introduced and with a proper understanding of the cumulative impact changes will have on the industry as a result of simultaneous government, prudential and regulatory changes.

So what really is our role as a voice of the industry? How do we make sure that our industry’s voice is heard? How do we make sure we lead?1. We do not shy away from the importance of our industry - houses, jobs, communities - these are the reasons we exist.

2. We approach every issue or reform with a solution that is reasonable, evidence based and truly reflective of the views of the industry.

3. We value our relationships and our role as a facilitator between government, industry and the Victorian community.

Our role as an advocate for the urban development industry, and for housing as a fundamentally important piece of our economic future is important. We know that, and we know that we are expected to get it right.

Our industry does its very best every day, to make sure government and other policy makers also know that the urban development industry, and housing, is a fundamental piece of our economic future. The Victorian community expects us to get this right, and we expect nothing less of our policy makers.


Danni is Chief Executive Officer of the Urban Development Institute of Australia in Victoria. The Institute is Victoria’s leading advocate for the urban development industry, representing a wide range of organisations including development firms and builders, and members of the finance, planning, engineering, government and legal industries.

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