Boost for WA Construction


The government of Western Australia is supporting the construction industry across the state with a number of schemes to boost productivity and longevity. A major announcement this week was the upheaval to the local planning system with a once-in-a-lifetime reform. In conjunction with a streamlined tender process for working with the WA government, The housing investment package, and a host of other statewide construction initiatives, tradies in Western Australia will hopefully find some relief and increased work opportunities as we ease out of the COVID-19 restrictions.


Planning Reforms

The biggest announcement this week has been around the dramatic overhaul of the WA planning system. The result of three years of consultations, Action Plan on Planning Reform will see 26 key items changed in a bid to create a more transparent, straight forward planning system.

As of Wednesday 20th May, a new development application process is now in place for significant developments to ensure work can start as quickly as possible.

Significant developments are:

  • Developments with an estimated cost exceeding $30 million
  • Residential dwelling proposals which include 100 or more dwellings
  • Commercial developments with a minimum 20,000sqm of commercial floor space
  • Regional or tourism projects that may not meet the criteria but are considered important to assist in the COVID-19 recovery.


Other key reforms are the result of community and stakeholder feedback:

  • Change of use approvals for a number of different small business types has been abolished
  • Exemptions on a wider range of small residential projects from planning approval e.g such as patios, decks and extensions
  • Small businesses will no longer need to pay cash-in-lieu for parking shortfalls up to 10 bays
  • Implementing a consistent community consultation processes across the State.


“The proposals within this Bill will bring a long-awaited overhaul of the State planning framework. We have a genuine opportunity to remove barriers and red tape for small business, local government and developers and enable them to get back to work.”


Housing Investment Package

The $150 million Housing Investment Package was announced on 19th May to provide a boost to the residential construction sector in WA. The scheme will fund the construction of 500 new social and affordable homes, the refurbishment of a further 70 homes plus the construction of 200 additional shared equity homes in partnership with Keystart.


“It is estimated that the package will provide around 1,000 jobs in the property and home building industries, and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity.”


Streamlined Tender Process

The Procurement Bill 2020 was introduced on 13th May to make it easier for local businesses to work with the WA Government.

The new Act includes:

  • Streamline tender processes and documents across Government
  • Simplify procurement processes
  • Improve flexibility to apply economic and social policy goals across all areas of procurement
  • Encourage innovative opportunities with industry outside of Government
  • Greater audit and investigation powers of public sector procurement


A new State-wide Construction Panel has also been introduced to fast track the process of awarding of contracts for transport construction projects up to a value of $20 million. This aims to expand the spread of work among small and medium-sized contractors while minimising the costs of tendering for companies. 24 road and maritime projects at a cost of $140 million are expected to be fast-tracked under the scheme creating approximately 1,000 local jobs. Additionally, Main Roads is fast-tracking the tendering process for a number of large-scale road projects, worth $2.37 billion and estimated to create an extra 13,000 jobs.


Supporting Solar Power

The rollout of community batteries will begin next month supplying a better quality, more reliable power supply across the state. Construction is expected to start in June on the first 464 kilowatt hour (kWh) regional community battery for Kalgoorlie-Boulder. This will allow homes and businesses in Kalgoorlie to integrate rooftop solar and new technologies onto the grid. A great time to start promoting if you offer these services!


“This is a great example of the way regional areas enthusiastically embrace new technologies, and a positive result from our Government’s feasibility study into opportunities for solar in the Goldfields.”

Construction and Industrial Minerals

Earlier in May, the WA government announced fixed royalty rates on construction and industrial minerals until July 2025. This includes locally sourced products critical to supporting building and infrastructure projects across the state

The current rate royalties are separated into:

  • Amount A (73 cents) – aggregate, clays, dolomite, gravel, gypsum, construction use limestone, rock and salt, and sand
  • Amount B (117 cents) – Building stone, chemical use limestone, metallurgical use silica and talc


CTF Support Package

In April the WA government announced a new grants scheme worth $9.5 million to help employers retain their existing apprentices, with payments beginning from 1 June 2020, backdated from 1 April 2020.

  • A one-off payment of $2,000 to employers of existing apprentices and trainees currently receiving CTF grant payments.
  • The payments will range from $250 per month to $500 per month, per apprentice or trainee
  • This will supplement CTF’s existing grants scheme for a period of six months, with a review after three months
  • Apprentices and trainees employed in the industry can claim up to $1,000 to support the costs of undertaking short courses to assist them in upskilling

Check out the video below and head over to the CTF website for more information.



All these new schemes will be a great boost for the WA construction sector, driving increased job opportunities as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.

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