Urban Affairs is a twice-weekly email bulletin service focused on urban planning and development. Each news item links to a primary document from politicians, government agencies, peak bodies and research organisations. The great majority of our content is not reported by the general media, and is tailored to inform individuals, business, government, and other organisations involved in urban planning and development, and the many industries that surround it.

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The average cost of mortgage repayments has decreased during the year to March, according to Canberra University, in the SAS-NATSEM Household Budget Report. [Full Text]

An article on the growth of student accommodation as an asset class was published by Mondaq. [Full Text]

New home commencements have peaked, but will remain at a very high level in 2015/16 according to the HIA. [Full Text]

The Construction Industry Forum issued a summary of its July construction industry forecasts. [Full Text]

Results from a national building and construction industry campaign have been released by the Fair Work Ombudsman. [Full Text]

A group of 17 industry figures expressed concern about proposed changes to the National Construction Code. [Full Text]

UNSW City Futures published a paper on the AHURI inquiry into the capacity of the affordable housing industry. [Full Text]

A visual history of demographic projections in Australia has been issued by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research. [Full Text]

Minister Greg Hunt announced that $100 million of carbon tax charges will be returned to local councils through the Voluntary Waste Industry Protocol. [Full Text]

The Local Government Association welcomed the announcement. [Full Text]

The ACF said more than 40 environment groups commended Labor for affirming opposition to 'one stop shop' environmental approvals. [Full Text]

AHURI Executive Director Dr Ian Winter will discuss the Federation Review, housing policy and the national interest, at a seminar in Melbourne on 6 August. [Full Text]

The Sydney Business Chamber welcomed the next stage of approval for the Sydney Science Park at Penrith as a vital element in the Western Sydney Innovation Corridor. [Full Text]

The rezoning of 287 hectares for the Sydney Science Park demonstrates the importance of mixed use zoning, according to the Urban Taskforce. [Full Text]

Further detail on the proposed Sydney Science Park is online. [Full Text]

Detailed documentation for the draft Glenfield to Macarthur Urban Renewal Corridor Strategy is on exhibition. [Full Text]

Liverpool City Council launched a pilot program of the 'FastTrack' development assessment system. [Full Text]

The UDIA said the initiative shows the Council is serious about delivering the housing the area required to keep up with demand. [Full Text]

A series of guidelines on state significant mining development in NSW have been released for public feedback, as part of the NSW Government's Integrated Mining Policy. [Full Text]

Further details on the mining guidelines are online. [Full Text]

The design for the new transport interchange at Wickham in Newcastle was released by Premier Mike Baird and Minister Andrew Constance. [Full Text]

A code of practice for the development of electricity networks in NSW is on exhibition. [Full Text]

The transcript from Monday's public hearing for the Inquiry into Local Government in NSW is online. [Full Text]

Tabled documents and submissions for the Inquiry into Local Government in NSW are online, including from Professor Graham Sansom, the Committee for Sydney and the UTS Centre for Local Government. [Full Text]

A summary of responses from an online questionnaire for the Inquiry into Local Government in NSW is online. [Full Text]

The Greens commented on the survey results. [Full Text]

Local Government NSW issued a statement on the relationship between council amalgamations and rates. [Full Text]

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption announced prosecutions of a number of former local government officials for offences including misconduct in public office. [Full Text]

The 'brutalist-design' Sirius Apartment Building in the Rocks has been nominated for listing on the NSW State Heritage Register. [Full Text]

The Urban Taskforce said the building can be improved with a new layer of balconies rather than being frozen as heritage. [Full Text]

Shelter NSW said that fast-tracking the redevelopment of strata schemes proposed in the draft NSW Strata Schemes Development Bill could lead to massive displacement of lower-income homeowners and renters. [Full Text]

Minister Mick Gentleman announced that a draft Master Plan is being prepared for the Kippax Centre in West Belconnen, ACT. [Full Text]

The ACT Opposition criticised changes to the zoning of loose-fill asbestos affected blocks to allow dual occupancy dwellings. [Full Text]

The ACT Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate issued a newsletter. [Full Text]

The Property Council proposed a retirement living adaptive reuse demonstration project for the ACT, in a submission to the Public Housing Renewal Taskforce. [Full Text]

Consultations on future priorities for water quality infrastructure in the ACT have opened. [Full Text]

Capital Estate Development has been announced as preferred tenderer for the first stage of the Denman Prospect development at Molongolo in the ACT. [Full Text]

The UDIA called for a review of the implementation of residential planning zones in Victoria. [Full Text]

The Victorian Farmers Federation called for reform to the state's planning laws to protect farmers' rights. [Full Text]

An update on stamp duty reform in Victoria has been published by Mondaq. [Full Text]

The Victorian Government issued an update on the transition of the Melbourne Market from West Melbourne to Epping. [Full Text]

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a target of 50 percent female representation on all Queensland Government boards by 2020. [Full Text]

The City of Perth released a Draft Environmental Strategy for public comment. [Full Text]