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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Bulletins

'Making apartments affordable: moving from speculative to deliberative development' was issued by the Swinburne Institute for Social Research (large file size). [Full Text]

The UDIA called for a shift away from stamp duty and developer levies to a broadened GST and a broad, low rate land tax, in its submission to the Federal Tax White Paper. [Full Text]

KPMG issued a tax reform blueprint that includes the abolition of stamp duty on residential and commercial property. [Full Text]

New submissions to the Inquiry on home ownership are online, including from the Institute of Health and Welfare, the ACT Chief Minister, Master Builders and the Department of Social Services. [Full Text]

There has been a deterioration in housing affordability during the June quarter, according to the HIA. [Full Text]

The number of dwellings approved fell 1.2 per cent in June, and has fallen for four months, according to the ABS. [Full Text]

Building approvals are showing the first signs of having peaked, according to the Property Council. [Full Text]

There has been a sharp decline in approvals for non-detached housing, while detached housing approvals have continued an 18-month trend of steady levels, according to the HIA. [Full Text]

Master Builders said that the fall in approvals for June was mainly driven by the topsy-turvy nature of high rise apartment projects. [Full Text]

The Australian Infrastructure Metric report for the March quarter was released by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and BIS Shrapnel. [Full Text]

A collapse in mining investment is expected to be partially offset by a lift in Sydney major projects, according to Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. [Full Text]

Engineering construction activity has now contracted for six straight quarters and the trajectory of the contraction is set to steepen, according to Deloitte. [Full Text]

A Building Ministers' Forum held on Friday announced key recommendations and a working group to address the risks associated with failure of building products. [Full Text]

A report comparing the performance of major metropolitan public transport networks has been released by the Tourism and Transport Forum and L.E.K. Consulting. [Full Text]

A global index of bicycle-friendly cities has been released by the design consultancy Copenhagenize . [Full Text]

The Local Government Association called for submissions to its register of declining community infrastructure, and ideas for repair or renewal, to support its case for a regional and community infrastructure fund. [Full Text]

A paper on the role of local government in crime prevention has been released by the Institute of Criminology. [Full Text]

Ernst & Young issued 'Digital Australia: State of the Nation'. [Full Text]

The Association of Consulting Architects released a summary of results from its National Salary Survey. [Full Text]

The CEO of the Institute of Architects, David Parken, announced his resignation. [Full Text]

The Property Council expressed support for the Australian Government Boards (Gender Balanced Representation) Bill. [Full Text]

Minister Rob Stokes approved the removal of the former Sydney Harbour Control Tower at Barangaroo, following a decision not to list the tower on the NSW Heritage Register. [Full Text]

The Urban Taskforce said the approval is good news for the new character of the precinct. [Full Text]

Minister Stuart Ayres launched the construction of the International Convention Centre Hotel at Darling Harbour in Sydney (video). [Full Text]

Lendlease issued a statement on the launch. [Full Text]

The Urban Taskforce said the elegant design of the hotel by Sydney Architect Richard Francis-Jones is an excellent addition to the precinct. [Full Text]

The Sydney Business Chamber said that construction on Sydney's largest five-star hotel at Darling Harbour will further enhance Sydney's status as a global city. [Full Text]

UrbanGrowth NSW announced an agreement with Newcastle City Council on a community engagement program for the revitalisation of the Newcastle City Centre. [Full Text]

Minister Rob Stokes welcomed ABS figures showing that NSW housing approvals for June had jumped nearly 10 per cent compared with this time last year. [Full Text]

A rise in detached housing approvals in NSW from February to June has partially offset a drop in apartment approvals over the same period, according to the Urban Taskforce. [Full Text]

An economic update has been issued by the NSW Parliamentary Research Service, including a section on house prices. [Full Text]

Sydney Mayor Clover Moore welcomed comments by Minister Andrew Constance about the need for light rail connecting Green Square with the Sydney CBD. [Full Text]

The NSW Government launched a campaign detailing the benefits of relocating from Sydney to regional NSW. [Full Text]

The Sydney Indesign event will be held from 13 August. [Full Text]

The Planning Institute made a submission to the National Capital Plan Exposure Draft. [Full Text]

A video update on the the geotechnical investigations and community engagement for the Melbourne Metro Rail has been released. [Full Text]

Victoria is following the national trend in the past month with a drop in building approvals, according to the Property Council. [Full Text]

Victoria's Essential Services Commission released its draft report on a council rate capping framework. [Full Text]

Minister Natalie Hutchins said the rate capping report underscored the need for change, after an average rate increase of six per cent every year, for the last fifteen years. [Full Text]

Expressions of interest are open for the construction of the $200 million Western Women's and Children's Hospital in Melbourne. [Full Text]

The Committee for Melbourne issued a report on improving Melbourne's standing as a destination for international students, including a focus on accommodation and transport. [Full Text]

Minister Jackie Trad announced a partial approval of the Cedar Woods site in Brisbane and said that Brisbane City Council's planning framework for the site has been fundamentally deficient. [Full Text]

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said Queensland was the only state to record a rise in total trend building approvals in the month of June. [Full Text]

SA Water issued 'A development industry report: Working with South Australia's Development Industry'. [Full Text]

The Greater Fremantle region has significantly higher property prices than Perth and Peel, according to a report released by the Committee for Perth. [Full Text]

The Green Building Council issued a summary of the recent Built Environment Meets Parliament forum in Perth. [Full Text]