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Staff Interview – Lino Iacomella

For the sixth of a series of 3-question interviews with KPA team members, to help you get to know us all a bit better, John Loreck (JL) interviewed Lino Iacomella (LI)

Lino is an experienced property economist, policy analyst and business connector. He has successfully managed corporate stakeholder relationships, conducted advocacy campaigns, represented organisations in the media and public forums, project-managed consultancies and has lead corporate teams.

JL: What attracted you to KPA?

I’m Interested in buildings, in a real design sense – I appreciate the value of the contributions made by architects.  For me personally, it was a good opportunity to move into consulting, with an energetic, enterprising team.

I really like the way everyone at KPA likes to collaborate across all the design and business processes.

At KPA, I am looking forward to tapping into the major trends that are playing out in property, such as the creation of better housing for seniors, and state of the art disability housing.

JL: Can you tell me about you career highlights and challenges?

Woking with KPA is highlight! It’s a big change but I really enjoy it.

In the past I’ve always enjoyed working with the industry associations. I also enjoyed being able to help Property Council and REIWA members achieve success by creating a more friendly and more productive industry to operate in.

At the Property Council, what I think was a real community achievement, was the collaboration to remove barriers to the creation of town centres in metropolitan Perth. The old laws led to dark retail boxes, surrounded by carparks.  Now these town centres are modern and far more connected to local neighbourhoods. That was a big achievement that took a lot of consultation.  The result is a Perth that is a lot more liveable, with lots of connections, including Metronet.  It also removed the artificial limits on the growth of shopping centres.

At REIWA we created, for the first time, local real estate information – medium house prices, historical trends in growth, suburban comparison – all this was made freely available.

In terms of challenges, in Perth we don’t have as many professional opportunities that you get with large organizations that have headquarters in bigger cities.  For me, the challenge is to have a satisfying professional career, living in a city the size of Perth. Perth has grown quite quickly- but the challenge is to multi- skill within the same organization, regardless of what that organization is.  I have been very lucky to focus on real estate and property, and that works well with WA’s natural entrepreneurial spirits.

Another rewarding and fortunate aspect of working in property is that you are contributing to places for people to work and live.  It’s personally very rewarding to be part of that – the industry creates good things.

JL: So how are those good things evolving Lino – how are they going to be realised in buildings and places?

The good news is that WA will continue to grow in population – so we will see new projects, new infrastructure, new precincts, and new communities. The difference we face now is that the rapidly aging population will create the need for a lot more specialisation in the design of those environments.