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Greens to Scrutinise Public Housing Giveaway in Parliament
Media Release - Sunday, 11 October 2015
Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Human Services spokesperson
The Greens will move in Parliament this week for the Hodgman Government to put on hold its plan to give away up to $125 million worth of Housing Tasmania homes, until it can demonstrate the need for this 'trial' to the properties' owners, the Tasmanian people.
The case has not been made by either Minister Petrusma or community housing providers that the transfer of legal Title for up to 500 Housing Tasmania homes is necessary or in the best interests of disadvantaged Tasmanians who need an affordable home.
When we are talking about a $125 million public asset, total openness and transparency is required, particularly given that the Premier promised Tasmanians his government would not privatise public assets.
The UTAS Housing and Community Research Unit has found that the benefits in transferring legal Title to state-owned homes are uncertain.*
The research, which underpinned the development of the Strategy, found that the benefits of Title transfer are ‘uncertain’, that the case for transfer is ‘not well developed’ and that there are ‘risks associated with free transfer of a valuable government asset’.
The researchers confirm the risk involved in government gifting a valuable public asset to a third party.
Ultimately, that risk is borne by taxpayers and Tasmanians needing a home.
As Title transfer of public housing properties has not occurred in Tasmania to date, the government must demonstrate the need for this 'trial', how any benefits outweigh the risks and how the success of the 'trial' will be measured.
Importantly, the Liberals must commit to taking any future Title transfers to the people at the next election.