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Housing Tasmania - Eviction of Tenants

11 June 2019

Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

Your minister for Housing has refused to rule out appealing the Supreme Court judgment that found Gregory Parsons was unfairly issued an eviction notice and that Housing Tasmania tenants are entitled to natural justice. As Premier, knowing Tasmania is experiencing a housing and homelessness crisis, how do you explain his refusal to rule out appealing the Supreme Court's decision to the High Court?

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the question. It is a question that has been answered by the minister who has explained the circumstances surrounding this and the appropriate course of action to consider the implications of the court decision. Housing Tasmania manages its tenancies in line with the Residential Tenancy Act and works closely with tenants to maintain their tenancies. Eviction is an action of last resort and only occurs if a tenant seriously and repeatedly breaches their tenancy agreement and defaults on -

 

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. On behalf of Gregory Parsons, I ask the Premier to withdraw that statement. It implies that Mr Parsons abused or breached his lease or residential tenancy agreement, which is untrue.

 

Madam SPEAKER - Unfortunately it is not a point of order.

 

Mr HODGMAN - Madam Speaker, all I am simply doing without any implication is outlining for the member who asked the question how the Residential Tenancy Act is applied and where eviction as an action of last resort only occurs in those circumstances. If a tenant can make reasonable steps to remedy breaches, such as entering into an arrangement to pay off arrears or to take action to avoid the eviction, then eviction will be stopped. Tenants are provided also with clear information about their responsibilities and potential consequences for continued behaviours.

We will appropriately consider the implications of the court decision before further action is taken.

 

Members interjecting.

 

Madam SPEAKER - Order. Could we have a bit of respect for each other as a parliament, please?

 

Ms O'Byrne - Madam Speaker, he has just defamed somebody.

 

Madam SPEAKER - According to the Standing Orders he has not.