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Housing Tasmania High Court challenge

12 June 2019

Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

Yesterday it was confirmed your Government has spent almost $1 million of public money on legal costs to push your failed policies, including all the way to the High Court. You will not rule out a further expenditure of public funds to try to make it easier for Housing Tasmania to evict people into homelessness via a further High Court challenge. What does this say about your priorities, and don't you think that money would be much better spent building homes for Tasmanians who desperately need them right now?

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question. Our priority is to provide more funding assistance to essential services. We need to keep our budget and expenditures under control and our public sector wages bill at a reasonable, affordable rate so we can invest more into essential services, including in housing and homelessness as the minister outlined. I totally reject the suggestions the member makes as to our motivations in seeking advice as to legal matters, which often require governments to understand implications of the decision, what it means for other areas of government, what funding impacts there might be and how it might impact other laws.

These are matters that should be appropriately and thoroughly considered by Government before any decision is made as to future legal courses, which we will inform the House and the parliament of in due course if such a decision is made. We are not doing so, as the member suggests, with respect to people's housing circumstances. We are responding, as the minister has outlined, through additional resources and, wanting to work collaboratively and engage all interested parties toward providing housing for Tasmanians in need.