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Senator Abetz, the Hardest of Hearts

20 Jun 2019

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Housing spokesperson

Liberal Senator, Eric Abetz, needs to get out of his office more and talk to Tasmanians who are homeless or desperately searching for a place to live.

Senator Abetz clearly has the hardest of hearts.

His call on Canberra not to forgive Tasmania’s historic housing debt during a time of housing crisis is an abandonment of Tasmanians doing it tough.

To describe the forgiving of the $157 million debt as ‘rewarding bad behaviour’ is not only damaging to Minister Jaensch’s move to have the debt forgiven, it is just plain wrong.

Housing Tasmania has been dutifully paying off the debt for decades, severely hampering its capacity to increase the supply of quality, affordable housing.

There is no bad behaviour here, just a burden on Housing Tasmania which will weigh it down until 2042 unless the Morrison Government acts.

Senator Abetz was elected to represent all the people of Tasmania, not just the well-off who are warm in their beds these cold winter nights.

He should reflect on the damaging heartlessness of his statement, retract it and join the tripartisan push to have the debt forgiven in the interests of every Tasmanian who needs a place to call home.