Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Housing spokesperson
The Deloitte Economic Business Outlook reports there are ominous “grey clouds” hanging over the Tasmanian economy. The report makes it clear Tasmania’s economy remains fragile, unemployment is the highest in the country and proportionately more Tasmanians are dependent on Commonwealth income support.
The Deloitte report confirms the end of JobKeeper on 28 March, along with JobSeeker supplements, will hurt Tasmania more than other states and territories, given our high dependence on JobKeeper and JobSeeker.
This is the environment within which the Gutwein Government is refusing to extend tenancy protections.
A significant proportion of Tasmanian renters rely on JobKeeper, or JobSeeker, but they're being told by government that at the end of January they'll be cast off into a rental market that has no space for them. A market where rents are rising, and rental vacancy rates are the lowest in Australia.
The Greens are calling on the Premier to urgently extend protections to economically vulnerable Tasmanians who are experiencing a housing market in crisis.
The Deloitte report reinforces that JobKeeper has helped to stimulate the Tasmanian economy throughout the emergency. At the end of March, that money will dry up.
For Minister for Small Business, Sarah Courtney to say yesterday, if people are worried about the end of federal supplements they should ‘get a job’ is delusional, and it’s insulting. There is one job for every four job seekers in Tasmania.
Now is not the time to cast vulnerable tenants out into a housing market that has no space for them. Premier Gutwein must ensure no Tasmanian is evicted into homelessness due to COVID-19 – it’s a simple, compassionate policy choice.