Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Housing spokesperson
The Gutwein Government needs to listen to Tasmanian tenants and act immediately to extend residential rental protections beyond the 30 September deadline.
In Parliament today, Elise Archer downplayed the urgency of this issue. Tenants around Tasmania, however, are already dealing with landlords who are offering them a choice between eviction and rent increase. Action must be taken now.
Internal restrictions and border closures are set to continue for months to come. This, along with the imminent cuts to Commonwealth income support, provide a compelling case for extending these important protections to the end of the year at least.
Minister Archer justified her delay in making a decision by saying there is still more than a month until these protections expire. We encourage her to have a conversation with one of the thousands of Tasmanian renters facing the loss of these protections, in a pandemic, to see exactly what impact this delay is having on them.
Tasmanians from all walks of life have been thrown into extreme difficulty by this pandemic. Many have already raided their savings or withdrawn their superannuation, and cuts to federal income support will hit them soon.
The fast approaching expiration of rental protections is a needless additional strain. Every day this decision is delayed is creating more stress for people already at the end of their tether.
These critical tenant protections – lobbied for, and enacted, in the first instance by the Greens - must be extended. We urge Minister Archer, for the peace of mind for Tasmanian renters, to announce an extension urgently.