Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Housing spokesperson
Yesterday, the Full Court of the Supreme Court justly ruled Housing Tasmania must provide underlying reasons for evicting tenants . We welcome their ruling that Housing Tasmania tenants should have natural justice afforded to them and the ability to remedy eviction issues.
In Budget Estimates today, the Housing Minister refused to rule out either challenging the Supreme Court decision or making legislative change so it’s easier for him to evict tenants without cause.
Part of the reason for the Supreme Court’s decision was that the purpose of Housing Tasmania is to provide safe, affordable and secure accommodation to all of its tenants. Minister Jaensch would do well to remember that.
In Estimates today it was revealed that in the financial year to date ten tenants have been evicted on the grounds of lease expiration.
Minister Jaensch claimed tenants are only ever evicted for repeated lease violations and are afforded every opportunity to address them. Ten tenants this year, however, may disagree - as may the Supreme Court.
When tenants are evicted for lease expiration, not violations of lease, and Housing Tasmania does not offer underlying reasons or opportunity to remedy them, this response seems to be blatantly incorrect. When challenged on these matters the Minister quickly clammed up, refusing to answer any more questions.
That the Supreme Court were forced to rule on this matter shows this Minister’s failure not only to administer his portfolio, but to provide basic fairness to tenants.
Mr Jaensch’s refusal to address these matters in Budget Estimates is a disgrace and shows complete disrespect to his tenants and all Tasmanians.