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Jaensch is Trying to Gaslight Tasmanians over Cabinet Decision

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Friday, 2 October 2020

Tags: Housing, Tenant Rights, Misleading Parliament, Ministerial Accountability, Cabinet

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader

Human Services Minister, Roger Jaensch, has lied to Tasmanians again. 

Finally out of hiding from the media for a week, Roger Jaensch told ABC Mornings, ‘no decision was made’ to weaken tenancy protections prior to the pandemic. 

A decision most certainly was made, and then reversed in a Cabinet decision on 24 August this year. We have a Cabinet decision to prove it. 

This is not about a ‘gotcha moment’ as Minister Jaensch claims. This is about the 13,000 social housing tenants, whose legal protections were to be weakened.  

It is also deeply worrying that a Minister who so struggles to tell the truth is responsible for Tasmania’s at-risk children and young people. 

Roger Jaensch lied by reflex when we first asked about the original decision to remove the ‘genuine or just’ requirement for tenancy evictions under the Residential Tenancy Act.

He then doubled down on that lie in Parliament, suggesting a Cabinet decision is not a decision of government until legislation is tabled.

The Cabinet Handbook is clear, a Cabinet decision is government policy. 

It was government policy prior to the pandemic to weaken tenancy protections in the middle of a housing crisis. Mr Jaensch is deliberately misleading Tasmanians about that unarguable fact.

It was still government policy throughout the emergency period until the 24 August Cabinet decision to reverse it in light of the pandemic. 

Mr Jaensch was being untruthful, again, with Tasmanians on ABC radio this morning. He is trying to tell Tasmanians that black is white, and night is day.

It’s got a touch of Trump about it; lie often enough, some people will believe you. 

By denying the evidence of a government decision to weaken tenancy protections and saying no decision was made when it clearly was, Mr Jaensch is trying to gaslight Tasmanians.