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Leaders’ Debate Confirms Need for Greens in Parliament

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 15 April 2021

Tags: Federal Group, Housing, Climate Change, Political Leadership

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader

Today’s forum between the leaders of the Liberal and Labor parties was the best demonstration possible of why it’s essential to have the Greens in Parliament. 

This debate was problematic from the get go, with both Peter Gutwein and Rebecca White having no qualms about showing up to a Federal Hotels venue for an event held by the Property Council. You couldn’t get a setting more detached from the issues important to everyday Tasmanians if you tried. 

It only went downhill from there, with neither major party leader talking about climate change, tackling poverty, political donations reform, gambling harm, or the need to protect tenants from unreasonable rent increases. 

If the Liberal and Labor parties can’t even talk about these issues, what hope is there they will tackle them if they’re elected? It’s clear the Greens are the only party putting people first, rather than lining the pockets of the top end of town. 

It was particularly concerning to hear nothing from Labor leader, Rebecca White about regulating Tasmania’s short stay accommodation sector - an issue Property Council members in attendance would surely have been interested in. 

Platforms like AirBnB have been sucking housing supply out of the rental market, and driving up rent prices for Tasmanians. Labor have previously said they would support regulation of the sector, but have remained conspicuously quiet about the issue through the election campaign. 

Given Rebecca White’s admission that the Labor party have made secret deals with a range of industry bodies, the question must now be asked - have they done one with the Property Council?