Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader
The Greens are saddened by the Parliament’s decision to reject our push for Planning Minister, Michael Ferguson, to amend the planning rules to allow local Councils to ban whole-of-home short stay accommodation.
As it is, Councils have limited capacity to rein in short stay to increase rental properties.
The vote on our motion was a missed opportunity for the State’s new balance-of-power Parliament to make a real difference to the lives of Tasmanians. It was a real world vote, with real world consequences for the thousands of Tasmanians struggling to find an affordable home and to pay the rent.
Hobart, for example, has the highest concentration of short stay listings of any Australia capital city.
It’s disappointing the new independent MPs John Tucker and Lara Alexander chose to back in the Liberals. This is especially so given Mrs Alexander’s previous strong public statements on the need to regulate short stay to provide homes for people.
Councils across the island understand the terrible harm being caused by unregulated whole-of-home short stay accommodation, and they want to be able to act. The recent Planning Commission ruling confirmed they are hamstrung in refusing the removal of whole homes from the rental market.
Planning Minister, Michael Ferguson could fix the anomaly preventing councils from acting on short stay with the stroke of a pen, but he refuses. He couldn’t even be bothered turning up to the debate on the matter in Parliament today.
While tens of thousands of Tasmanians suffer through the deepening rental crisis, Minister Ferguson profits from his east coast AirBnB. It’s shameless.
The Deputy Premier and Planning Minister persistently refuses to prioritise Tasmanians who need a home over property investors. While Mr Ferguson stays idle on this, Tasmania has the fastest growing rate of homelessness in the nation.
The Liberals and their former colleagues are all comfortably well off. All own their own homes.
Unfortunately for Tasmanians who can’t find a home or afford the rent, the vote against curbing short stay accommodation today has real life, tragic consequences.