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Premier and Housing Minister Dig In Over Unfair Evictions

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Tags: Housing, Homelessness, Evictions, Tenant Rights, Supreme Court

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Housing spokesperson

In the middle of a deepening housing crisis, both the Premier and Minister for Housing have refused to rule out spending public funds to appeal a Supreme Court decision which exposed their unjust, punitive approach to Housing Tasmania tenants.

The full bench of the Supreme Court last week upheld an earlier ruling that Housing Tasmania tenants are entitled to natural justice. 

The judgment was a damning indictment on this government’s approach to the housing crisis and to people facing homelessness. 

The Liberals underinvested in housing supply for the full first term of their time in government.  They let short stay accommodation listings soar unchecked, then compounded their neglect of the portfolio by making life harder for battling tenants.

Trying to evict an intellectually disabled man from the unit he’s called home for the past decade says everything we need to know about the Liberals’ approach to social housing.

The Supreme Court found in favour of tenant, Gregory Parsons. It is clear the government’s housing agency sought to evict a man with an intellectual disability for no other reason than that his lease had expired.  This is not what a model landlord does to a tenant.

Instead of copping the umpire’s decision on the chin and moving to ensure all Housing Tasmania tenants are treated fairly by a best-practice landlord, the Minister and the Premier continue to threaten an appeal to the High Court.

This would be an epic, unjustifiable waste of public funds.

The Premier and his Housing Minister must rule out appealing against the full bench’s decision and get on with treating Housing Tasmania tenants fairly, and building the affordable homes Tasmanians desperately need.