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Rental Laws

Vica Bayley MP

Vica Bayley MP  -  Wednesday, 16 August 2023

Tags: Tenant Rights, Housing Crisis


Tasmania has some of the weakest rental laws in the country. Rents have skyrocketed in recent years, and rent hikes of hundreds of dollars a month are common. Renters have no protection against being booted out of their home for no good reason. Tasmania recorded the largest increase in homelessness in the nation. Our public housing waiting list has more than doubled in size under this Government, and is now an average of 80 weeks.

You have said that when it comes to fixing the housing crisis, no idea is going to be dismissed - but despite desperate calls from renters and social service organisations, you have already dismissed putting controls on rent increases. National Cabinet's agenda today includes rental laws. Will Tasmania be supporting the push for national progress on this issue, and what legislative reforms will you be championing to assist renters struggling with the ever-expanding costs of having a place to call home?



Mr Speaker, I thank the member for his question. I believe it his first question -

Mr Bayley - No, not my first question. My first question to you.

Mr STREET - I try to be nice and it has already blown up in my face, Mr Speaker. It is his first question to me, anyway.

The member is right in that I have said no idea will be dismissed out of hand in dealing with the homelessness issue in Tasmania. I have also been clear that supply is the key to fixing this problem. Whether that is Homes Tasmania building homes, or partnerships between Homes Tasmania and community housing providers, or whether it is in partnership with the federal government - such as the discussions that are taking place today in the national Cabinet between all the first ministers and the Prime Minister.

I met with the federal housing minister, Julie Collins, earlier this week, and we both acknowledge this is a national issue that is going to require national solutions, as well as work between states and the federal government. I am not sure whether rent caps are on the agenda for discussion today in the national Cabinet.

As a Government, we are not supportive of rent caps. We think it would be a distortion of the market and would have unintended consequences. As I said, I am not sure whether it is on the agenda for discussion today, but rent caps - along with better protections for renters, along with how we increase housing supply across the country - are all on the agenda.

I look forward to seeing what comes out of national Cabinet today. I made it clear to minister Collins on Monday, as she made clear to me, that we are determined to work together, as federal and state governments, on solutions that can work right across the country.