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Residential Tenancies – Rights and Protections | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


Mr BAYLEY question to MINISTER for WORKPLACE SAFETY and CONSUMER AFFAIRS, Ms OGILVIE

Mr Speaker, I echo your welcome. How fantastic it is to see the two ends of the education spectrum in the Gallery at the same time. And the Metro mechanics as well. Welcome.

Minister, we are in a cost of living crisis. The average Tasmanian renter is struggling to pay their rent and know that they could lose their home at the drop of a hat. Rents have skyrocketed and we are constantly contacted by people with stories of unaffordable rent increases or worse. Many renters are literally living in fear for their future.

Housing is a human right. Do you believe this is an acceptable situation or can you acknowledge that there is a desperate need for change? If so, what are you going to do to give renters real rights and protections?

Mr ELLIS – Mr Speaker, I draw your attention to the fact that that is an order of the day.

Dr Woodruff – Rubbish. We are just talking about housing, which is an order of every single day in Tasmania. We are not talking about the bill that is on the blue.

Mr SPEAKER – Yes, it is an order of the day but we can still talk about policy perspectives in general.

 

ANSWER

Mr Speaker, I am happy to talk about the important area of residential tenancy. Many people in this House take this issue, as I do, very seriously. We know we are in a situation where we need to do more. We are in a situation where we need more houses. Homes Tasmania is working very hard on that.

Given that it is an order of the day, I will be careful about the scope of my comments because I want to add some contributions to your motion, which I believe you are bringing on later today, I think about 5 p.m.

Philosophically, what we need to do is make sure that everybody has a home, everybody is safe, everybody is secure, and that homes are affordable and available. At a personal level, I have had some experience with homeless people. It has been very difficult for them and I have gone into bat. I have even had them stay with me for a while, so I truly appreciate the scale of this issue.

When it comes to amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act, I know that Mrs Alexander has been on this issue for quite some time. She has passion in the areas with which I have a lot of sympathy, that is in relation to issues concerning safety in the home, with furniture being affixed to walls for child safety, pet bonds, issues like that. It is something that I do not want to go too far with now, but I am happy to talk through later on.

I am a new minister in this area, but my mind is open. I am happy to work collaboratively with all those who would want to improve the situation.

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