Cancelling Parliament is a health risk: we must protect renters and homeowners

Responding to Labor’s decision to advise the Speaker to cancel Queensland Parliament until 28 April, which was announced at 5.45pm today Queensland Greens MP Michael Berkman said Parliament must sit, and that he is seeking to move amendments to protect renters as soon as possible: 

“Labor’s plan to cancel Parliament is a health risk, because it means we can’t pass laws to protect renters and homeowners. 

“No one should lose their home because of this pandemic, full stop. 

“We need a ban on evictions, a rental and mortgage holiday and protection from foreclosure. 

“Queensland needs a rent and mortgage holiday, not a holiday for politicians.” 

“In other States, the Greens have secured amendments to protect renters, and that’s what I plan to do next week if Labor lets us do our jobs. 

“National Cabinet is due to make a decision about protecting renters tomorrow, but Labor want to wait a month before they act. 

Background: 

Earlier today before the decision to cancel Parliament was announced, Michael Berkman wrote to the Premier, Leader of the House and the Housing Minister calling for Parliament to sit on Tuesday 31 March as planned in order to pass:

  • A moratorium on evictions during the current crisis, at a minimum for six months,
  • A rental holiday for those affected by the crisis, including those who have lost their jobs,
  • A repayment holiday and protection from foreclosure for homeowners and landlords who cannot pay their mortgage, and
  • A guarantee that every one of the 20,000 Queenslanders who are homeless will be given a home. 

Some of these measures such as help for mortgage-holders may rely on Federal government support, but the Queensland government should go as far and as fast as possible to make sure everyone has a home during this crisis.

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