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Question Time: giving renters a right to remain

On Thursday 21 March, I asked the Housing Minister when the government is going to end no-grounds evictions by giving renters a right to remain in their homes.

You can read my question and the Minister's response below, or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard)

Mr BERKMAN: My question is to the Minister for Housing. Any rights renters have under law, including minimum standards, pets and privacy rights, are compromised so long as a landlord can evict tenants by refusing to renew a lease without any other reason. When will the government genuinely address rental insecurity and end no-ground evictions by giving renters a right to remain in their homes?

Ms SCANLON: I thank the member for the question. As he knows, we progressed law reforms in this state as part of stage 1 and today I look forward to introducing stage 2 of our rental reforms which do a whole range of things including banning all types of rent bidding, bringing in a portable bond scheme and extending entry notice periods to try to make it fairer for renters. As was discussed at length as part of stage 1 of those reforms, that is a contract that is entered into with a tenant and an owner and so there are grounds that are stipulated, and that was part of stage 1 of those reforms. However, what I do find a bit disappointing and hypocritical from the Greens political party is that it asks these questions but then its colleagues in the federal parliament team up with the LNP and block housing. I expect that of the LNP, but I do not expect that of the Greens and I think that is disappointing, because there are many people in this state—

Mrs Gerber interjected.

Ms SCANLON: I take the member for Currumbin’s interjection. It is the LNP and the Greens that re both now blocking the Help to Buy Scheme, a scheme— 

Mrs Gerber interjected.

Mr SPEAKER: Member for Currumbin, you are warned under the standing orders.

Ms SCANLON:—that would help 40,000 Australians get into home ownership and Peter Dutton is blocking it. If those opposite cared about more people getting into home ownership then they would vote for Labor’s Help to Buy Scheme, but they are more interested in political pointscoring than helping vulnerable Queenslanders. As a renter in this place I understand that it is really important that we have fair— 

Mr Mander interjected.

Ms SCANLON: I know it triggers the member for Everton every time—I am living rent free in your head—

Mr SPEAKER: Member for Everton!

Ms SCANLON:—but on this side of the House we think we need a—

Ms Fentiman interjected.

Mr SPEAKER: Pause the clock.

Mr Mander interjected.

Mr SPEAKER: Member for Waterford, you are warned under the standing orders. Member for Everton, you have continually directed comments at other members. You are warned under the standing orders.

Ms SCANLON: I take the member for Waterford’s interjection: whether it is renters or women, the member for Everton has a problem with many Queenslanders. We in this House will make sure that we bring in fair law reforms that protect renters to make the system fairer and I am very pleased that we will be introducing laws this week, and I know I will be meeting with the member soon to talk about some other measures that are important to renters in Queensland.

The only risk to renters is the Liberal National Party in October. It gutted funding to the tenants’ advisory service—actually said no to federal government funding. It did not even have to spend any money; it could have just accepted it from the Gillard government and it said no. Of course, we know its treatment of people in public housing is disgraceful. In fact, if it was up to those opposite, they would just get rid of all public housing in Queensland. It is only Labor governments that can be trusted when it comes to housing. We have listened to Queenslanders, and that is why we are delivering our Homes for Queenslanders plan—the most ambitious plan in the country.

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