Senin, 13 Mei 2013

Down and out in Queensland

Last time we mentioned Queensland, it was good news: after the State Government cut the funding of the Queensland Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services, the Federal Government stepped in with emergency funding through to June this year, and a statement that it would 'ensure that Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Services funding is a condition of any future Commonwealth/State agreements'.

Now it's almost June... and the Queensland State Government is still refusing to fund the services.

There's a Commonwealth/State agreement currently being renegotiated: the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness. The agreement states that one of the 'core outputs' to be delivered by States and Territories is:

tenancy support for private and public tenants, including advocacy, financial counselling and referral services to help people sustain their tenancies. [Emphasis added]

It is difficult to see how much more plainly the necessity of services like the Queensland TAASs needs to be spelt out.

We expect it will be spelt out soon enough – in mounting tenancies disputes, and in mounting numbers of persons evicted from their homes.

Meanwhile, the Queensland State Government is reviewing that State's Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. To pick out just one of the numerous changes it is considering: in proceedings for the termination of a social housing tenancy, the Tribunal might be expressly prevented from considering whether the termination will result in the tenant becoming homeless.

One wonders what the Queensland State Government thinks it's doing as a party to a National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness at all. 

You can support the Queensland TAASs by signing the petition here, and keep up to date with their struggle here.