The claim by Labor’s Shadow Minister for Housing, Alison Standen, that I said I did “not believe residential rents are too high in Hobart and Launceston” is completely false and misleading and yet another example of Labor peddling mistruths in the hope of a headline.
Ms Standen’s claim misrepresents my response to a question put to me about rent, namely the assertion that “rents are out of control in Hobart and increasing in Launceston.”
In response I said “it was a dangerous statement to make” and that there had been a small number of examples of high rent increases, but that rent varies across suburbs and there wasn’t any data immediately available to demonstrate that it was going to be a sector wide issue.
I acknowledge that it has and continues to be a challenging time for many in our community following the impact of COVID-19 and that’s why our Government has provided the unprecedented support that we have, in addition to the extensive incentives and measures designed to support Tasmanians into home ownership and assistance for those most vulnerable in our community.
I’m very proud of the significant support we have provided to Tasmanian tenants and landlords for nearly 12 months during what has been a very challenging period.
Between our COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund and COVID-19 Landlord Support Fund, more than $3.1 million in support has been provided to Tasmanian tenants and landlords. The COVID-19 Landlord Support Fund has seen more than 86 per cent of rent arrears cleared, accessed by landlords.
I’m also very proud that we were the first State in Australia to legislate protections for residential landlords and tenants experiencing severe hardship during the unprecedented circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms Standen has proven once again that she only has the interests of a cheap headline in mind rather than providing something constructive for Tasmanians.