Thursday, 2 September 2021
Statements by Members
[by video link] Last week's Tasmanian budget contained some welcome funding. Alongside long-overdue spending for education and youth, there was important funding for legal aid services and mental health. As TasCOSS says, there are green shoots of change in this budget, showing that the government is beginning to listen to the community.
But all that is cold comfort for the thousands of Tasmanians who are looking for a home, like the woman who approached my office recently. She has been on the housing waitlist for four years and is currently living on her parent's couch—with her five kids. Or there's the constituent who was removed from her housing property in January due to safety fears after a violent ex-partner found her location. She hasn't been rehoused and is still living in a hotel with her two young kids nine months later. Unbelievably, these people have been forgotten in this state budget.
Tasmania's public housing waitlist is predicted to exceed 5,000 in the next year, the appalling result of underinvestment by multiple governments. Moreover, affordable rentals are rarer than hen's teeth. So while, yes, the state government has shown it can listen on some issues it's not the case when it comes to housing, where the problem goes from bad to worse. Clearly, that's not good enough. It's as simple as that.