Labor must back Homes Tasmania if they are serious about addressing homelessness

Members,

The Tasmanian Liberal Government wants to put a roof over the heads of more vulnerable Tasmanians and we want to do it quicker with the establishment of Homes Tasmania.

If Labor are serious about wanting to increase housing supply in Tasmania they must immediately reverse their opposition to the Homes Tasmania Bill, which will be debated in the Legislative Council this week.

Labor cannot, in one breath, call on us to do more and then actively oppose Homes Tasmania which is widely supported by housing stakeholders as the best mechanism to increase supply.

Labor is being exposed for its double standards on this issue – they have no plan or policy in this area but are actively blocking the Government’s plan to establish an innovative and agile Housing Authority that will deliver our promise for 10,000 social and affordable homes between now and 2032.

Labor’s constant criticism is nothing new, but if they don’t back this Bill, any credibility they might have had on housing will be officially gone.

The Homes Tasmania Bill will create an authority with a dedicated focus on housing and homelessness services. It remains a government body with complete accountability to the responsible Minister and Executive Government.

All staff within Homes Tasmania will remain public servants, as they currently are, and Homes Tasmania will have a guiding policy document in the form of a Ministerial Statement of Expectations which is transparent, in addition to its Corporate Plan and Annual Report tabled in Parliament each year.

This level of transparency and accountability is in addition to that of a government department, while still being subject to Right to Information and Budget Estimates scrutiny.

What Tasmanian Labor is ignoring is the Authority’s unquestionable focus on Tasmanians and their housing needs. It puts housing as a basic human need at its core.

Other jurisdictions have long recognised sector collaboration is critical to delivering improved housing outcomes and have brought in their expertise in Boards. If established, Homes Tasmania will follow their lead in co-designing our way forward.

If Labor truly cared about providing homes for our vulnerable, they would get behind this change that has the broad support of our housing and homelessness sector and stop playing politics on such a critical issue.

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