03 October 2012

Saving the Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service

Senator Claire Moore (pictured), Labor Senator for Queensland, announced today the Gillard Government will provide $3.3 million in emergency funding for the Queensland Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service (TAAS), a service scrapped by the Newman Government.
The TAAS offers essential advice and advocacy services to tenants across Queensland, including the Bayside Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Service in Wynnum, providing assistance to 80,000 households annually.
On July 24, all 23 services funded through the TAAS were sent notices of withdrawal of funding by the Newman Government, effective October 31.
“Advocacy and advice services like TAAS help keep Queenslanders in their homes and are critical to preventing homelessness,” Senator Moore said.
“The axing of this important service was just another example of the Newman Government slashing jobs and services at every opportunity with no thought for the people affected or the long-term repercussions.”
“I brought this issue to the attention of the Federal Housing and Homelessness Minister Brendan O’Connor, who quickly sought to correct the potentially disastrous blunder by the Newman Government.
“The Gillard Government is now stepping in to fix Campbell Newman’s mistake by providing $3.3 million in interim funding to keep these services going.
“Without this funding, their doors would be closed by the end of this month.”
These services largely used to be paid for by interest generated on tenants’ bonds, not from State Government revenue.
“This is nothing more than a short-sighted grab for tenants’ cash,” Senator Moore said.
“The worst part is it could end up costing Queenslanders more because of an increased demand for public housing and crisis accommodation.”
The specifics of the distribution of Commonwealth funds will be determined with the sector and services.
The funding is committed until 30 June 2013. This will give the Federal Government time to ensure the Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Services funding is a condition of future Commonwealth/State agreements.
“I call on Campbell Newman and the Queensland Government to fix this mistake and reinstate these services,” Senator Claire Moore said.

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