Thursday, March 19, 2015

Badgerys Creek tenants get marched out of Tribunal – and out of special provisions for long-term tenants

So the mystery of the Federal Government's 'Commonwealth tenancy dispute legislation' is becoming clearer. Aside from Defence Housing tenants, there are also dozens of tenants of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development at Badgerys Creek.

And we understand that as many as 30-40 Badgerys Creek tenancies are now subject to termination applications in the Federal Circuit Court. The matters will be before the Court this Friday.

We also understand that all these tenancies have been on foot for more than 20 years. This would ordinarily mean that section 94 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW) applies, which provides that if the Tribunal terminates the tenancy, the tenant must get at least three months from the date of termination to the date for possession.

Now, the Federal Circuit Court (Commonwealth Tenancy Disputes) Instrument 2015 says that in these Commonwealth tenancy disputes the applicable law is still the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW)... except the Federal Circuit Court can set a date for possession as it thinks appropriate (cl 8(2)).

This displaces the usual requirement that 20+ year tenancies get at least three months to the date of possession. It is open to the Federal Circuit Court to terminate the tenancies and give orders for immediate possession.

When the legislation was before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, the Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, stated to the Committee:

I understand that concerns have been raised about application of the protections that exist for lessees under state and territory law. It is important to note that state and territory law will continue to govern tenancy arrangements where the Commonwealth is a lessor. This includes protection about unlawful and unjust eviction. This position is intended to be clarified through legislative instruments made under proposed paragraph 10AA(3)(b) of the Bill.
The intention of the Bill is not to remove any of these important protections, but simply to introduce a new option for resolving Commonwealth tenancy disputes in a low-cost and easily accessible forum where jurisdictional arguments would not require consideration.

In fact, the Federal Government has not only bumped these tenants out of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal into the less accessible and more costly forum of the Federal Circuit Court, it has also bumped them out of the modest protection afforded by section 94 to long-term tenants.


  1. So what is going on at Badgery's Creek that requires immediate access to land not in issue for more then 20 years? another 'money grab' like Millers Point?
    I feel the lack of transperancy from all governments lately to be a concern.

  2. Where does LANDLORD.TENANT ACT 1948 fit in here. are they protected tenants?
    what about NATURAL JUSTICE under housing policy and procedures guidelines. will they be considered.?


    GOVT should stop allowing families to wallow in social housing. Start creating TRANSITIONAL HOUSING PROGRAMS with financial exit accounts to assist in budgeting leftover cash for share equity mortgages.

    stop the social housing as a lifestyle option. then when families relocate under primarily MANAGEMENT TRANSFERS it won't be so dramatic.

    use social housing as a TRANSITIONAL experience. a STOP OVER. SAVE SAVE SAVE. Then move out. 20 yrs in public housing makes for great nest egg. ITS CHEAP RENT not your property ...

    we need a new mentality about all this?

  3. And stop using mainstream NSW RTAs to hide your dirty work.
    the policy and procedures of Housing NSW are primarily By.Laws of Tenancy agreements yet are NEVER considered nor relied on unless you're prepared to argue these in open court.
    C'mon housing, Its time to dump the Residential Tenancies Act for quick eviction in the NAWT. Time for a new and actually FAIR SOCIAL HOUSING TENANCY NSW Agreement and associated Act.

  4. Social Housing tenants. face it the days of entitlement are over.
    seek to create some empowerment in your life then you won't be held to ransom when the Landlord ie. the govt. wants THEIR properties back.

    or if you can't manage self empowerment seek support from Centrelink and Housing NSW to create programs that enable your escape from the welfare trap.
    Miller's Point, Badgerys Creek, strathfield purchases ... tenants from the 60s evicted .... WHO'S NEXT?

    Housing needs to review their INCOME LIMIT policy ... Let people earn, then pay a reduced flat rent. capped for their property, create an exit account to transition into a step up housing option etc. Then NEXT ....

    As far as the Commonwealth getting involved in State evictions .... naughty naughty.


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