Thursday, May 23, 2013

Federal 'life raft' for Queensland TAASs

Newsflash from Queensland: the Federal Government has today launched a 'life raft' for the Queensland Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services defunded by the Queensland State Government.

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan and Housing and Homelessness Minister Mark Butler have put $2.5 million on the table to keep the services going for another six months – provided the Queensland State Government makes longer term arrangements to keep the services going.

With the offer of funding also comes a warning. Minister Butler told the media:

'I’ve also made it clear to the Newman Government though that we reserve the right – if they don’t do this – not only to withhold the $2.5 million, but to review other arrangements we have with the Newman Government in the housing area, to ensure that really they look at this again with some common sense'

More from the Treasurer:

'These services are recognised as a core state and territory responsibility — every other jurisdiction in Australia funds tenant advice and advocacy services — and last month all states and territories agreed in principle to continue providing these services.'

And Minister Butler:

'The most effective way to reduce homelessness is to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place and services such as QTAAS help to do exactly that.'

We couldn't put it better ourselves. Bravo to the Federal Government, and to all the Queensland tenants who have spoken up for their TAASs – now it's over to the Queensland State Government.

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