Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Queensland tenants services close

A grim update from Queensland, where Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services are shutting their doors.

The temporary funding from the Federal Government - made available as an emergency measure after the State Government defunded them – runs out at the end of December. A spokesperson for Federal Social Security Minister, Kevin Andrews, says funding for tenants services is 'now a matter for the Queensland government.'

By the end of the month, 21 TAASs will be closed down, all of them in regional Queensland. In Brisbane, two services will battle on without TAAS funding, providing limited services through such bits of money as they can raise otherwise.

The Tenants' Union of Queensland, being a funded community legal centre, will also continue to operate, but only from its Brisbane office, and its staff is almost literally decimated, down to about three full time equivalent positions, with further reductions likely to come.

Queensland tenants' bonds generate about $40 million per annum – tenants' money. A fraction – about 15 per cent – went to TAASs, for services just for tenants. Now that money, and more, will go the the Queensland State Government where whatever it pays for will not be just for tenants.

Our thoughts go to our Queensland colleagues who are losing their jobs, and to Queensland tenants who are losing their services.

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