Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Antisocial Behaviour Bill in the Legislative Council

Yesterday the Government's Residential Tenancies and Housing Legislation Amendment (Public Housing - Antisocial Behaviour) Bill 2015 was introduced in the New South Wales Legislative Council.

We understand the Greens have moved a motion to refer the Bill to a Parliamentary Committee, for further inquiry. The motion calls for the "bill to be referred to Standing Committee No. 2 for inquiry and report and in particular, whether the provisions of the bill are appropriate for effectively addressing antisocial behaviour in social housing; the impact of the bill on social housing tenants' access to fair and just review process; and any alternative legislation, administrative or policy approaches which may provide more appropriate redress for antisocial behaviour in social housing."

Debate on the Bill has been adjourned to allow Members to consider this motion, as well as a number of amendments that have been proposed by the Opposition and the Greens.

The Tenants' Union hopes all the Honourable Members of the New South Wales Legislative Council give the motion to refer the bill for inquiry the consideration it deserves.

Given the lack of consultation during the production of this Bill with tenants, community workers and other interested parties, an inquiry of this kind should be welcomed. It would provide a much needed opportunity to discuss the problems this Bill seeks to address - the specific causes of anti-social behaviour and the impacts upon neighbourhood cohesion; the reasons why it appears to be more prevalent within social housing communities; and the kinds of policy and legislative responses that may actually address such problems in a meaningful way.

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