Page 986 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 15 March 2005

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Tenancies Tribunal who can endorse a reasonable arrangement between the two parties—that being under section 15.

I am mindful of the change to the process of terminating residential tenancy agreements as arranged by crisis accommodation providers. I must express my concerns at this point. It should be noted in the Assembly that some crisis accommodation service providers have been placed under continued stress by an influx of requests for assistance, with few or no exit points currently available.

Mr Speaker, it is sad to say that of course the provision will work only if and when the current minister stops blaming people like the commonwealth and faces his ministerial responsibility to provide adequate crisis accommodation and adequate exit points for alternative accommodation. This is our responsibility as a territory, and we should not abrogate our responsibilities in this regard. If crisis accommodation service providers are having to provide three to four times the period of accommodation they are contracted for, one can only assume that there must be equal pressure on the medium to long-term providers of crisis accommodation also.

It is reassuring that the provisions of the bill relating to sections 12 and 36 will not impact upon the provision of short-term crisis accommodation where no tenancy agreement exists but rather concentrate on the medium to longer term, more formal arrangements where the declared accommodation provider, endorsed as being a crisis accommodation provider, can terminate the tenancy with four weeks notice if it is deemed that the premises need to be used by another client with high needs.

It is understood that there needs to be some form of fluidity in this form of accommodation option, and I believe that this is what this particular amendment is trying to achieve. However, I would be interested to be provided with further insight from the Chief Minister as to what form of information would be given about alternative accommodation options that could be made available to someone who is being asked to move on from crisis accommodation.

It certainly is a great pity that this government has squandered their massive $54 million of windfall gains, when such critical needs are not being met in our community. It is all too easy, unfortunately, to blame someone else or something else, and this government seems to be very adept at that.

Mr Speaker, at this point in time, the minister for housing has made it quite clear that there is an enormous amount of pressure on the availability of suitable options for accommodation for people waiting for a transfer or, indeed, an initial tenancy. Given this level of pressure on the system, where will those removed from crisis accommodation be referred? Are they expected to enter the private market when they may not be fully capable or resourced sufficiently to do so? I will be closely watching the impacts of this provision upon the sector.

Of greatest interest to the opposition, further to section 51B, there is an insertion of a new section 51C, a provision that further powers be given to the Residential Tenancies Tribunal, or the RTT, to evict a tenant who is continually and seriously interfering with the lives of people who live around them. Members will know that I have been placing this matter before the Assembly and on the public record for at least two years now. This

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