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Housing - Strengthening Renters' Rights


Ms SPENDER (Wentworth) (14:48): My question is to the Prime Minister. In August, National Cabinet committed to strengthening renters' rights by ending no-grounds evictions, limiting rent increases to once a year and phasing in minimum rental standards. But, three months on, not enough has changed. Renters are facing the highest rent increases since 2009, there are continued no-grounds evictions, and there are rising power bills because of poor home energy performance. When will the commitments made by National Cabinet be implemented across all states and territories, and will this include ending no-cause evictions at the end of a fixed term?

Mr ALBANESE (GrayndlerPrime Minister) (14:49): I thank the member for Wentworth for her question and for her engagement on housing issues, something that she has taken as one of the issues that she'll continually raise in this national parliament.

We know that a lot of people across Australia are finding it tough to find an affordable place to rent. More than 30 per cent of Australians were renting a home at the last census. We hear renters' concerns and we're acting to address them. That's why at National Cabinet in August the Commonwealth, state and territory governments committed to a better deal for renters—to harmonise and strengthen renters' rights across Australia.

I'm asked about what has happened since then, because obviously state and territory governments are responsible for the implementation of that. I can indicate to the member for Wentworth that at National Cabinet next Wednesday we will hear a report from states and territories as well about the actions that they are taking.

There certainly has been substantial action. In South Australia on 1 November they introduced landmark rental reforms to the parliament to improve security for tenants. They introduced prescribed grounds to terminate or not renew a tenancy, extend the notice period to end a tenancy from 28 days to 60 days, allow tenants to have pets in rental homes, protect tenants' information, ensure rental properties comply with minimum housing standards and provide additional support for victims of domestic violence.

In Queensland the Palaszczuk government doubled the rental security subsidy after the housing summit to cover up to $10,000 for 12 months. In the last quarter, between July and September, $9.7 million was provided to almost 1,700 new households for things like rent, rent increases, bonds and other supports.

In Victoria on 14 November the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gabi Williams, announced that organisations delivering support for renters in the private market can register for the $2 million rental stress support package, which is there. These organisations provide information, advice, advocacy and legal assistance to Victorian households.

In Western Australia on 9 November the Cook government announced new regulations for unhosted short-term rental accommodations in WA, along with an incentive aimed at returning some properties to the long-term rental market to help increase housing supply; all short-term rental accommodation providers to be required to register properties; a new $10,000 incentive for property owners to transition existing short-term rental accommodation into long-term rental homes for Western Australians; and reforms to provide consistency across the sector and clarity on what is required to operate a short-term rental accommodation property. (Time expired)

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