You helped Save Tenant Services – Independent tenancy advice is back!

New Independent Tenants Advisory Service Up and Running

Media Release
Minister for Housing and Public Works and Minister for Science and Innovation
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch Wednesday, June 03, 2015

A new interim tenant’s advisory phone service has gone live today, providing Queensland tenants with independent help and advice and delivering on a Palaszczuk Government election commitment.

Speaking in State Parliament, Minister for Housing and Public Works Leeanne Enoch said the service will help thousands of Queensland tenants in both the public and private sectors.

“After the last Government cut funding to the previous Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service, tenants were left without an independent body to provide advice and support services in an area where disputes can be complex, confusing, and intimidating,” Ms Enoch said. Continue reading

More changes for Qld public housing tenants

Media statement from Housing Mininster Mander 3-12-13

No more gap year for public tenants

The Newman Government has moved to tighten up generous public housing rules that left properties vacant for up to a year while tenants took extended holidays or served prison terms.

Housing Minister Tim Mander said under Labor’s old rules, tenants could take getaways of up to 12 months without putting their tenancies at risk.

“These houses are there to house the most vulnerable members of society. They’re no good to anyone sitting there empty,” Mr Mander said.

“This Government promised to revitalise frontline services, something that’s particularly important when we’re dealing with families on low or modest incomes. Continue reading

Newman Govt announces RTA board with NO tenant representation.

The Newman Government delivers another blow to tenants.

The RTA (Residential Tenancies Authority) has a board that has normally consisted of members who can provide perspective from a variety of stakeholder groups.

For the last 20 years there has been a board member representing tenants on the RTA board, as there should be, the RTA is funded from the proceeds from tenant’s bond money.

In another attack aimed at Qld tenants the Newman Government appointed the RTA board this week with NO tenants’ representative. The new board consists of members with backgrounds in real estate agencies, property owner groups, public housing, finance and building but NOT from groups representing tenants. One third of Queenslanders are tenants – tenants’ money provides the capital to run the RTA – it is hard to believe that tenants’ interests are not represented.

This move further highlights the need for an independent tenant’s advice service in Qld.

Minister announces review of Manufactured Homes legislation

 Media Release 19-9-13Man homes
Minister for Housing and Public Works the Hon Tim Mander

Government to review manufactured homes industry

Manufactured home owners will have an opportunity to share their views about legislation that covers their residences through a survey released today on the Queensland Government’s ‘Get Involved’ website.

Housing and Public Works Minister Tim Mander said the survey is part of a review of the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003 to ensure it strikes a fair balance between residents and park operators.

“We are keen to engage with manufactured homes owners and seek their views on how the Act can be improved,” Mr Mander said. 

“The Act hasn’t been reviewed since 2006, so it is time to take another look and bring it up to speed with this evolving industry.”

The survey will include questions on a range of topics including sales, operations, utility charges, rent increases and dispute resolution.

Mr Mander said respondents would have 12 weeks to provide their feedback, with the survey closing on 20 December 2013.

He said in addition to the survey, the department would be consulting with park owners and industry representatives, as well as home owner advocacy and other interested groups.

“Further public consultation will take place when a discussion paper is released early next year,” he said.

The survey is available online at or visit for more information.

Crackdown on public housing holidays – Housing Minister Mander

NB 285 households is around.005% of total public housing households.

Media Release 15-9-13
Minister for Housing & Public Works Hon Tim Mander

Housing Minister Tim Mander has vowed to fix public housing rules that allow tenants to take getaways of up to 12 months without losing their public housing properties.

Figures released by the Minister today reveal public tenants took  285 breaks of between 3-12 months last financial year and were absent from their taxpayer subsidised homes for an average of 171 days.

Mr Mander said the current rules not only permitted a leave of absence for tenants receiving medical treatment but also for those planning extended holidays and even those who have been jailed for a criminal offence.

“Obviously, the current situation is absurd and needs to be changed,” he said. Continue reading

Amalgamations of Queensland community housing providers commence – Minister

Media Release – Minister for Housing and Public Works, Hon Tim Mander

Housing merger to improve local services
Social housing in the Fraser Coast region will take a big step forward today thanks to a merger between locally based Fraser Coast Housing Limited and Community Housing Limited.

Housing Minister Tim Mander said the partnership was a smart move for the locally based organisation.

“We need to create a flexible, efficient and responsive housing system to help our most vulnerable Queenslanders,” Mr Mander said.

“Community Housing Limited is a major player in the social housing sector with more than 4000 dwellings throughout the country.

“I am pleased to see two great organisations working together to boost services to the community.

“By 2020, we want to see up to 90 per cent of all social housing managed by the community housing sector so I wish the new organisation all the best as it responds to the important issues ahead.” Continue reading

Minister calls on PM to reinstate long-term funding for homelessness

We think there is more than a hint of hypocrisy in this media statement issued today by Minister Mander. The Queensland government has failed to fund tenant advice and advocacy services which we understand is a requirement of them under the current National Partnership Agreement on  Homelessness.
Minister Mander’s Housing statement aims to divert 250,000 people from social housing into the private rental market (PRM) between now and 2020. The services being expanded by the Minister, like the government-run RentConnect, help people enter the PRM but don’t help to keep people more safely and securely housed while they live there. And they don’t advocate changes to tenancy law to make sure the market works for tenants and mitigates against them slipping out of it and onto social housing waitlists.
Come on Queensland government, re-fund tenant advisory services before December 31 this year. It only takes a small percentage of the interest generated on tenants’ bonds.

Housing 2020 Strategy to renew social housing – State

State Housing Minister Mander yesterday released a his 2020 Housing Strategy (see the media release below) which in part says the government will be looking to move people out, or through, social housing and into the private rental market.  But who will help to keep tenants more safely and securely housed in that market given the absense of an independent program of tenant advice in Queensland? Tenant advice services have only beeen able to remain open due to the Federal government’s second commitment of emergency funding.  However, that runs out at the end of the calendar year.

Media Release Thursday July 25
The Hon Tim Mander   Minister for Housing and Public Works

The Newman Government has announced sweeping reforms to the social housing system under what Housing Minister Tim Mander has described as the biggest shakeup in decades.

Mr Mander said the new Housing 2020 Strategy would establish a flexible, regionally based, integrated system that will deliver at least 12,000 additional social and affordable housing dwellings and see at least 90 per cent of all social housing managed by community housing providers by 2020.
“This Strategy is about bringing Queensland’s social housing system into the 21st Century,” he said. Continue reading

Queensland Premier should restore tenancy services funding – Feds

Media Release 25 July 2013
Federal Minister for Housing and Homelessness

A year after the Queensland Government cut funding to the state’s Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Services (TAAS), the Federal Minister for Housing and Homelessness Julie Collins has called on State Premier Campbell Newman to restore funding as part of his commitment to tackle homelessness under the transitional National Partnership on Homelessness.

In July 2012 when the Newman Government announced it would no longer fund the tenancy services, the Australian Government stepped in with $3.3 million to allow TAAS to continue operating. In June, the Government provided an additional $2.5 million to fund TAAS for a further six months.

Minister Collins said the injection of emergency funding had kept the organisation’s doors open and helped around 80,000 people.

“The most effective way to reduce homelessness is to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place, and services like these are critical to keep vulnerable people falling into the cycle of homelessness. Continue reading

Federal Govt rescues TAAS

FEDERAL funding to ensure Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Services (TAAS) continued in the region was won by the Mount Isa Community Development Association (MICDA) this week, despite the state refusing similar funding to carry out the work.

MICDA manager Alison Bohannan said her staff would be briefed by the Tenancy Union of Queensland (TUQ) tomorrow on how staff should deliver their advocacy and advice services under their management.

“The Australian government has now offered funding to provide those services through the Tenants Union of Queensland instead of the state government,” she said.

“We can still provide court support, education and awareness but we need to find out where we stand on providing advice.” Continue reading

Breaking news – Commonwealth to fund tenant services for another 6 months!

Joint Media Release June 10
THE HON MARK BUTLER MP Minister for Housing and Homelessness
THE HON SHAYNE NEUMANN MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney-General


The Gillard Labor Government today announced it would provide $2.5 million to fund the Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service of Queensland (TAAS) for the continued operation of vital homeless prevention services across Queensland.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC said the six-month funding agreement would enable 23 local advice and advocacy services to continue supporting Queensland renters and protect local jobs, while the TAAS seeks a long-term funding agreement with the Queensland Government.
“Community legal centres play an invaluable role in delivering legal services to vulnerable members of the community,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“Premier Newman cannot cut funding to organisations like TAAS and expect community legal centres to simply add their work load to the already significant work they do.”

Federal Minister for Housing and Homelessness Mark Butler said Continue reading

What’s changed for the State Government since last October 3?

Why doesn’t the State Government sign off to take $2.5M from the Commonwealth to help out Queensland tenants battling away in the regions?
 Last year the State government was so keen to take money and keep the valuable TAAS program going.  At the time, the Minister said, “I’d be delighted to see the Federal Government put up the cash to fund this program and the state government would be more than happy to continue to administer it.”.   What’s changed?
Read the State government press release of last October 3 here.

Gillard Government fails Queensland’s homeless

Joint Press Release May 30
Minister for Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services Hon Tracey Davis
Minister for Housing and Public Works The Hon Tim Mander

The Newman Government has signed the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) despite the Gillard Government only committing to one year of funding certainty for homelessness services in Queensland.

Communities Minister Tracy Davis and Housing Minister Tim Mander said Queensland wanted to secure a long-term funding solution for homelessness, and was disappointed the Gillard Government refused to look beyond the September election.

“The Queensland Government sought a long-term agreement so we could continue to provide on-the-ground support for the homeless, but the Gillard Government has failed to allocate a single dollar beyond the next financial year,” Ms Davis said.

“Previously, the Federal Government had committed to halve the rate of homelessness by 2020—clearly this commitment has been forgotten.

“Australia needs a government which will stand up and act like adults and make decisions in the best interests of the community, instead of making short-term decisions based on a looming election.”

Mr Mander said the Newman Government was given a deadline to sign the partnership agreement to secure homelessness funding in 2013–2014.

“This stunt is just a quick fix to get this current dysfunctional Federal Government in crisis through to the next election,” Mr Mander said.

“Threats to deny the Queensland community of vital services is what we have come to expect from a Labor Government that throws temper-tantrums when things don’t go its way.

“The Newman Government is committed to tackling Queensland’s homelessness both now and in the future and we want the Gillard Government to play its part, but they need to get fair dinkum about this, and offer up a funding commitment that goes beyond the next 12 months.”


Media Release 30 May 2013
THE HON MARK BUTLER MP Minister for Housing and Homelessness

From today, homelessness services across Australia have the certainty they need to continue providing critical support to vulnerable Australians, with all states and territories having now signed a $320 million national homelessness agreement for 2013/14.

But Federal Minister for Housing and Homelessness Mark Butler was bitterly disappointed that the Newman Government has soured the deal by refusing to accept Commonwealth funding to continue critical tenant advice and advocacy services.

“Every state government in Australia should hold their head high today, except the Newman Government whose bloody-mindedness could spell the end for dozens of advocacy services across the state, funded through the Queensland Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service,” Mr Butler said.

“The Queensland Housing Minister Tim Mander is flat out refusing to take funding offered by the Commonwealth to keep these services going over the next six months which is frankly bizarre.”

“I’m not sure if this is a ‘parallel universe’ where a state is being offered $2.5 million in funding for homelessness services and knocks it back for no reason, other than pride.”

“I know that the service providers are dumbfounded – they’re shaking their heads and saying: what state Minister in his right mind would knock this offer back?”

“Let’s be clear – the Newman Government’s decision to refuse federal funding will result in families living on the streets.”

“Every day, dedicated workers in these support services work hard to help tenants keep a roof over their head and avoid becoming homeless. They deserve to know what their own future holds.”

“The good news is that every other state is doing the right thing and continuing to fund their tenant advice and advocacy services.”

The National Partnership Agreement is part of the Australian Government’s $26 billion investment in housing and homelessness, which aims to halve the rate of homelessness and offer supported accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it by 2020.