Many people have told us that the responses to your letters from some MPs has been less than adequate. Some have been very standard responses. If you want to follow up here is a letter to help you. See contact details below.
Dear Minister Flegg / Premier / local MP
Recently a decision was taken by you/your government to cut funding to the entire Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service program (TAAS). TAAS is funded from the interest generated on tenants’ bonds and works mainly with people in the private rental market. TAASQ services are vital because:
- TAAS workers are highly trained with accurate and in-depth knowledge of tenancy laws;
- The RTA provides neither tenant advice nor advocacy as you have stated and cannot replace these tenant focused, local services;
- Withdrawing access to these services will block up the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal because tenants will not have assistance to understand and prepare for matters adequately;
- Cutting funding to TAAS will only exacerbate Queensland’s housing problem and add to social housing wait lists by undermining the ability of struggling tenants to maintain tenancies in the private rental market;
- Tenants need a dedicated service and given they collectively forego their bond interest they deserve to have these services funded;
- If the priority is to put roofs over people’s heads it makes no sense for the government to reintroduce repeat home purchaser stamp duty concessions. This will cost the government $250M annually in lost revenue, 40 times more than the cost of the entire TAAS program. Reducing the concessions by 2.5% would pay for the entire program.
- Private rental market tenants are the most likely to be living in poverty after paying their housing costs but you are introducing an additional tax of sorts on them.
I would like you to reinstate a program of tenant advice and advocacy that is universally available to Queensland tenants. Please respond to me as soon as possible.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Queensland Premier
Hon Dr Bruce Flegg MP Hon Campbell Newman MP
PO Box 2457 GPO Box 15185
BRISBANE QLD 4001 CITY EAST QLD 4002
Phone: (07) 3237 1832 Phone: (07) 3224 4500
Fax: (07) 3012 9017 Fax: (07) 3221 1809 Email:[email protected] Email:[email protected]