Funding lifeline for tenants group


Canberra will provide $3.3 million in emergency funding for the Queensland Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service.

The State Government recently announced the body would lose funding, from the end of this month.

Laura Churchill reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Currently, the tenants advisory service is mainly funded using the interest generated by tenants’ bonds which are administered by the Queensland government.

But from the end of this month, Campbell Newman’s Liberal National Party Government will cut off that source of funds as part of his budget tightening.

That has prompted the Federal Labor Government to step in with alternative funding arrangements.

The Federal housing Minister says that will be a temporary measure and says the Newman government should take back the funding responsibility for the service.

Minister O’Connor says that the federal government will make sure that Newman’s reinstating of the funding will be a condition of any future state and commonwealth agreements.

Brendan O’Connor, Federal Minister for Housing: “Any future negotiations between the Queensland Government and the Commonwealth in relation to housing will have to ensure that there is an ongoing commitment from the Queensland Government to provide such services.”

Tenants Union Queensland says that the Federal government’s move has been a great relief for all those involved in tenant sevices and advocacy.

Penny Carr, Tenants Union Queensland: “It’s a little bit less than what would have, what was in the program last year but it is an absolute lifeline for tenants. It will keep the services going.”

The State Minister for public housing also welcomes the move but says he hopes the Gillard government is not planning to take the money from other Queensland programs to pay for it.

Laura Churchill, QUT News.