Jaensch coy on eviction
HOUSING Minister Roger Jaensch has not ruled out using public money to appeal a Supreme Court decision that allowed an intellectually disabled man to stay in his Housing Tasmania unit.
The full bench of the Supreme Court last week ruled to allow Gregory Parsons to stay in his Glenorchy unit despite being evicted by Housing Tasmania because it was the end of his lease.
The ruling means the public housing provider must give tenants a reason for their eviction — therefore allowing them a process of appeal outside the courtroom.
Appearing in budget estimates hearings last week, Mr Jaensch left the door open to an appeal of the Supreme Court decision in the High Court.
Greens Leader Cassy O’Connor yesterday asked Mr Jaensch to rule out using public funding to appeal the Parsons decision.
The former housing minister said she had always used the powers of eviction “very carefully” to ensure the tenant had enough money to rent privately or buy their own home.
“We’re in the middle of a housing and homelessness crisis and the very least that the Premier and the Housing Minister could’ve done today was rule out appealing to the High Court to make it easier for Housing Tasmania to evict tenants,” Ms O’Connor said outside Parliament.
“Of course Housing Tasmania needs to have the power to move tenants on in certain circumstances, but it would appear that that power is being abused by Housing Tasmania under this government.”
Mr Jaensch and Premier Will Hodgman said eviction was only a last resort, which angered Labor and Greens MPs who pointed out Mr Parsons had done nothing wrong.
“Housing Tasmania will take some time now to consider the implications of the court decision,” Mr Jaensch said.