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Labor is failing renters

On Thursday 24 August 2023, I spoke about Labor's record supporting unlimited rent increases and screwing over renters.

You can read my speech below, or find the full transcript and video link in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard).



Two years ago this government failed to pass legislation to cap rent increases to inflation. Just a few months ago a bill for a rent freeze was tossed out of parliament. Last week this government joined their Labor colleagues from across Australia at National Cabinet and locked in place yearly unlimited rent increases. Labor has had every chance to stop the massive rent increases that renters across the state are suffering and yet they have chosen to do nothing.

From here on in, every unfair rent increase that a Queenslander faces is at the hands of this government because they have chosen to do nothing. Every person who is evicted because of a rent increase they cannot afford and every person who is applying for rental after rental is at the hands of this Labor government.

They are people like Stacey. Stacey is skipping meals to keep a roof over her and her sons’ heads after her rent in Brisbane was hiked by $250 in June—Labor’s fault. Cat was issued a notice to leave her rental while undergoing chemotherapy for terminal stage 3 breast cancer—Labor’s fault. Martine is a student who failed several courses because her landlord jacked up the rent by $80 a week and then evicted her in the middle of exams—Labor’s fault.

There were more than 1,800 Queenslanders who were pushed into homelessness last year. There are Queensland kids living in tents or cars or being moved from motel to motel. This is Labor’s fault.
Government members interjected.


Government members interjecting


Deputy Speaker: 

Pause the clock! I will wait for silence.



This crisis is now in this government’s hands because they have failed to do anything to address unlimited rent increases. I will never understand how members from Labor and the LNP can sit here and hear these harrowing stories from renters and do nothing. We know how quickly they can move on legislation. We have seen this week how quickly they can move when they care about something, but they have never cared about renters.

Every Queenslander who cannot afford groceries or is too afraid to ask for basic upgrades to their rentals knows it is this government’s fault. This government would rather see people suffer than tell investors, ‘You are going to make a little less profit this year.’ In fact, Labor at the federal and state government levels are willing to let renters suffer while giving property investors $39 billion in tax concessions this year.

The government does this at their own peril because the majority of Queenslanders want action on rents. People in Moggill, people in McConnel, people in Cooper, people in Clayfield, people in Greenslopes and people in Miller are calling out for action on rent and seeing nothing from this government. Have some guts and freeze rents.


Government member:

I rise to a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I believe some unparliamentary language was used by the member for South Brisbane.

Deputy Speaker:

I was talking to the Clerk about just that. Member for South Brisbane, I would ask you to withdraw that unparliamentary language.


I withdraw.

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