Health workers, homelessness services, unions, peak bodies and community organisations have united in an open letter to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Housing Minister Mick de Brenni, urging them to extend the moratorium on residential evictions.
Anglicare, Lifeline, The Services Union, DVConnect, The Salvation Army and the Public Health Association Australia are just some of the organisations that have joined the call.
The signatories to the letter note, “The Premier continues to remind us that there is a real risk of second and third waves of infection, that we cannot be complacent and that we must maintain our strong health response.
“Keeping people safe in their homes is an essential part of this health response.
“The decision not to extend the eviction moratorium has real consequences for Queenslanders who are watching their worst nightmares come true.”
Tenants Queensland CEO Penny Carr says, “We have spoken to countless tenants since the government announced they aren’t extending the eviction moratorium.
“Tenants are terrified of what will happen in a week’s time. A lot of them have already been told by their landlords or real estate agents that they will be kicked out.”
The open letter comes just as news breaks that every other state in Australia will extend their respective moratoriums.
Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) CEO Aimee McVeigh says Queensland is now the only state in Australia not to extend the eviction moratorium.
“Every other Premier – be it the NSW Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian or Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan – has recognised the crucial need to extend the moratorium,” she said.
“This is not a political issue, it’s about keeping people safe and providing certainty for industry and the economy.
“Why should the 34 per cent of Queenslanders who rent have less protections during this crisis than their counterparts in other parts of the country? Frontline services know how disastrous this decision will be.
“We are continuing to live through a crisis and all other Australian states have recognised this by extending their moratoriums.
“Everyone has a right to safe, secure and stable housing. This is not the time to pull the rug out from under the feet of Queensland’s renters.
“The Premier has listened to the advice of experts throughout the COVID crisis, and the low number of COVID cases attests to the success of this strategy.
“There is still time to reverse this dangerous decision and listen to the experts on the ground who are telling the state government that removing the eviction moratorium will be disastrous.”
See the open letter here.
Signatories (in alphabetical order):
- 3rd Space
- Anglicare North Queensland
- Anglicare Southern Queensland
- ATSILS Qld
- Barry Sheehan Psychology Pty Ltd
- Basic Rights Qld
- Caloundra Community Centre
- Capricorn Community Development Association
- Caxton Legal Centre
- Community Legal Centres Queensland
- CREATE Foundation
- Fotina Hardy Consulting
- Hinchinbrook Community Support Centre Inc
- Jacaranda Housing
- Lifeline Darling Downs & South West Queensland Ltd.
- Logan East Community Neighbourhood Association Inc
- Marlin Coast Neighbourhood Centre
- Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA)
- Micah Projects
- Mount Isa Family Support Service and Neighbourhood Centre Inc.
- National Tertiary Education Union – Queensland division
- Power Learning Pty Ltd
- Queensland Alliance for Mental Health
- Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS)
- Queensland Youth Housing Coalition
- Queenslanders with Disability Network Ltd
- Relationships Australia
- Salvation Army
- SANDBAG Inc.
- Shelter Housing Actions Cairns Inc
- Tenants Queensland
- The Services Union
- Townsville Multicultural Support Group Inc
- World Wellness Group Ltd
- Young People Ahead Youth and Community Services Inc.
- Youth Affairs Network Queensland
- Zig Zag Young Women’s Resource Centre Inc