Jenny Leong speaks in Parliament on the urgency to end no grounds evictions, on 09 November 2022:
Ms JENNY LEONG (Newtown) (15:28): I move:
That the general business order of the day (for bills) No. 5 [Residential Tenancies Amendment (Prohibiting No Grounds Evictions) Bill 2022] have precedence on Thursday 10 November 2022.
Right now, every member of this Chamber has the chance to provide by Christmas protection and certainty to the two million renters in the State of New South Wales. For the first time in a very long time, the Liberal‑Nationals Government does not have the numbers on its own to pass or block legislation in this Chamber. I seek an urgent reordering of business to bring on The Greens Residential Tenancies Amendment (Prohibiting No Grounds Evictions) Bill 2022 so that it can be debated tomorrow. The moment to do it is now. The Independents are on board, and we do not need to wait to kick out the Liberal-Nationals Government in March 2023 to deliver on this reform. If NSW Labor steps up right now and stands by its election commitment that it made just days ago to end no grounds evictions, we can introduce it this year. We must take this opportunity now to deliver immediate housing security and cost-of-living relief for renters in this State.
For NSW Labor to stand in the way of this critical reform just days after making an election announcement, talking itself up all over social media, to end no grounds evictions and then refuse to support this motion would be nothing short of offensive. Renters cannot afford to gamble in the hope that NSW Labor might win the election in March 2023 and then potentially deliver on this reform. We need to act now, and we have the numbers to do it. Ending no grounds evictions is not a controversial move. The only people who see it as controversial are those who seek to profit from the massive housing insecurity in this State.
Peak organisations such as Shelter NSW and the Tenants Union of NSW support the urgency of debating this bill today. The NSW Women's Alliance, which provides specialist services and statewide support to those affected by sexual, domestic and family violence, have written to all members of Parliament urging them to support this bill and urgency motion. Every month we delay, thousands more renters will face rent hikes, because they are too scared to negotiate, or evictions, because they have asked for repairs or have been forced to move out of their home for no reason. At the Healthy Homes for Renters briefing, which we co-hosted with Better Renting, Sweltering Cities and the Tenants' Union of NSW, they all pointed to end no grounds evictions right now. Renters know that the New South Wales Liberal-Nationals Government is a party of greedy landlords and big investors, and we know that too. But where does NSW Labor sit? We know what its members have said and what they have championed on social media. But what will they actually do? We can and we must pass this bill by Christmas to give renters the protections they need.