Renters who are impacted by the catastrophic floods throughout NSW need urgent support.
Sign the petition to join the Greens calls for the NSW Government to take immediate action to support renters in this crisis and through the recovery period from these devastating floods.
Many renters have lost everything and are now facing the prospect of finding temporary accommodation while also dealing with their landlords, negotiating rent waivers and even facing eviction or rent hikes once the clean up is complete.
On the NSW North Coast, the demand for rental properties was already exceeding availability before the storms hit. This chronic shortage of rental properties could cause a huge increase in the cost of rent as people scramble to find somewhere to live.
We've put up a Bill which calls for tenants in flood impacted areas to be protected with the following:
- Evictions Ban: Tenants in areas which have been declared flood impacted will be protected from evictions unless the property is uninhabitable or the property ceases to be able to be used as a residence.
- Cap on Rents: Existing rents will be unable to be increased during this period. New leases and leases on new rental properties will also be limited and must be in line with the median rent for the same type of property prior to Feb 25th 2022.
And for the following increased tenant protections for all tenants throughout NSW
- Mould and Damp Free: Landlords for residential premises will be required to ensure that the premises are ‘free of mould’ and have adequate ‘waterproofing’, in addition to existing plumbing and drainage as a determination of ‘fit for habitation’.
- End No Grounds Evictions: Puts an end to unfair evictions. Tenants will only be able to be evicted under a specific set of circumstances. Guidance to the Tribunal is also inserted to prevent retaliatory evictions.
- Limiting Rent Increases: Rent increases will be restricted to a maximum of once per year and only in line with either the public sector wage increase or the CPI for Sydney, whichever is lesser.
Sign the petition to add you voice to the call for urgent relief for flood impacted renters now.
We the undersigned call on the NSW Liberal/National Government to urgently implement a relief package for renters impacted by catastrophic floods and heavy rains throughout NSW.
In all flood impacted areas, we are urging you to:
- Halt evictions for 12 months.
- Apply automatic rent waivers on uninhabitable homes.
- Issue Bond Vouchers for all impacted renters.
- Halt rent increases for 12 months.
- Increase funding and resources for tenancy advice, advocacy and tribunal.
In all rental properties across NSW we are urging you to:
- End unfair no grounds evictions.
- Class mould treatment as an urgent repair under the Rental Tenancies Act.
- Class the presence of serious mould as a breach of minimum housing standards.
Things continue to move rapidly when it comes to COVID restrictions and supports. We will do our best to keep this page updated with the latest information and links.Read more
Key suburbs in inner Sydney and Melbourne are showing significantly lower rates of Covid-19 vaccination rates than in surrounding suburbs but this appears to be due to a statistical anomaly.
These rates are being used to determine whether individuals will be able to enter South Australia in coming weeks and also whether South Australian residents will be required to quarantine upon returning from these areas in Sydney or Melbourne.
Our office wrote to NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard about this issue in August. You can read this letter here. Minister Hazzard's response indicated that COVID-19 vaccination statistics may not accurately reflect current suburb populations.
We have written a joint letter with Ellen Sandall MP (Member for Melbourne) and Tammy Franks MLC (SA), to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt and the Premiers of NSW, Victoria and South Australia calling for an urgent review of the figures used to calculate quarantine percentages. You can read this letter here.
NSW Health is using the Australian Bureau of Statistics Estimated Resident Population 2019 data which has been calculated on the 2016 Census, to calculate its postcode Covid-19 vaccination rates.
The reason for the vaccination rate percentage anomalies appears to be directly linked to the changes in the student population in these suburbs as a result of the pandemic. There has been a significant change in students living in and close to our major universities in Sydney and Melbourne. In the suburbs of Darlington, Redfern, University of Sydney, Ultimo, Chippendale and Kensington in Sydney and in several inner-city suburbs in Melbourne such as the CBD, there are significant differences in vaccination rates compared with the overall city percentages.
The reasons for this are simple. Many students who may have been located in any of these suburbs on the 2016 Census night are no longer living in these suburbs due to the impacts of the pandemic. Some will have moved back to live with their families and will have been registered at these home addresses when getting vaccinated; whereas many international students are no longer based in these suburbs and may be still overseas waiting to return; or other students who lost casual work in these suburbs, will have moved out of the inner city due to increased rental stress. We are also aware that people have chosen to move away from the inner city in Melbourne to outer suburbs and rural areas as working from home became the norm.
Reports from the City of Melbourne indicate that international students had comprised a third of the CBD’s population prior to the pandemic. The City of Melbourne estimates around 28,000 international students have left the city during the pandemic. This situation is very similar in Sydney’s inner suburbs which house 4 major tertiary institutions and a number of large TAFE colleges. As mentioned above, the pandemic has given people the opportunity to move away from their workplaces and work remotely in suburban or rural areas, however these movements will not be shown statistically until after the next census.
Although NSW is currently registering close to a 90% double vaccination rate, the University of Sydney 2006 postcode area is registering a single and double vaccination rate of less than 10%; while the adjacent suburbs of Darlington, Chippendale and Golden Grove (postcode 2008) are currently registering a double vaccination rate of between 50-60%, while Redfern (postcode 2016), Camperdown (postcode 2050), and Ultimo (postcode 2007) are all indicating between 60-70%.
Additionally the suburbs of Elizabeth Bay, Kings Cross and HMAS Kuttabul (postcode 2011) are showing a 50-60% fully vaccinated rate which we believe is due to the fact that the large number of personnel who would have been based at the HMAS Kuttabul navy base in Potts Point on Census night, are no longer based onsite and would have been off site for the purposes of vaccinations.
We are calling on the federal Health Minister and the Premiers of NSW, VIC and SA, to urgently address these statistical anomalies in relation to interstate travel to and from South Australia so that residents from these cities will not be unfairly impacted by travel restrictions which are based on outdated population predictions which have skewed the actual vaccination rates in these areas.
We have developed a directory of contact details for health advice, income support, government services and assistance available regarding COVID-19.Read more
Greens housing spokesperson, Jenny Leong MP, has condemned the headline initiative announced with the release of the NSW Housing Strategy today as a dream for property developers and a nightmare for people living with the reality of housing insecurity and housing stress.Read more
We are so pleased and hopeful that Lidia Thorpe has this week formally joined our team as the newest Australian Greens Senator. After the Victorian Parliament held a joint sitting to confirm her as a Federal Senator for Victoria, Lidia took her place in the Greens Federal Party Room.
Greens Member for Newtown, Jenny Leong MP appeared on Ch.10 News regarding the Black Lives Matter protest.
NSW Greens Statement on the opening of WestConnex M8
WestConnex is one of the most expensive transport infrastructure projects that Australia has ever built. The M8 section of tollroad cost more than $4.3b for a 9 km series of tunnels and the St Peters Interchange.
This polluting, private tollroad further locks people who commute in NSW into a highly tolled transport system that’s unsustainable and environmentally unsound.
The social and environmental damage of the M8 has been enormous with homes and green spaces bulldozed and communities broken up and dispersed.
Some of our inner city suburbs, including Newtown, St Peters and Alexandria have been now ringed and carved up by massive above ground, multi-lane roads which will become car parks, as traffic congestion increases and heat sinks, as temperatures rise.
The amount of traffic that will be now funnelled onto local streets and to vibrant King Street is alarming. Roads like Euston Road and Campbell Road have been widened to many lanes around the perimeter of the new St Peters Interchange. This means that traffic will spill out from the Interchange and back up above ground as it is funnelled into smaller residential streets and local roads in the surrounding suburbs.
The King St Gateway was supposed to protect the high street from increased traffic congestion but to date, nothing much has happened. It is unacceptable that local residents and businesses are not being provided with any clear details on this - they are understandably anxious about the impact that this tollroad and the increased congestion will have on their homes and businesses.
Despite this latest opening, there is still no direct connection to Mascot airport or the Port Botany which was the original justification for WestConnex.
The impact on air quality is a major concern for local residents as there will be four large pollution stacks in St Peters – with some in close proximity to St Peters Public school and near local residential apartments.
The impacts for those beyond the inner city, the tolls for the M8 are huge – and tolls are being reintroduced on the existing M5 East. These tolls are some of the highest in Sydney and have made Sydney one of the highest tolled cities in the world.
Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown
Abigail Boyd MLC, NSW Greens Transport SpokespersonRead more
Thank you to the 5014 people who have signed the Greens' petition to save Carriageworks.
Yesterday Jamie Parker MP, Cate Faehrmann MP and I presented our petition to the Premier, calling on her to:
- Scrap the Powerhouse Museum relocation
- Guarantee funding to keep Carriageworks alive
- Implement a rescue package for struggling artists and creatives
We are still collecting signatures so make sure to sign and SHARE the petition here 👉 https://www.jennyleong.org/save_carriageworks
[UPDATE May 14, 2020]
Legislation Passed Supporting Renters
The NSW Parliament passed the Covid-19 Emergency Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 No 2 yesterday which included amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 to be in force during the emergency period - a big step forward from where the government stood just a few weeks ago regarding protections for renters.
The amendments gave renters two important wins:
1) renters may be able to break their leases with reduced penalties by applying through the Tribunal under certain circumstances: if the landlord has refused to negotiate rent relief, or refused to negotiate in good faith or, if a tenant and a landlord are unable to come to an agreement on a fair and affordable rent reduction.
2) renters and households who are Covid-19 impacted (by losing more than 25% of their incomes or the household's income), will be able to receive reduced rents via a compensation fund that will support landlords who can show hardship and who pass on rent reductions to tenants.
The Greens put up a series of amendments which would have given renters more significant support at this time in key areas:
- giving the Tribunal the power to impose reduced rents and to prioritize renters' applications as urgent
- rent relief for renters and landlords in financial hardship
- restricting the ability of landlords to evict tenants on no grounds
- stopping retaliatory evictions
- break lease option without any financial penalty
- maintenance records available on request to renters
- allowance of pets to give tenants more flexibility when seeking a home
Jenny provided a wrap up of what happened on Facebook live after the legislation passed which you can watch here.
To find the details about these changes and other measures and how they can help in your specific circumstances, go to the Department of Fair Trading site or check out the information on the Tenants Union site.
We will continue to work for a better deal for renters especially during this pandemic when the right to an affordable, livable home is more crucial than ever.Read more