Tim Clifford’s February Update | The Greens (WA)

Tim Clifford’s February Update

A fairer deal for renters and trying to save diminishing green spaces

By Hon Tim Clifford, MLC for East Metropolitan
Saturday, March 17, 2018

Welcome 2018, Bring it On!

I spent some time over the Christmas break reflecting on the fast and furious pace of the last year. From quitting my job and campaigning day and night to let people know how the Greens could work for them in government, to sitting in the hallowed halls of the Legislative Council. I am grateful for the support I received then and now. 

‘Team Tim’ is now settled in, with two full time and two part time staff, the team have been working hard to get to know our electorate and our portfolios.  We also have regular volunteers, including the wonderful Callan Gray, and a number of students who have put their hand up to contribute and get an insight into the workings of a Greens office. We all spent some time over the break resting but also planning out the year ahead. 

Renters Rights

More and more people in WA are renting, and it’s not just young university students in share houses! This shift has highlighted some of the inequities in the renting game. Housing is a human rights, and we believe that everyone deserves a place to call home, whether you are a renter or a home owner.

Renters in WA will soon have a chance to contribute to the review of the Residential Tenancies Act that sets out the rights and responsibilities of both renters and landlords. We are taking the opportunity to learn about what issues matter to renters in WA so that we are well equipped to push for positive changes in the Act when the time comes.  

We surveyed renters in WA and have uncovered some disturbing stories from renters. For example:

  • More than half of renters have put up with maintenance problems out of fear that their lease wouldn’t be renewed
  • 50% of respondents have had to move after their landlord terminated their lease through no fault of their own
  • Almost 20% of renters have had to give away a pet in order to move into a rental
  • Only 8% of rental properties have rooftop solar panels

There will be lots of opportunities for member involvement in our campaign. We will be organising a Renters Rights forum and some doorknocks and other campaign events in the coming months, so look out for those in Greens Announce and your inbox!  

Save Midland Oval – So What and Why?

Our office has been getting to know the locals in Midland through our involvement in the Save Midland Oval campaign. The Midland Oval debacle is just one example of a local council making poor planning decisions without consulting the communities they represent – a story we hear all too often in some parts of my electorate. 

The council has approved plans to develop the area into high-rise residential and office spaces. While the Greens support infill development, it shouldn’t be at the expense of our rapidly-declining urban green spaces. The council has already spent more than $32 million (despite having no business plan!) and considers talking to 64 people to be adequate community consultation. 

On Valentine’s Day, I presented 1,000 ‘I heart Midland Oval’ postcards signed by local residents to the City of Swan council asking them to produce a business case, consult more thoroughly with the community and commit to altering the development plan to retain the last remaining large green space in Midland. 

The community have been phenomenal – these postcards produced by my office were distributed and collected by the community in a matter of days. More recently, almost 300 residents turned up to a Town Hall meeting to voice their concerns. It’s been a privilege to work with this community and stand up for them when no one seems to have been listening. 

Header photo: Tim Clifford with Greens members at Guildford’s Stirling Park. Jacqueline van Grootel

Text photo: Tim with ‘save Midland Oval’ postcards outside council meeting.