The Victorian Greens have secured a commitment from the Victorian Labor Government on renter safeguards, and are now in a position to support the proposed tax reforms before Parliament today.
This follows weeks of constructive negotiations between the Greens and Labor, in which the Greens demanded the Government take action on the housing crisis to ensure their support for the State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2023.
Right now, many renters are one rent rise away from eviction or homelessness, while others are being forced to choose between putting food on the table or keeping a roof over their heads.
Despite this, the Government has taken no action to date. It made zero commitments to support renters in the lead up to the State Election, and ignored them in the recent State Budget.
That’s why last month the Greens announced they would only support the Government’s budget tax reforms if they committed to urgently address the housing crisis with renter safeguards.
As an outcome of the negotiations, the Treasurer has written to the Greens outlining an urgent task force they have convened to investigate the housing crisis and how it can be addressed.
This task force will actively consider all three of the renter safeguards put on the table by the Greens, including:
- Rent controls such as a cap on rent increases
- Regulation of the short-stay industry
- Strengthening the state’s Vacancy Tax
The Treasurer has also committed to meeting with the Greens every month to discuss the ongoing crisis and the solutions to help fix it.
Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said it was clear pressure from the Greens on both the state and federal levels was helping to push Labor governments to move further and faster on the housing crisis.
She added that as a result of their recent negotiations, the Greens expected to see the Government introduce a suite of renter safeguards in the coming months.
Quotes attributable to Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:
“After ignoring renters for the past year, we’re pleased the Government has established a housing crisis task force as a result of advocacy by the Greens, and placed several policies for renters tabled by the Greens squarely on its agenda for action.
“These are the right policies to address the housing crisis, and we look forward to working with the Government and its new task force to implement them as a matter of urgency.
“With more Greens in Parliament both here and around Australia, we’re pushing governments to move further and faster on the housing crisis because it's getting worse by the day.”
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens treasury spokesperson, Sam Hibbins MP:
“Renters were ignored in the recent state budget.
“Without government action, rents are going to continue to go up and up, pushing renters into homelessness and housing insecurity.
“People who rent their home need urgent reforms to address the housing crisis, and can't afford another year of government inaction.”