28 June 2023
Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. R.A. Simms:
That this council—
1. Acknowledges that housing is unaffordable for the most vulnerable South Australians with the 2023 Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot reporting for the weekend of 18 March 2023 that:
(a) zero rental properties were affordable and available for a single person receiving a JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, or a parenting payment;
(b) two rental properties were affordable and available for a couple receiving JobSeeker; and
(c) nine rental properties were affordable and available for a single person on the minimum wage;
2. Notes that the government has undertaken a review of the Residential Tenancies Act where:
(a) public consultation ran from 15 November 2022 to 16 December 2022;
(b) 5,565 survey responses were received; and
(c) 155 written submissions were received.
3. Calls on the Malinauskas government to publicly release the submissions to and the report of the review of the Residential Tenancies Act.
The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: I want to thank honourable members for their contributions: the Hon. Michelle Lensink, the Hon. Reggie Martin and the Hon. Frank Pangallo for that support as well. I want to reflect on the exciting revelation that we have heard, that the veil of secrecy will finally be lifted in relation to the government's residential tenancies review. It seems that the government's attitude on this has been, to quote Taylor Swift (who is in the news a bit today), 'Shake it off'—shake it off has been their approach every time I have raised questions. I knew they were trouble when they walked in, look what they made me do.
It is good that we finally have an outcome, and I am really pleased. It is disappointing, though, that it has taken a motion of this council to get the Malinauskas government to do something it should have done months ago, and that is actually to keep faith with the people who have engaged with the review of the Residential Tenancies Act and make the information publicly available. I think people have an expectation in our democracy that if you go to the trouble of making a submission, if you go to the trouble of providing feedback to the government, that should be publicly available.
I think people have an expectation that if a review has been conducted by an external body to government, that review should be publicly available, particularly when it informs legislation that comes to this parliament. I think it was very disappointing to see that the government did the review and they presented a bill to this chamber when no members of this chamber had had an opportunity to actually look at the review.
So a good outcome. I appreciate the government taking on board the feedback of the Greens, along with the opposition and the crossbench, and finally acquiescing to our very reasonable request.