Over the past fortnight, Greens MPs, Cassy O’Connor and Rosalie Woodruff, have on several occasions unfairly attack myself and the Tasmanian Residential Property Owners Association, implying we improperly received financial support from the State Government to bankroll political campaigns.
According to Ms O’Connor and Ms Woodruff, the newly formed Association – of which I am the President – is a sham and the funding we secured to support the owners of Tasmania’s 40,000 private rental properties is for bankrolling my campaign for a seat on the Hobart City Council. This creative accusation is false.
There are glaringly obvious ulterior motives to the Greens abusing parliamentary privilege to attack the political opponents of their friends in local government.
Yes, I have raised my hand (early) as a candidate for next year’s Hobart City Council election, announcing this in late 2020. Heading the Association and my candidacy for local government are related as one spurred the other. Witnessing the rapid increase in rents and the backlash on landlords led to me ask, ‘so where are the houses’? My intentions to run as a candidate for Hobart City Council in the upcoming local government elections are a separate matter entirely to the services the Association can provided through this grant.
Every new home is filtered through our councils. After investigating the decisions and waste coming out of the Hobart City Council, particularly in relation to housing, planning, and use of ratepayer funds I felt I had no choice but to try for election. What has been seen cannot be unseen rings very true for me and it appears my concerns resonate with many voters who are also desperate for change in our capital’s council.
Yes, the Association requested and secured funding after recognising the need to support and educate landlords, especially those who self-manage their properties. The objective is to promote compliant, fair and harmonious owner-tenant relationships and happy and enduring tenancies – good news for everyone. The Greens distaste for landlords is palpable and they're an easy target, but unfairly trying to discredit an organisation which is working hard to support the thousands everyday Tasmanians who own rental property is shameful.
I could take the Greens’ unjustified slurs as a compliment – they’re clearly threatened by my candidacy, forthrightness, and willingness to stand up for ratepayers. Given the Council’s heavy Green presence, this is a spotlight they want to turn off. And while all is fair in love and politics, writing fiction to try and drag a community member’s name through the mud for political gain is a low act.