The fact the Palaszczuk Government, under Housing Minister Mick de Brenni, is dressing up legislative changes to the tenancy laws as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic is appalling, writes Peter Gleeson. Picture: Alix Sweeney
The fact the Palaszczuk Government, under Housing Minister Mick de Brenni, is dressing up legislative changes to the tenancy laws as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic is appalling, writes Peter Gleeson. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Labor leaders about to be left in the cold

ONCE again, Labor's Left have been caught with their pants down.

They cost Bill Shorten the prime ministership and are now on track to see off Annastacia Palaszczuk and Anthony Albanese.

Among a raft of dud policies, their anti-coal, anti-development, pro-abortion, pro-human rights, soft sentencing and pro-vegetation management laws that are killing farmers are measures that just don't cut it with the "quiet Australians''.

Their official mascot was the black throated finch, until that anti-Adani fantasy went pear-shaped.

Now they want to rob 600,000 property owners of their ability to keep a close eye on their investment - using the cover of a pandemic to push through their ugly reforms.

For years, I've been saying that the best thing the LNP has going for it is the Left of the Labor Party.

They are so hopelessly out of touch with past Labor ideology - protecting workers - that they've become the weakest link in the Australian political system.

The changes to landlord rules is a Left faction stitch-up. They've been working on these draconian rules for months and believed the cover of coronavirus was the time to ram them through.

That's not to say that reform isn't needed in some areas. For years, some greedy landlords have ridden roughshod over innocent tenants, extorting bond moneys, extracting every pound of flesh they could get their hands on as the law was skewed to protect property owners.

It is sensible that any government would try to protect society's most vulnerable - those that can't afford a home and are being forced to rent - at a time of crisis.

But the fact the Palaszczuk Government, under Housing Minister Mick de Brenni, is dressing up legislative changes to the tenancy laws as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic is appalling.

The Special COVID-19 Protections Act is justifiably aimed at helping tenants get through this period of uncertainty.

Many will lose their jobs and the six-month non-eviction clause is good and compassionate policy. But the rest of the legislation is rubbish. It's the Lefts's way of doing over landlords under the guise of protecting tenants during a crisis.

De Brenni (pictured) is part of the Left faction - the most regressive political faction on the planet. It will cost the Palaszczuk Government victory on October 31 and Left leader Anthony Albanese won't win any additional seats in Queensland at the next federal election because he takes his riding instructions from factional powerbrokers.

The reality is the Labor Left let ideology get in the way of sound political judgment. The Left's lack of political nous is only matched by its hubris and arrogance. It truly believes Twitter is the real world when in fact it's mostly inhabited by misfits.

Today's Cabinet meeting will be interesting. The Premier will need to be on her game if she is serious about compromise with this legislation.

Under a proposal that had been planned to go before State Parliament on Wednesday,
tenants would not have to pay back rent, landlords could not ask for proof of financial hardship and landlord insurance would not cover rent arrears.

Tenancy agreements would automatically extend by six months if they expired during the freeze on evictions, tenants could refuse entry for anything other than emergency repairs, and could break a lease with only seven days notice.

Let's look at just one of those measures, where tenants could have refused entry for anything other than emergency repairs.

So a person owns a home, rents it out and suspects the tenants might be up to no good. Maybe, for example, running a meth lab.

They are paying the mortgage on the property and are pretty keen to ensure their investment isn't about to explode and go up in smoke. That does happen when suburban meth labs go pear-shaped. But they can't get into their home.

Let's not forget Minister De Brenni is the bloke who appointed Jade Ingham, the CFMEU official who habitually breaks construction laws, to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.

He appointed a controversial union heavyweight to the very board that oversees the rules that Ingham has consistently broken.

Luckily for those 600,000 landlords being done over by De Brenni, an election will be held in Queensland in just over six months. As the bumper sticker says, just like fishermen, landlords vote. Ms Palaszczuk's office has been flooded with letters from landlords requesting that the proposed laws be amended.

The Premier has enough on her plate without having to pull the Left into line over tenancy rules.

It's a delicate juggling act, but she must cut the umbilical chord with the Left. If she doesn't, her Government is unelectable.

 

Originally published as Labor leaders about to be left in the cold