The State Liberals have voted against the Housing Improvement Bill in State Parliament despite the Weatherill Government accepting 21 Liberal amendments to the Bill.
“The sticking point in the legislation is the Weatherill Government’s insistence that minimum housing standards apply to owner occupiers as well as tenants,” said Shadow Minister for Housing Rachel Sanderson.
“As a consequence people renovating their home and living on site will fall foul of the law and potentially face massive fines.
“Under the legislation a government worker will be able to turn up at a private home unannounced, use reasonable force to enter that home if they suspect a dangerous situation and remove evidence from that private home.
“This amounts to a massive infringement on the rights of home owners and is frankly un-Australian in my opinion.
“I have no problems protecting tenants from unscrupulous landlords that rent sub-standard premises but it is completely wrong for the Government to break into and fine owner occupiers for failing to meet the same standards.
“The Weatherill Government simply doesn’t believe people should have the freedom to live how they wish in their own home provided there is no harm to others.
“Fortunately the Labor Government has accepted Liberal amendments halving the proposed fines for breaches of this Act by owners of rental properties.
“The original $20,000 fines would have likely sent mum and dad investors broke for relatively minor breaches of the law.”