New Housing Minister Roger Jaensch says the Deputy Premier and Health Minister, who both own Airbnb properties, will not benefit from a $13,000 scheme for landlords to encourage them to rent their properties to low income earners.
In Parliament on Wednesday Mr Jaensch was questioned by Labor leader Rebecca White as to whether Mr Rockliff and Mr Ferguson would be eligible for the scheme, and whether they had declared a conflict of interest when it was being discussed.
In a statement later Mr Jaensch said the government had no plan to change the Airbnb regulatory framework.
“Unlike Labor, whose only ideas are higher taxes and reviews, we are focused on supporting Tasmanians in need and our visitor economy,” Mr Jaensch said.
“Our members support the sharing economy, and pecuniary interests have been disclosed on the public record, as is required. All ministers adhere to the ministerial code of conduct.”
However, Labor’s housing spokesman Josh Willie said Mr Jaensch must explain whether Mr Ferguson and Mr Rockliff excused themselves from any deliberations over the government’s decision not to apply greater regulation to the short stay industry.
“He couldn’t or wouldn’t when posed with these questions and his performance was uninformed and bordering on incompetent,” Mr Willie said.
The Private Rental Landlord Incentive scheme is aimed at getting people who use their properties for short-term rentals to rent them to low income Tasmanians.
Meanwhile, new Speaker Sue Hickey is under fire from a group of homeless Tasmanians who have set up tents on the lawns of Parliament House.
Spokeswoman Pixie Skitenjal said Ms Hickey had asked the group to leave the lawns.
“She came down pretending to support our cause and I didn’t like her condescending attitude,” Ms Skitenjal said. “We will not be moved.”