Legislation to give the government power to waive certain household charges and stop commercial and residential tenants from being evicted for failure to pay rent has been passed by the House of Assembly.
The bill, to deal with the financial impacts on Tasmanians from the coronavirus pandemic, was introduced on Wednesday and swiftly passed over the afternoon and debated in the Legislative Council until late.
The government during debate in Parliament on Wednesday accepted amendments for a freeze on rent increases for residential and commercial tenants.
The bill will allow the Residential Tenancy Act to be amended to put in place a moratorium on the eviction of tenants who were unable to pay rent for 120 days.
It will also give the government power to waive household charges like utility bills and remissions for rates.
Premier Peter Gutwein said it was the government's responsibility to minimise disruptions and flow-on effects to the community
Labor leader Rebecca White said the bill contained provisions for the government to take necessary measures to relieve people of household cost pressures during a challenging time
She said the power given to ministers under the bill had potential to lead to abuses of power. Greens leader Cassy O'Connor said the party wanted to ensure there were appropriate checks and balances.
"The legislation gives the Premier, Treasurer and Attorney-General very broad and indeed sweeping powers to respond to the coronavirus pandemic," she said.
"It takes away that scrutiny from Parliament."