Standing up for Victorian renters and consumers

Overview

Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation media release - 2 May 2017.


More Victorians are set to get the assistance they need when renting property in Victoria.

The Victorian Budget 2017/18 will increase funding for the Tenancy and Consumer Program in the next financial year by 30 per cent.

More than $18 million will be invested to deliver local assistance for tenants, particularly those in vulnerable or disadvantaged situations.

New features of the Tenancy and Consumer Program include:

  • increased access to local assistance and advocacy across Victoria, with community organisations funded in each of the 17 Department of Health and Human Services areas
  • a jump in the number of frontline advocates available to assist tenants, with 22 specialist staff to be employed (up from 12.7)
  • priority access to family violence victims experiencing tenancy issues
  • a dedicated retirement housing service, the first time such a service has been funded

This investment comes as the Andrews Labor Government makes it easier for renters to sign long-term leases. Changes will be made to the Residential Tenancies Act to cover leases for longer than five years, with a new standard tenancy agreement to be implemented next year.

The Budget will also deliver an extra $11.3 million for Victoria’s gaming and liquor watchdog, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR).

This is a major boost that will target problem venues and continue to support the VCGLR’s work in effectively minimising harm to Victorians by creating safe and responsible environments for gambling and drinking.

The funding will:

  • Create regional compliance hubs
  • Recruit and train additional staff to enhance compliance and education activities
  • Increase enforcement of regional licensed venues
  • Improve intelligence in monitoring and responding to emerging issues

The introduction of the regional hubs and increased staffing will give the VCGLR more flexibility to target specific licensees and venues, particularly at times when there is a high risk of service to intoxicated persons and minors.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Marlene Kairouz

“We’re supporting renters by expanding the Tenancy and Consumer Program – which kicks in from July –
to give Victorians in need a helping hand.”

“Raising a family is stressful enough without worrying about whether you need to move every 12 months. Long term leases will end that uncertainty.”

“We want licensees to know they have a responsibility to look out for their customers who are enjoying a night out, whether they’re having a flutter, a few drinks, or both.”