Evicted ladies to struggle authorities in courtroom

Bin protest towards eviction in Ainslie. Photograph: Paul Costigan

LEGAL motion on behalf of public-housing tenants going through eviction by the ACT authorities will start on Friday (November 11) with a instructions listening to within the ACT Supreme Court docket. 

In February, 340 social-housing tenants – together with aged individuals, individuals with incapacity and other people with continual well being points – acquired letters from Housing ACT saying they must transfer from their properties as a part of the territory authorities’s “Progress and Renewal” program.

The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) criticised the housing division’s heavy handed method to the relocation of a few of its oldest and most susceptible tenants.

The three tenants are all ladies, two of whom are over 70 years of age, and considered one of whom is an Aboriginal particular person. They’ve all lived, for many years, within the properties they presently occupy and from which they’re going through eviction by the ACT authorities .

Every of them declare to have acquired representations on the time they first took up residency of their dwelling that it might be their “perpetually dwelling” or “dwelling for all times” and that they’ll “by no means have to maneuver once more” or undertakings to that impact.

The applying lodged by authorized agency Ken Cush and Associates on behalf of the three plaintiffs seeks:

  • To the extent mandatory, an order extending the time by which the plaintiffs might carry the proceedings towards the federal government and its officers.
  • A declaration pursuant to s 40C (4) of the Human Rights Act 2004 that the defendants ( i.e. the ACT authorities) have breached the plaintiffs’ human rights beneath s 10(1) (b), 12(a) or 13 of the Human Rights Act 2004.
  • An order pursuant to 40C (4) of the Human Rights Act 2004 that the ACT authorities not take any steps to take away the plaintiffs from their properties and
  • Additional and within the various to the orders above an order within the nature of a writ of certiorari to quash the choices made by the ACT authorities and its officers associated to the tried eviction of the plaintiffs from their properties.

The rights beneath the Human Rights Act 2004, which every of the plaintiffs allege are being denied them by the ACT authorities, embody:

  • To not have her privateness, household or dwelling interfered with unlawfully or arbitrarily;
  • To freedom of motion together with the liberty to decide on her personal residence within the ACT;
  • To freedom from degrading therapy.

The proceedings outlined above have been listed for a instructions listening to within the Supreme Court docket of the ACT this coming Friday, 11 November 2022.

See also  'Too little time' to critique territory plan

In echoing assist for the motion Julie Tongs, CEO of Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Well being and Neighborhood Companies, mentioned that whereas she was heartened by the generosity and dedication of Ken Cush and Associates in its assist of among the many most susceptible individuals locally, she remained shocked to her core that the ACT authorities apparently had no qualms about treating individuals on this method.

She additionally applauded the community of neighborhood organisations led by ACTCOSS and Canberra Neighborhood Legislation who’ve rallied, “fearlessly”, to assist the primarily aged, and in lots of situations extraordinarily susceptible, ladies who’re the principal targets of the ACT Authorities’s heartless program of compelled evictions.

She mentioned that whereas solely three of the 340 households presently going through eviction have been represented on this case she, hoped it might end result within the ACT authorities doing the precise factor and “abandoning this merciless charade”.

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Ian Meikle, editor