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Author Topic: 27 drug labs found in public housing  (Read 40 times)

Mary-Jane

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27 drug labs found in public housing
« on: February 14, 2018, 03:01:03 PM »
27 drug labs found in public housing as taxpayers are slugged a $21m clean-up bill

Alison Sandy Right to Information Editor, The Sunday Mail (Qld)
August 24, 2013

QUEENSLAND taxpayers are unwittingly subsidising illegal drug labs with 27 being found in public housing in the past year.

The clean-up bill has topped $21 million since 2007 after bad tenants have also been caught burning their taxpayer-funded homes down or vandalising state-owned residences.

The State Government says new laws are expected to lead to 200 evictions this year alone due to its new 'three strikes you're out policy' - up 37 per cent from the year before, according to a report obtained by The Sunday Mail under Right to Information laws.

However, Housing Minister Tim Mander said the Government was amending laws to further strengthen its ability to end tenancies when required.

He said this would particularly occur in cases of "severe anti-social behaviour such as extensive deliberate property damage and/or criminal activity like drug labs at the premises".

"Tenants need to know that if they insist on doing the wrong thing, there will be serious consequences," Mr Mander said.

"Taxpayer-subsidised housing is there to house the most vulnerable members of our society, not to act as a shopfront for vandals and drug dealers."

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said housing commission homes should be for the needy, not drug lords.

"Police have had enough of continually being called to housing commission homes where residents are seemingly committing crimes with impunity,'' he said.

"Convicted drug dealers should not be entitled to housing commission homes."

Some of the worst public housing abuse cases in the past year included:

- $126,794 of "extensive fire damage" caused at a Fortitude Valley property in Brisbane's inner city where "extensive drug paraphernalia" was also found;

- $20,875 at a Toowoomba property where bathrooms were wrecked, fence palings removed, tiles and doors damaged and the kitchen needed replacement;

- $42,000 at a Cairns property requiring the removal of hazardous chemicals from a clandestine lab; and

- $43,000 of damage caused by an ex-tenant including the "illegal use of property, objectionable behaviour (and) police involvement".

Other issues included holes in walls, doors broken and windows smashed in Maryborough, and extensive graffiti at a home in Caboolture.

The cost of unfair wear-and-tear damage to public housing properties since June 2007 is $27,473,956.

The total number of complaints received over the last five years is 118,503 (or 23,700 per annum).

Last financial year, 6400 breaches were issued to tenants.


Under the three-strikes policy, a social housing tenant who receives three breach notices within a 12-month period is evicted.

"Since the three-strikes policy came into effect on July 1 this year, four households have vacated after being issued with notices to leave," Mr Mander said.

"One household vacated their property before being served with a Warrant of Possession.

"The department has also lodged a further three applications for Termination Orders with QCAT.

"Since the start of July there have also been 18 households evicted for failure to pay rent.''

Western Australia introduced the same legislation in 2011 and its eviction rates increased by about 70 per cent in 2011/12.

Conflict of Interest Statement: Mary-Jane is Editor of Perth Gay News and The Media Annuncio of the Perth Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence of the Abbey of the Black Swan.

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27 drug labs found in public housing
« on: February 14, 2018, 03:01:03 PM »