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Darwin Community Legal Service

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Jasmine Cavanagh is one of 70 residents from the remote community Santa Teresa, south of Alice Springs, who brought a class action against the Government in 2016 for failing to maintain their public housing. The tribunal found that the residents should be compensated for the essential repairs and maintenance that the NT Government failed to carry out. The case sets a precedent for adequate maintenance of remote public housing.

TAS has continued its support to public housing tenants on maintenance and other issues. In light of the decision, the Department is working through its policies with the aim to be a model housing provider, consulting with DCLS and other legal services on best practice and development of policies. Good progress has been made in particular on policy and practice in relation to debt management and we are optimistic that this approach will benefit large numbers of clients without the need to pursue cases individually where people have been treated unfairly.

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