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Brisbane Greens councillor Jonathan Sri defends offer to assist renters

Article image for Brisbane Greens councillor Jonathan Sri defends offer to assist renters

Brisbane City Councillor Jonathan Sri has defended his offer to connect tenants and landlords during the COVID-19 shutdown, despite being reprimanded by council.

The Greens councillor was accused offering to access council data on landlords in order to help them negotiate rental reductions during lockdown, a claim which he denies.

He said it was a finding of “inappropriate conduct” but he said he wasn’t invited to respond or give evidence.

“Basically last year, when the COVID shutdown began, there were a lot of people with lost income and who couldn’t pay bills, and the response from the State Government was to encourage landlords and tenants to negotiate rent reductions,” he told Scott Emerson.

“In some cases, real estate agents weren’t passing on correspondence from tenants … I offered that if tenants were having trouble getting in touch with their landlords, and real estate agents weren’t passing on correspondence, I’d try to bridge that gap and support the two parties to connect with each other.

“There’s no suggestion or evidence I was offering to give out property owners’ contact details without permission, but the Labor and LNP councillors formed the opinion I was doing something wrong, simply by facilitating that communication between tenants and landlords.”

He said he didn’t think his offer was unreasonable.

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Image: iStock

Scott Emerson
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