What the 2023 NSW State Election Means for Pet Owners

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The 2023 NSW State election is approaching; here’s how the proposed policies could impact pet owners.

The NSW State election is on the 25th of March, and government parties have started to announce their proposals ahead of the election. The good news is that a few of the proposed policies are centered on improving pet-loving lifestyles. With 69% of Australians owning a pet, it’s no surprise that changes regarding pets in rentals and on public transport are on the cards. 

While your news feed may already be filled with election information, we’re here to explain what the proposed changes could mean for NSW pet parents.

Renting with Pets

Labor unveils plan to change pet rental policies ahead of the NSW state election
Source: Abc.net.au

NSW Labor Plans to Change Rules For Renting With Pets 

One of the most significant proposed changes is NSW Labor’s pet rental policy. Given the spike in pet ownership since 2020, many pet parents are struggling to secure a rental property under NSW’s current rental laws. 

Currently, in NSW, a landlord can decline a tenant’s request for a pet (unless it is an assistance animal) without providing a reason and has no deadline to respond to these requests. 

Labor’s planned reform would give landlords 21 days to consider a tenant’s pet request. The request will be automatically approved if the landlord does not respond during that timeframe. If the request is rejected, landlords will need to explain why. While, the policy does not guarantee that renters can have a pet, it’s supposed to make it easier to apply to have one.

Learn more about the current rules for renting with pets in Australia.

Pet Parents Have Their Say on NSW Pet Rental Policies

In December 2022, the NSW government released a survey and poll asking the public, tenants, property managers and landlords whether they believe it should be easier for renters to keep pets in their homes. Of 18,018 votes, 87% of respondents agreed that it should be easier, and 13% said it shouldn’t. 

While only the poll results have been announced, the final outcomes of the survey are yet to be released. 

Pet-Friendly Transport

NSW Greens proposes pet-friendly transport for the NSW state election
Source: The Daily Telegraph

NSW Greens Proposes Free and Pet-Friendly Transport 

The NSW Greens has announced its plans to make public transport in NSW free and pet-friendly. If elected, the party would permit pets to travel in a carrier, on-leash or muzzled. However, pets would only be permitted on transport outside of peak travel times and in the first and last non-quiet carriages of trains. 

NSW’s current transportation rules prohibit pets from travelling on trains, the metro or coaches unless they’re an assistance animal. 

For more information, check out our article on pet-friendly transport in Australia. 

NSW Animal Justice Party Calls for Pet-Friendly Transport

Last month, Animal Justice Party Mp Emma Hurst voiced that NSW’s current rules regarding pets on transport were outdated given Australia’s high rate of pet ownership.  The City of Sydney Councillor, Yvonee Weldon, was of the same belief and thinks that that it’s time that Sydney updates its policies regarding pets in public spaces. 

To learn more about the upcoming NSW State election, click here.