Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay has been served with a mock notice of eviction from the ACT Legislative Assembly, as the campaign to save the territory's tenants' union ramped up on Tuesday.
More than 50 people rallied outside the Assembly to call on the government to scrap the tender process which has cast a cloud over Tenants' Union ACT's future.
Representatives from renting, housing and student groups joined Australian Services Union officials in demanding the government provide ongoing funding to the union. They then carried a mock eviction notice - addressed to the Attorney-General - to the doors of the Assembly's public entrance.
The union has been in limbo since the government's surprise decision earlier this year to put the tenants' advice service out to tender.
The tenants' union has provided support to Canberra renters for 25 years, but the government said it wanted to test the market to ensure it was getting value for money. The union, which is staffed by three full-time and two part-time employees, has an annual budget of $444,000.
The government commissioned an independent review into the union two years ago, but has never released its findings or recommendations.
Australian Services Union branch secretary Natalie Lang, who represents the tenants' union, told Tuesday's rally that the organisation provided invaluable support to Canberra's ever-increasing population of renters.
"Since the formation of this service, they have supported hundreds and thousands of renters in the ACT ... people would have potentially been homeless had it not been for the expert support of the tenants union," she said.
"The government is not interested in standing by the renters of Canberra. Every time the renters of Canberra needed someone to have their back, the tenants' union has been there. Right now, the tenants' union needs us to have their back."
The Canberra Times contacted Mr Ramsay's office for comment.
In a statement, a government spokesman said the tenants' union had been encouraged to bid for the tender.
"All decisions by government in relation to the provision of the Tenants Advice Service are made with the best interest of Canberra renters as well as the broader community," the spokesman said.
The spokesman rejected claims the government doesn't support renters, pointing to new laws which made it easier to own a pet and provided protection against steep rent hikes.