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Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Page: 5647

Mr CHESTER (4:03 PM) —Minister, I start with a question related to the increase in the order of $30 a week that the government made to the single age pension, which I must say was well received in the electorate of Gippsland. It was a major issue in the lead up to the Gippsland by-election and an issue throughout Australia. I am particularly concerned, though, with subsequent events. The Victorian state government has decided to increase rents for public housing tenants. I have corresponded with your office on this issue, and my concern is that there is one level of government giving with one hand and another level of government taking with the other hand. It really is an issue that older Australians struggle with; they struggle with the concept of it. I am wondering whether there is anything the minister can do through COAG or any other instrument to try to protect older Australians from this increased cost of living, which came at the hand of one level of government while your own level of government was endeavouring, I believe, to make things a bit easier for older Australians.