Mr HUSIC (Chifley—Government Whip) (13:56): I represent 24,000 pensioners in the electorate of Chifley. As a result of some of the reforms that we have delivered, we have seen some of the biggest increases to the pension in 100 years. Over May-June those pensioners will receive a tax-free lump sum payment of up to $250 before receiving an increase to their fortnightly pension in March next year. These increases amount to $338 a year for single pensioners and $510 a year for pensioner couples.
I wish to raise my deep concerns that, of those 24,000 pensioners, 4,538 live in public housing, like the residents I spoke to at the Emerton Action Group recently. These residents do not want to see their public housing rents increased by the New South Wales O’Farrell government. They do not want to see any pension increase delivered by us instantly go through a rent increase. These pensioners do it tough already; they need to be spared from any increases in their rent as a result of what Premier O’Farrell may do. This increase belongs to them, not to the New South Wales government.