Send in your best Summer snaps

It’s time to get snapping and test out your photography skills with the Bonner Summer Snaps Photo Competition.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said with the Christmas break and school holidays, summer was the best time of year to get out and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle that makes our region such a great part of the world.

“People love Queensland and particularly our nature reserves and beautiful Moreton Bay,” Mr Vasta said.

“To encourage residents to get outdoors and explore everything Bonner has to offer, we’re running the Bonner Summer Snaps Photo Competition.

Mr Vasta said residents can take a snap that best displays what summer in Bonner means to them.

“Is it fishing off the pier, swimming at Wynnum Wading Pool, barbecuing with friends at Carindale Recreation Reserve, or picnicking with family at Mt Gravatt Lookout?

“Take your best summer snaps and upload it to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #BonnerSummerSnap.”

Entries open Monday, December 14 and close Friday, January 15. There will be two categories, Junior (up to age 17) and Adult.

Winner’s will receive a Photo Prize Pack.

For more information visit

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The show must go on in Mt Gravatt

Annual shows in Bonner cancelled because of COVID-19 are about to get a slice of $34 million Australian Government funding to help ensure they can bounce back next year.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the first payments under the Supporting Agricultural Show and Fields Day program would roll out before Christmas.

“I am very pleased to share with the community the Mt Gravatt Agricultural, Horticultural and Industrial Society is one of the successful recipients, with a funding grant of $32,448,” Mr Vasta said.

“We want to see the Mt Gravatt Show bounce back in 2021 and this funding package is about reimbursing cancellation costs and losses.”

Mr Vasta said the Government wanted to ensure show societies and field day organisers were in the best shape possible to continue next year.

“These events bring our families and farmers together, build community spirit and help bridge the divide between country and city,” Mr Vasta said.

“Our show days are uniquely Australian and also provide huge economic benefits to local communities, as well as the opportunities for the businesses and services who exhibit.”

Mt Gravatt Show Society Secretary Loretta Smith said she was so happy and surprised to receive this federal funding to support the Mt Gravatt Show to continue in 2021.

“So many people in the community, particularly older people who take part in the knitting and cake competitions were so disappointed we didn’t have a show this year,” Ms Smith said.

“It was such a relief for us to get this funding so we can get on with planning the 2021 Mt Gravatt Show.

“We have a lot of commitments with insurance and other things that was just draining our funds so this announcement has been a huge relief.”

Mr Vasta said he was very pleased the Mt Gravatt Show was able to access this funding to help them through this tough period.

“Next year is looking so much brighter and I know this support will be fantastic boost for our volunteers, families and school kids,” Mr Vasta said.

The 2021 Mt Gravatt show is planned for July 24-25.

More information on the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program is available here.

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Curious Mind from Bonner takes part in virtual camp

More Australian girls with a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics will take part in the annual Curious Minds Summer Camp.

More than 120 young women from across Australia will virtually attend a four-day intensive program and receive six months of one-on-one mentorship from 48 women in STEM professions.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said he was very pleased to share Annaliese Bohnstedt of Brisbane Bayside State College was amongst those chosen to take part in Curious Minds.

“The Curious Minds program provides an opportunity for Year 9 and 10 girls to explore their interests and build confidence in STEM subjects,” Mr Vasta said.

“I want to congratulate Annaliese and and hope she learns new skills and gains the confidence to pursue a career in STEM after school.

“Because of COVID-19, these high-potential young women will take part in a virtual four-day intensive program, including online challenges, followed by six months of coaching sessions with inspiring female mentors working in the STEM community.

“I encourage other young girls in Bonner with similar dreams to get involved and also pursue their passion for STEM.

“STEM skills are vital to future jobs and Australia’s future economy, and our Government is committed to empowering young women to excel in these areas.”

The Australian Government has provided $2.35 million to expand the camp to include Curious Minds West Coast and Curious Minds East Coast programs.

The virtual west camp will be held from 6-9 December and the east camp from 13-16 December.

More information on the program is available here.

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Extra funding boost for Bonner’s volunteer organisations

Three community groups in Bonner will benefit from a share in $2.7 million from the Morrison Government to support the work of local volunteers.

The grants awarded are between $1000 and $5000 and will enable local organisations to better support their volunteers to purchase small equipment, pay fuel, transport and training costs.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said volunteers played an integral part on our society, particularly during times of hardship.

“On December 5 we mark International Volunteer Day and celebrate the contribution of charity and community groups across Bonner as they continue to support the vulnerable and strengthen our community,” Mr Vasta said.

“From fire to floods and a global pandemic, Queensland has been significantly impacted this year and help is always needed by people in our community.

“I am very pleased this Morrison Government funding will support the volunteers in Bonner to continue doing their great work.”

Recipients include:

  • Hope Foundation – Mt Gravatt – $4970
  • Indians Baseball Club – Wakerley – $3925
  • The Corporation of The Synod of The Diocese of Brisbane – Manly – $3000

“Now more than ever our community organisations, sporting clubs and charities rely on the selflessness of volunteers who step up to lend a hand,” Mr Vasta said.

“Often their time and work can incur a cost and I am glad that funding will help these groups better support our volunteers.”

The 2020-21 Volunteer Grants round is expected to open mid-2021 and you can subscribe on the Community Grants Hub to be alerted to this and other grant listings.

For more information on volunteering, visit the Volunteering Australia website.

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Roads to Recovery funding in Bonner

Local road maintenance in Bonner will receive a boost thanks to funding under the Australian Government’s Roads to Recovery Program.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the Australian Government would deliver over $171.1 million to 344 local government authorities nationwide for safer and better-maintained roads.

“The Roads to Recovery funding in Bonner will allow councils across the area to progress a number of high-priority projects, using local knowledge to deliver the best local roads,” Mr Vasta said.

“The Australian Government is committed to getting Australians home sooner and safer, no matter where they live.”

This payment includes the final instalment of the Government’s $138.9 million additional funding for the 128 Local Government Areas eligible for the Drought Communities Program Extension.

Brisbane City Council received $3 million under the program which was used to upgrade Player Street in Bonner.

The project included extending Player Street to provide a connection with Kessells Road in Upper Mt Gravatt to improve safety access.

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Kevin Hogan said the Australian Government has committed an additional $100 million per year to the Roads to Recovery Program from 2019–20, as part of the Local and State Government Road Safety Package announced in the 2019–20 Budget.

“From 2013–14 to 2023–24, the Government will provide $6.2 billion under the Roads to Recovery Program, with an ongoing commitment of $500 million each year following,” Mr Hogan said.

“We are investing in infrastructure nationwide in order to lay the foundations for economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Assisting local councils to maintain and improve roads under their jurisdiction is a big part of that, which is why we have also funded a new $1.5 billion Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program and brought forward $1.3 billion of the 2020–21 Financial Assistance Grant payment.”

Mr Hogan said Roads to Recovery investments deliver safer roads in local government areas throughout the country.

“In order to meet the anticipated strong demand for Roads to Recovery for 2020–21, the Australian Government has brought forward $22.75 million to be available to councils to claim this financial year, for a total of $592.18 million in 2020–21,” Mr Hogan said.

“The Australian Government supports local governments to provide vital infrastructure and services through a range of programs.

“This support includes Financial Assistance Grants and the Bridges Renewal, Black Spot, Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity and Roads to Recovery programs.”

More information on these programs is available at

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Phil Thompson MP inspires during final BYAC

Member for Townsville Phil Thompson MP joined Ross Vasta MP for the final Bonner Youth Advisory Council (BYAC) Zoom of 2020 to offer inspiring insight into his journey from infantryman to parliamentarian.

Mr Vasta said BYAC was not only about giving local students a platform to have their voices and opinions heard, but to also provide insight on the inner workings of their Government.

“We had a fantastic turnout for the final BYAC Zoom meeting of 2020 and I hope they encourage their fellow students to get involved next year,” Mr Vasta said.

“My BYAC guest was the Member for Townsville who spoke about his journey into public life following a career in the Australian Defence Force.

“If there’s one message Phil passed on, I felt resonated, was his views on leadership and standing up for something you believe in – in his words it’s about ‘taking the hard right instead of the easy wrong’.”

Mr Vasta said BYAC participants asked some great questions around mental health, how students like themselves could reach our and why Phil took on further studies after his military career.

“It’s always great to hear about the issues at the forefront of young people’s minds and how they feel about other matters,” Mr Vasta said.

“I look forward to continuing the BYAC into 2021 and nominations are now open for the Junior (years 5-6) and Senior (years 10-12) BYAC.”

For more information or to get involved, contact your school and email your nomination to

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Bonner Christmas Card winner announced

Congratulations to this year’s Bonner Christmas Card Drawing Competition winner Emily Christie whose design will be featured on the 2020 Bonner Christmas cards.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said this year’s theme was Christmas at Home and the year three Sheldon College student sent a beautiful image of her family around the Christmas tree.

“Christmas can look very different for many families, but I think the important thing to remember is that it is always nice when its spent with our family and loved ones,” Mr Vasta said.

“Emily’s winning drawing not only has her family, but her beloved pets too which is a very nice inclusion for her interpretation of Christmas at home.”

Mr Vasta said Emily’s drawing will feature on his Christmas card which is sent out not only to his constituents in Bonner, but his colleagues in Canberra.

“That includes the Prime Minister himself who will see Emily’s lovely interpretation of Christmas at home,” Mr Vasta said.

“Thank you to everyone who sent in their lovely entries, it was a tough decision, but there’s always next year.”

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Australian Government and BCC to deliver Lindum Road Corridor

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP has vowed to bypass the State Government and work with Brisbane City Council (BCC) to deliver stage 1 upgrades to the Lindum Level Crossing.

Following disappointment from the Queensland Labor Government’s lack of funding to upgrade the dangerous level crossing, Mr Vasta will now work directly with BCC to find an alternative solution.

Mr Vasta has delivered $85 million towards the project and BCC has committed $40 million for removal of the open level crossing, subject to the State coming to the party.

“Unfortunately, we can’t let the lack of state funding prevent this vital safety upgrade from getting underway,” Mr Vasta said.

“The jointly funded Federal/State Lindum Station Precinct Study was conducted to help us deliver an “all-government” solution, however we cannot sit back any longer and watch other level crossings like Coopers Plains receive $66 million State funding, while Lindum Level Crossing gets zero.

”Mr Vasta said he had been working with the Chair of Public and Active Transport Cr Ryan Murphy, Councillor for Doboy Ward Lisa Atwood and Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge to workshop a solution.

“As a result, we will be redirecting our $85 million funding away from the State Government and delivering it to BCC so they can begin upgrades to the Lindum Road Corridor,” Mr Vasta said.

“Our funding will support BCC and together we’ll be looking at possible first stage solutions such as traffic lights and road upgrades and/or extensions in the Lindum Road Corridor to improve safety for pedestrians and motorists in the local area until the State Government has a change of heart.”

Councillor for Doboy Ward Lisa Atwood said it was disappointing that the State Government didn’t want to join the two other levels of government to deliver the outcome residents and businesses deserve.

She said the Lindum Level Crossing and surrounding intersections were notoriously dangerous for all road users – especially parents and new young drivers of Iona College.

“This is alongside the many workers of the major industrial areas of Hemmant and the Port who every day have to negotiate getting through the Level Crossing and adjoining intersections with their heart in their mouths,” Cr Atwood said.

“As the local councillor, I have been working with Mr Vasta and the Australian Government to give our community a safer road network and rail crossing and I am disappointed in the state’s decision”.

Mr Vasta said he had written to Minister Tudge to formally request the $85 million funding be redirected to BCC to get the project moving.

“During the Treasurer’s Budget speech, he warned States “if you don’t use it, you lose it” and the Queensland Labor Government has not only lost this Federal funding, but the confidence of their local community,” Mr Vasta said.


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Bonner Local Legends recognised for selfless deeds

BONNER’S Local Legends have been recognised during a special barbecue to thank them for their selfless acts of kindness during a difficult 2020.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said he put the call out for the community to nominate people who went above and beyond to support others.

“While 2020 has been a trying year for all of us, it has also brought out the best in our local community,” Mr Vasta said.

“I wanted to celebrate that by hosting the Bonner Local Legends Awards and after promoting it over the past couple of months, we received some heart-warming nominations.”

Mr Vasta said he was humbled to meet so many incredible people in the community and learn more about what motivated them to be so kind, caring and compassionate towards others.

“I hope by sharing their selfless stories it inspires others and also provides hope to those doing it tough, that there are always good people out there willing to lend a hand,” Mr Vasta said.

Bonner Local Legends include:

Coast Guard Brisbane volunteers – we couldn’t just have one, because you work as a team and everything you do to keep our boaties safe is a team effort!

Rebekah Barelet – Nominated by her neighbour, Rebekah showed selflessness and care during COVID-19. She rang her neighbour every day to make sure she was okay. Her neighbour also described her as “the most selfless person I know.”

Coral Brenner – Darling Point Special School. Running the before and after school program and vacation care program at Darling Point Special School, Coral works extra hard to support the families who needed their children minded during COVID restrictions. She not only looks after the children’s families but treats everyone with respect and greets all with a smile.

Mark Brittan – President of the Mt Gravatt Hawks Football Club. Mark is described as the heart and soul of the club. He was nominated for his hard work and commitment as a club volunteer, making sure everything is running smoothly. His good humour is always appreciated on game days.

Keoni Driscol  – A Disability Support Worker, Keoni was nominated by the beautiful family she supports. She worked tirelessly to protect Charlotte during COVID-19 and Charlotte’s mother Angela said she and Charlotte would not have managed without her.

Lisa Morrison – Principal of Belmont State School, Lisa has had a year like no other and has led her school community through absolute tragedy. With the loss of three beautiful students earlier this year, Lisa made sure everyone had access to counsellors and guidance officers. On top of this, she had to take on learning from home during COVID, as well as navigate a whole new set of challenges once school resumed.

Christine Rafter – President of Care Kits for Kids Queensland, Chris and her amazing team put together care kits for the thousands of Queensland children in crisis or care.

Michelle Thompson – Opening a dance studio just prior to COVID. Michelle didn’t let that stop her from supporting her local community. She took her classes online and offered them for free to anyone in the community wanting to dance. She ran competitions and lessons on top of her day job and kept everyone’s spirits up.

Nicole Blums – Volunteering for Wildlife Australia, Nicole was nominated for leading an amazing team of volunteers and helping to save thousands of native animals during the devastating bushfires.

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2020 Ross Vasta Christmas appeal to support local families and businesses

The 2020 Ross Vasta Christmas Appeal officially launched today and has partnered with national online charity GIVIT to provide much needed support to families in Bonner.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said 2020 had been a year like no other with the global coronavirus pandemic impacting on hardworking families.

“To say it has been a difficult year would be an understatement,” Mr Vasta said.

“I know there are many families in my electorate still doing it tough and this year’s Christmas Appeal, I would like to see the community come together to support those families who may be looking at a very different kind of holiday season.

“I have partnered with GIVIT who work with charities in Bonner recognising families in need of support.

“We’ll be putting up a Christmas tree in my office where you can read some of these families’ stories, and donate cash or a gift card which will be used to purchase essential items to help ease their financial burden.”

Mr Vasta said all items would be purchased from local small businesses in Bonner, which are also in need of community support.“Small businesses are run by hard working locals and families so I’d like to buy locally to support these businesses,” Mr Vasta said.

GIVIT CEO Sarah Tennant said GIVIT has been working with local frontline charities to identify the families and households needing support through what has been a very difficult year.

“Christmas is always a hard time for people who are struggling financially, exacerbated by the economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Ms Tennant.

“Sadly, we’re seeing a significant increase in people needing help, including many who have never before needed to ask.

“We’re proud to once again partner with the Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP, and provide some Christmas cheer across Brisbane’s southside to those who need it most.”

To donate to the Ross Vasta Christmas appeal, visit or visit the office at 69 Clara St, Wynnum.

100 per cent of funds received will be used to purchase essential items for Bonner families in need this Christmas.

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