Category: Uncategorized

Federal funding delivered to train Lovewell Foundation Volunteers

The Lovewell Foundation has been awarded a Federal Government Volunteers Grant by Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP, which will allow the foundation to help upskill and train volunteers.

Mr Vasta visited the Lovewell Cafe, at the top of Mt Gravatt Lookout, to talk with volunteers and see how the funding will be used.

“I am proud to work with the Lovewell Foundation and provide funding to help support women from vulnerable backgrounds so they can train and gain new skills,” Mr Vasta said.

“The Lovewell Cafe is an empowering social enterprise that supports women from vulnerable backgrounds to help rebuild their lives in a safe and welcoming environment.

“The training that these women receive from Lovewell helps increase their self-esteem, as they have an avenue to gain independence and financial stability through training and employment.”

Executive Director of Lovewell Foundation Annie Stonehouse said the support Mr Vasta has given to the organisation has been invaluable and has helped over 80 women from vulnerable backgrounds.

“Everyone at the Lovewell Foundation is grateful for Ross’s support and the funding delivered by Ross has gone directly to recruiting and training our volunteers,” Ms Stonehouse said.

“A woman escaping a vulnerable situation like domestic violence, often lacks the support, skills, confidence and self-esteem to work towards rebuilding their life, as they have been in a survival frame of mind for many years.

“That is why training our volunteers and mentors is so important, it helps empower our women to find the self-belief they need to rebuild their lives and gain independence and move toward training or employment.

“With support from staff, volunteers and mentors, our women find themselves and their new purpose, and this leads to a decrease in mental health issues and increases their quality of life and gives them self-confidence.”

Mr Vasta has been working closely with the Hope Lovewell Foundation for many years. Mr Vasta delivered funding for infrastructure upgrades at the Lovewell Café, and will continue to support the foundation to achieve their goals.

If you would like to volunteer or mentor with Lovewell Foundation, please email

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Delivering on My Plan for Bonner


I’ve been a local resident of Bonner for over four decades, I’ve attended school here, started a small business and now raising my own family here.

Over the past three years we have faced significant challenges, the pandemic and more recently the flood. But when those challenges have arisen we have delivered.

I’m dedicated to our community and I’m proud to be delivering on my local plan for the area, including our flood recovery plan to help our community come back stronger.

As your Federal MP I have been working hard to secure our economic recovery, support local jobs and help local families get ahead.

During the recent flood, I spent days with many locals, sandbagging, delivering food parcels and generators and then cleaning up the mud.

So far more than $1 billion of Federal funding has been paid to Queenslanders impacted by the flood. With our local Flood Recovery Plan, we will come back stronger, and work on prioritising mitigation efforts.

In addition to delivering on my local plan in Bonner, our strong economy is delivering results.

  • 16,273 people in Queensland have received HomeBuilder grants to help build a new home or renovate an existing one.
  • People in Bonner are paying $128 less for a power bill than two years ago.
  • There are over 2,800 new medicines on the PBS, saving $80 per year for 1.4 million Australians.
  • More bulk billing means people are saving $40 per visit to a GP.
  • 1,710 local families are benefiting from savings of  $2,000 per year on childcare.
  • Around 65,200 taxpayers in Bonner will benefit from tax relief of up to $2,745 this year.
  • Pensions have increased by $159.10 per fortnight since we were elected.

Working together we’ve achieved a lot for our community. With your support we can continue to protect our lifestyle and secure our future locally for your family.



My Flood recovery plan for Bonner

With our local Flood Recovery Plan, we will come back stronger, and work on prioritising mitigation efforts.

Our local plan will:

• Keep our economy strong so we can continue to properly fund our recovery

• Work with the Schrinner Council to fund priority mitigation projects

• Build our local roads back to a higher standard than before

• Get our clubs and organisations back open and resourced to replace damaged equipment

• Support our businesses with disaster funding to protect local jobs

• Provide ongoing assistance including mental health support for local families

We can only recover and come back stronger from the flood if we do it together. With my team I’ll continue to do whatever it takes, but I need your support, and with our local plan we will come back stronger. If you need assistance don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally on (07) 3893 3488 or by email to

Continuing to fix our local roads and reduce traffic

Delivering better local roads to reduce congestion – getting you home sooner and safer. I’ve already secured over $200 million for local road projects. I’ll continue to fight for more local upgrades and to fix local black spots.



Protecting our local lifestyle and environment

I am committed to supporting local community groups, sports clubs and small businesses to thrive in Bonner as well as providing support to local catchment and bushcare groups with funding for planting, wildlife breeding boxes, creek rejuvenation and weed eradication. I’m also working to eliminate harmful plastics and waste by making sure packaging can be recycled, reused and kept out of our waterways.



Securing our economy recovery and keeping Australians safe

Our economic recovery plan is delivering lower taxes and record jobs, including for women and young people. We’re also creating jobs through our $110 billion infrastructure pipeline and supporting more apprentices to help fill the skills of the future. We will always put Australia first and protect our national security and interests.



Supporting families with better health and education

Making sure local families have access to the best education and quality healthcare. Helping young families to get ahead by removing the cap on the Child Care Subsidy and strengthening Medicare by making Telehealth permanent.



Reducing emissions and increasing renewable energy

Delivering real action on Climate Change with a fully costed plan for net zero emissions by 2050. Backing technology, not taxes, by investing in renewables. I’m also working closely with local environment groups and Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, part of our carbon neutral Council, to deliver energy solutions like solar panels in our local community.


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Go local: Morrison Government continuing to support small businesses in Bonner

The Morrison Government is building on its support for small businesses by $8 million to extend the Go Local First campaign for another 12 months.

The national campaign, which is coordinated by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA), urges Australians to buy locally in their communities as part of our COVID-19 recovery.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said this was great news for the 14,556 small businesses in Bonner who contribute to making sure the local economy thrives.

“I am so thrilled to see the Morrison Government’s ongoing commitment to supporting our local small businesses,” Mr Vasta said.

“Campaigns just like Go Local First are driving awareness for more Australians to buy local, especially during this time when we are focused on securing our recovery and creating more local jobs.”

“I recently had the pleasure of catching up with Rachel Ooi who is a Financial Advisor at Your Wealth Consultants in Wynnum. It was fantastic to hear her support for how the Morrison Government is backing businesses, giving them the confidence during this time to ensure they are continuing to achieve their goals and exceed their targets.”

“Having businesses expand or new businesses open in Bonner on a regular basis makes me so proud to see the Morrison Government’s recovery plan in action. I encourage everyone in our local community to support this campaign and remember to Go Local First!”

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, said Go Local First is aimed at strengthening local economies and creating local jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Australia’s 3.5 million small and family-owned businesses are the lifeblood of our local communities and have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 economic conditions,” Minister Robert said.

“As we rebuild from COVID-19, the Morrison Government is ensuring small and family businesses can benefit by building confidence in our community to shop locally.”

Minister Robert said the campaign, launched in July 2020, will run throughout 2021 and into next year, highlighting the crucial role small business plays in our nation’s economy, in keeping communities thriving and creating local jobs.

Research showed 78 per cent of those who had seen the campaign said they would spend with small local businesses over multinationals, compared with only 56 per cent of those who had not seen the campaign.

The campaign will build on this success achieved throughout 2020 in encouraging Australians to choose local small businesses when buying products and services to help support local jobs. For more information, visit

Image: Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP and Your Wealth Consultants Wynnum Financial Advisor Rachel Ooi.

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Safer Communities Fund Round 6-NOW OPEN

The Morrison Government is providing up to $20 million in funding for early intervention projects and up to $10 million for security infrastructure through round six of the Safer Communities Fund.

The early intervention grant opportunity is now open (closing 22 July 2021) and the security infrastructure grant opportunity opens on 15 June 2021 (closing 5 August 2021).

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said this funding will help ensure people in our local community feel safe as they go about their daily lives.

“We’ll continue to work closely with local councils and local community organisations to identify infrastructure projects that can be supported through this funding,” Mr Vasta said.

“The early intervention funding stream will provide support for at risk young people to help them turn away from crime and build positive relationships and skills.”

Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs, Jason Wood said this announcement is delivering on the Morrison Government’s commitment to deliver safer communities through crime prevention initiatives.

“Local communities can feel safer from violence, harassment and anti-social behaviour following these initiatives,” Assistant Minister Wood said.

“The early intervention funding stream will help assist young people at high risk from engaging in criminal or anti-social behaviour build resilience, cultural connections and job readiness skills.

“The infrastructure funding will not only improve security and protect communities through projects such as CCTV, fencing and bollards, it will also keep local people employed, boosting local economies.”

The Safer Communities Fund is a long-standing program that has invested more than $215 million since 2016 and provided over 600 grants directly to local communities.

Grant opportunity guidelines for the early intervention and infrastructure funding streams will be available on the opening dates at Guidelines will include information about how to apply, eligibility and assessment criteria.

The Morrison Government announced $35 million (including program administration costs) from 2020-21 to 2023-24 to fund round six of the Safer Communities Fund in Budget 2020-21.

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3 MINUTE STATEMENT: Move for Oakley

Thank you, Deputy Speaker. Today I rise to speak on behalf of my constituents: Kate and Grant Gough and their six-month old baby, Oakley.

I recently met with this beautiful family who shared with me the heartbreaking story of baby Oakley’s Spinal Muscular Atrophy diagnoses at just 8 weeks old.

Sadly, SMA is the leading genetic killer of infants under the age of two in Australia, with 1 in 35 Australians unknowingly carrying the gene.

Deputy Speaker, had Oakley been screened for SMA as part of the Newborn Bloodspot Screening and started treatment sooner, her quality of life may be completely different to today.

I first became aware of SMA in 2018 through baby Mackenzie. At just 10 weeks old, little Mackenzie was diagnosed with SMA, sadly passing away at just seven months and eleven days old.

I brought Mackenzie’s story to the attention of Minister Hunt and Minister Coleman and they took prompt action.

Deputy Speaker, this action resulted in the inclusion of a $20 million study into reproductive genetic carrier screening called Mackenzie’s Mission in the May 2018 Federal Budget.

I understand the Minister has asked all states and territories to include screening for SMA in their Newborn bloodspot screening programs.

Trials for SMA through Newborn bloodspot screening programs are currently ONLY underway in New South Wales and the ACT.

I ask those in room today, what about newborns impacted by SMA in other parts of the country?

Deputy Speaker, I want to emphasise that the results of these trials have been extremely encouraging.

The medical community is overwhelmingly in agreement that the sooner the treatment begins, the better long-term prognosis for children with SMA.

With that in mind, I am calling on the Queensland State Labor Government to consider the courageous families battling SMA or will be in the future.

Even AMA Queensland is asking for SMA to be included in the Queensland Newborn bloodspot screening program.

Deputy Speaker, our families do not have the time to wait for trials to conclude in NSW and ACT before Queensland State Labor acts.

With the cost effectiveness of this test – approximately $10 per test- its positive results thus far, AND the Morrison Government’s willingness to collaborate, I urge Queensland State Labor to include SMA in their Newborn bloodspot screening program.

You’ve heard Oakley and Mackenzie’s stories today.

As a father of two, there is nothing more important to me than family and their wellbeing.

I am taking this opportunity today to fight for the quality of life these babies deserve.

No family should have to endure the heartbreak of losing a child to this disease. And no child should be disadvantaged based on where they’re born.

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Lytton locks in Australia’s fuel security

The Morrison Government is taking strong action to further boost Australia’s long-term fuel security by locking in the future of our refining sector at the Ampol refinery in Lytton.

The Government’s fuel security package will help secure Australia’s recovery from the COVID crisis and it will help secure our sovereign fuel stocks, locking in jobs and protecting families and businesses from higher fuel prices.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said he welcomes this action as it builds on securing our economic resilience by keeping Lytton open.

“Having our fuel security on shore and localised to areas which can best deliver, means we are protecting 550 local jobs in Bonner, giving certainty to key industries, and bolstering our national security,” Mr Vasta said.

“This is great news, as it means we are keeping our skilled workers in a job as well as ensuring we have the sovereign capability needed to prepare for any event, protect our families and local businesses from higher prices at the bowser.

“Locking in Australia’s fuel security will deliver benefits for all Australians and keep the country moving as we secure our recovery from COVID-19.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Government was delivering on its commitment to maintain a self-sufficient refining capability in Australia with the Ampol refinery in Lytton being one of two refineries across the country supporting the operation.

“Major industries like agriculture, transport and mining, as well as mum and dad motorists, will have more certainty and can look forward to vehicle maintenance savings and greater choice of new vehicle models.

“This next stage in our plan for Australia’s recovery will create jobs and make our country more self-sufficient and secure.”

This package implements the Morrison Government’s commitment to the refining sector, announced as part of the 2020-21 Budget, and complements other measures including increased onshore diesel storage and taking advantage of record low prices to store oil in the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

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Question Time report tabled

The House Standing Committee on Procedure today tabled A window on the House, its report into the practices and procedures relating to Question Time.

‘The Committee is recommending a package of changes to improve how Question Time operates,’ the Chair of the Committee, Mr Ross Vasta, said.

‘The inquiry looked not just at the rules for questions and answers but also at the culture of Question Time,’ the Deputy Chair, Mr Milton Dick, said.

‘Many people contributed their views through surveys, submissions and hearings,’ Mr Vasta said. ‘The Committee would like to thank everyone who participated in the inquiry.’

The Committee has recommended that Question Time consist of a minimum of 21 questions each day, including at least 10 questions from opposition members, five questions from government members, five constituency questions from government members and one question from a non-aligned member, with a further one supplementary question allowed from an opposition member each day.

The Committee also recommends new time limits of 30 seconds for all questions and two minutes for answers, with no points of order on relevance allowed in the first 30 seconds of an answer. It also proposes changes to the standing orders to curb the use of tag questions about alternative approaches and amend practices regarding answers to questions directed to the Prime Minister.

This package of changes would encourage questions to be more focused and answers to be tighter and more relevant.

The Committee has also made recommendations to hold a trial of very limited mobile phone use by Members and provide the Speaker with an additional option to manage disorderly behaviour. The Committee considers that the House could also make more use of and highlight other parts of the parliamentary day.

Changes to practices and procedures are ultimately a matter for the House itself, and the Committee hopes it will consider these recommendations carefully.

The full report is available on the Committee’s website.

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Reminder to book your flu vaccine

Vaccination against influenza (flu) remains important this year. Vulnerable Australians are being urged to get their free vaccination against seasonal influenza under the National Immunisation Program.

The annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over. It is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications.

Receiving the vaccine from April allows protection from the flu to develop well ahead of peak transmission period, which usually falls around July and August.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said with the flu being highly contagious, all Australian’s should be vaccinated each year as circulating virus strains change.

“On average, flu cases estimate 3,500 deaths in Australia each year. With 14,262 vulnerable aged pensioners in Bonner, the best protection is to be vaccinated against it,” Mr Vasta said.

“I recently received my vaccine from Michael at Healthyworld Pharmacy in Garden City and will continue to take these necessary precautions annually.”

“Although it doesn’t protect from Covid-19, every one of us has a responsibility to help slow its spread as well as stopping the spread of influenza by practicing good hygiene, social distancing, understanding when to self-isolate and following the Government’s directions on guidelines in public places and workplaces.”

The National Immunisation Program provides free vaccines to those most at risk, including:

  • Pregnant women
  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People aged six months and older
  • People aged 65 years and older
  • People aged six months and older with certain medical risk factors and;
  • All children aged between six months and five years.

More information on the flu is available at:

The latest official coronavirus news, updates and advice from the Australian Government is available at:

Media contact – Kaylah Bulow – 0402 845 576

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Secure your home this Christmas

With Christmas holidays just around the corner, residents are being warned to secure their homes and valuables to deter break -in’s and theft.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said Christmas was prime time for homes to be broken into if left unsecured.

“Christmas is a time of gift giving for family and friends so make sure you don’t invite unwanted guests by leaving your home unlocked,” Mr Vasta said.

Holland Park Police Station Officer in Charge Senior Sergeant Kylie Doyle said residents should keep their doors locked, even if you are home.

“The message this Christmas is to keep your doors locked, especially if you’re out the back,” Snr Sgt Doyle said.

“It’s easy to leave the doors open especially if it’s hot but be sure to lock the front door to prevent thieves that see it as an opportunity to take your gifts.”

Families spending Christmas holidays away from home are advised to make sure their property is left in good hands.

“If you are going away for the holidays, let your neighbours know so they can check up on your property to give the illusion that you are home,” Snr Sgt Doyle said.

“Don’t leave your keys in obvious hiding spots like under a door mat or in a pot plant but give them to a trusted neighbour or relative to collect your mail and keep a general eye on your home.”

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Hundreds more women and children escaping domestic and family violence will have a safe place to sleep with a $78 million investment by the Morrison Government.

This investment includes a $60 million grants program for eligible organisations to provide new or expanded emergency accommodation facilities for those escaping domestic and family violence.

This program will build up to 450 safe places and assist up to 6,500 people per year. The grant program will be structured to encourage contributions from other levels of government, and from private and philanthropic sources.

A further $18 million will be invested in the Keeping Women Safe in their Homes program, which has assisted over 5,200 women since 2015-16, providing security upgrades and safety planning so women and children can remain in their own homes, if it is safe to do so.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this investment was a key commitment to the Fourth Action Plan 2019-2022, the final plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

“The first priority of my government is to keep Australians safe and secure,” the Prime Minister said.

“I am focused on providing more support to women and children escaping domestic violence.

“The National Plan is one of the best examples of governments working together and the more we work together to solve this problem as partners, the better the outcome for victims and survivors of domestic violence.

“This is the third significant initiative we’ve funded for domestic violence support in as many months, following $67.2 million committed as part of the Women’s Economic Security Statement and a further $10.9 million towards 1800RESPECT, announced in late November.”

Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher said that this investment is designed to significantly increase our national stock of emergency accommodation for women and children escaping domestic violence.

“When a woman needs to escape domestic violence, often she has very little chance to plan – she may well have raced out of the house and jumped in the car with just the clothes on her back.

“That is why it is so important there is emergency accommodation available – so a woman in this situation can have a safe place to live while she works out what she will do next.”

“I have seen in my own electorate the vital work done by the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women’s Shelter, which has provided emergency accommodation to nearly 300 women, 72 per cent of whom needed help due to domestic violence.

Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer said women had the right to be safe in their homes, in their communities, online and in their workplaces.

“The Government has zero tolerance for violence against women and this new package will make a very real difference to women and children right across Australia.”

“Today’s announcement comes on top of the more than $350 million the Government has invested to improve women’s safety since 2015.”

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit

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