Grants for research projects using citizen science

Local organisations in Bonner with research project ideas that encourage the community to get involved are invited to apply for a Citizen Science Grant.

Grants of between $150,000 and $500,000 are available to support projects encouraging community participation in four key research areas: disaster resilience and preparedness, environmental change, cyber security and artificial intelligence, and food and agribusiness.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the grants not only provide exciting opportunities for the organisations but also enable members of the community to get involved and participate in discoveries which could have an impact across the country.

“Citizen Science grants are all about coming up with innovative solutions to some of our biggest national challenges,” Mr Vasta said.

“I encourage organisations across my electorate to put their research project ideas forward for grants.”

Citizen Science Grants are part of the Inspiring Australia – Science Engagement Programme, which encourages community participation in science and technology, with $4 million available over four years.

Applications for Round 2 are open until 17 December. For more information visit

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Stronger Communities grant awarded to B4C

Bulimba Creek Catchment (B4C) has received a $5000 Stronger Communities grant to refurbish and improve their Discovery Hub building.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said B4C was a fantastic organisation dedicated to protecting and restoring our natural environment and wildlife.

“Thanks to the Morrison Government’s Stronger Communities Program we have delivered $5000 to assist in the refurbishment of the Discovery Hub which is regularly used by volunteers and the community,” Mr Vasta said.

“Overall, I have delivered more than $110,000 for local environmental projects to B4C and Ocean Crusaders through a number of Community Environment and Stronger Communities grants to help these organisations keep our waterways beautiful.”

Mr Vasta said through the efforts of B4C and Morrison Government’s grants, the health of Bulimba Creek, Brisbane River and Moreton Bay was in good hands.

“I am so passionate about protecting the wildlife and pristine Moreton Bay so many Queenslanders enjoy,” Mr Vasta said.

“From watersports, boating, fishing and local tourism, we need to look after our natural environment and I am pleased to support the local groups committed to doing just that.”

Mr Vasta said the Stronger Communities Program supported projects that deliver social benefits as part of the government’s continuing commitment to strengthen communities across Australia.

“This investment in local projects under the Stronger Communities Program is about invigorating these organisations and ensuring their continued success,” Mr Vasta said.

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BYAC talk waste and recycling

Cutting down on our waste footprint and improving recycling methods were the main topics of the first Bonner Youth Advisory Council (BYAC) meeting on Monday, June 22.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said each high school in his electorate was invited to select students to take part in the program, as a chance to be the youth voice of the region.

“The BYAC participants were chosen as future leaders and the youth voice for their school to discuss and share the issues that matter most to them,” Mr Vasta said.

“The first meeting was held on Monday via Zoom and our special guest was the Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans.”

Mr Vasta said topics discussed included how young people could encourage others to cut down on their waste footprint, and how the Government could support young people to achieve a reduction in their waste footprint.

“We had some great questions including how we’ve improved recycling in Australian and what policies we’re looking at to keep going down the path of plastic free, like supermarkets have done,” Mr Vasta said.

“The BYAC meeting was also a great opportunity to learn more about the role Assistant Minister Evans plays in shaping this policy area and the students who took part really did a fantastic job asking questions.

“I also shared some insight on some of the great waste management programs already operating in Bonner, including the Ocean Crusaders bottle cap recycling scheme.

“The more young people learn about the role we play in the community, it provides them a greater opportunity to get involved, give feedback and influence change on the issues they care about.”

Mr Vasta said he wanted to congratulate everyone who took part in the BYAC Zoom meeting, and he looked forward to organising the next one.

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Harnessing new technology to lower emissions

Investing in low emissions technologies to strengthen our economy and support jobs and businesses is a Morrison Government priority as we navigate the road to recovery from COVID-19.

The government has released the Technology Investment Roadmap discussion paper to bring a strategic and system-wide view on future investments in low emissions technologies.

With an opportunity to develop new industries and jobs, investing in new and emerging low-emission technologies is a win for the economy and a win for the environment.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the Technology Investment Roadmap was the next step in the Morrison Government’s technology not taxes approach to reducing emissions.

“We are focused on putting Australia at the forefront of research and development and maintaining our strong track record of reducing global emissions,” Mr Vasta said.

“Emissions are lower today than when we were elected in 2013 and deploying the right technology when and where it is needed will allow Australia to capture new opportunities to reduce emissions even further.

“Real action on technology, not taxes, is the pathway to further remissions reduction here and around the world.”

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said there was enormous potential in technologies like hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, soil carbon sequestration, biofuels, resources and energy exports to reduce emissions while strengthening our economy.

“This is about developing technologies to support jobs growth and this is also about ensuring mums and dads and small businesses are paying a fair cost for energy, and not imposing taxes on them,” Minister Taylor said.

“At its core, this is about technology not taxes.

“It means reducing emissions, not reducing jobs and the economy and it is an approach based on rigour, confidence, optimism, and Australian ingenuity not ideology.

“The alternative is to sign up to long term targets without a clear plan, an approach that will penalise energy-intensive industries and reduce economic activity.”

The Roadmap goals will be developed in consultation with industry, researchers and the financial sector, with progress reported through an annual Low Emissions Technology Statement.

The Roadmap will be a cornerstone of Australia’s Long Term Emissions Reduction Strategy, to be released ahead of COP26.

The Government has already made substantial investments in clean energy technology, with more than $10 billion invested in more than 670 clean energy projects with a total project value in excess of $35 billion.

To contribute to this important national conversation or learn more about the Roadmap process, visit

Written submissions are open until Sunday 21 June 2020.

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Vasta donates tree to student project

Moreton Bay College year seven student Amy Campbell took her class project to the next level when she contacted her local Member of Parliament to donate a tree to show how one small deed could make a big difference.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP visited the school on Tuesday (March 10) to personally deliver the donated tree to Amy, which will be planted on the school campus.

“Late last year Amy sent me an email because she has been researching deforestation as part of a class project,” Mr Vasta said.

“She organised a meeting with the school’s director of business and the groundsmen for permission and sent me an email asking for the tree donation.

“Amy requested a flowering tree to support animals on the school grounds with a place to live, to improve air quality and also to show other students what can happen when a young kid takes action to try and make a difference.”

Mr Vasta said Amy was an inspiration to her fellow classmates and encouraged the school to consider taking action to support the environment.

“I shared with the school how just last weekend we removed more than 2.5 tonne of rubbish from Bulimba Creek for Clean Up Australia Day,” Mr Vasta said.

“Every day we make a decision to improve our environment and I know Amy’s tree planting will inspire others to think about the environment and take action.”

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Supporting affordable clean energy

The Morrison Government is further investing in technology solutions to reduce the energy bills of Australian families and businesses, and drive down carbon emissions.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the government was investing $68.5 million in the Reliable Affordable Clean Energy for 2030 (RACE for 2030) Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) to improve energy affordability and reliability, and help Australia play its role in reducing global emissions.

“The RACE for 2030 CRC will lead collaborative research and innovation to grow Australian energy technology businesses, improve clean energy uptake, while at the same time tackling the grid stability challenges facing new energy technologies, with long-term benefits for all Australians,” Mr Vasta said.

“With cost of living and rising power prices among top concerns for families and businesses, investing in technology to not only reduce emissions but the cost of energy is something everyone can get behind.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the CRC would drive the development of clean energy solutions which were stable and economically viable.

“This investment is a perfect example of how the Morrison Government is taking climate action now, without dipping into the pockets of hard-working Australians,” Minister Andrews said.

“Supporting cutting-edge energy technology and research is a sure-fire path to lower emissions, cheaper power and a reliable grid.

“The cost and reliability of energy is a vital component of running a business. Reducing energy costs for businesses means more money for investment, more production and more jobs – essential elements of a healthy and growing economy.

“For Australian families, this clean energy research offers the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint, while also lowering their power bills and freeing up more money in the household budget.”

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the work of the CRC is yet another example of the Government delivering innovative measures for a fairer deal on energy for all Australians.

“Technology, not taxes, will be the way we deliver practical action on emissions reduction. This is why it is so important that we work together with industry and researchers to deploy the right technology when and where it is needed for cheaper bills and lower emissions”, Minister Taylor said.

“We have seen wholesale prices for electricity reduce by an average of 35 per cent on the east coast over the last quarter compared with the same time last year. The CRC’s work will assist in unlocking new technologies for reliable generation to continue this downward cost trend and keep the lights on.

“We’re committed to sensible, practical solutions that reduce emissions, cut power bills, and protect and create jobs.”

The RACE for 2030 CRC’s potential benefits include reducing energy costs by up to 25 per cent, reducing emissions by up to 20 million tonnes and an $8 billion economic benefit by 2034.

The CRC has generated around $280 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry and researchers to drive its work which will be supported by the $68.5 million in Government support under round 21 of the CRC program.

Since 2013, the Government has committed $1.1 billion to support the establishment of 30 CRCs, with industry and research partners contributing $3.4 billion in cash and in-kind contributions.

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Funding to boost plastic recycling

The Morrison Government has invested $20 million as part of round 8 of the Cooperative Research Centres Project (CRC-Ps) to help businesses reduce their plastic waste, boost recycling initiatives and build a sustainable environment through job creating projects.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said these projects are driving Australia’s waste-recycling industry forward.

“There are nine projects in this round which will see Australia reduce its plastic waste and boost plastic recycling,” Mr Vasta said.

“By working with the waste and recycling industries, we believe the CRC-P grants will help foster innovative ideas that will help boost and strengthen our environment and economy.

“We have seen $289 million committed to CRC-Ps since 2016 as part of the Morrison Government’s commitment to strengthening Australian industry and create 1.25 million jobs in the next five years.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews MP said the projects showed the great economic opportunities in waste recycling.

“Not only are these new projects ensuring Australia’s environmentally sustainable future, they are also creating further opportunities for new jobs,” Minister Andrews said.

“This funding will support Australian businesses and researches as they forge new markets to limit the use of plastics and create recycled products.”

Applications for Round 9 of the CRC-P grants open February 13. For more information visit

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Support building for Wynnum community garden

Support is growing for a community garden and food waste recycling space on the vacant block in front of Woolworths Central in Wynnum.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP was joined by Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans MP on Monday (August 19) to tour the proposed site on Charlotte Street.

“This fantastic idea is being headed up by Wynnum Business General Manager David Bateson and Coffee Club Wynnum owner Kathryn Shepherd,” Mr Vasta said.

“Their proposal is to convert the Wynnum Central Park into a community garden, establish food waste recycling for food outlets, and relocate a hot composting machine to the site which is currently sitting unused.”

Mr Vasta said the project aimed to reduce food waste going to landfill, activate an unused space in the centre of town and position Wynnum at the forefront of ‘reduce reuse recycle’ initiatives nationally.

“I’m looking forward to supporting this project going forward and if we can get every level of government on board it will be a fantastic community initiative,” Mr Vasta said.

“The more we can do to reduce our food waste and encourage sustainable activity, the better off our local environment will be.”

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Funding available for local environment projects

The Morrison Government is investing more than $22 million in a new program to support local environmental projects, giving communities in Bonner new opportunities to protect and care for our natural environment.

Under the government’s Communities Environment Program, each electorate will be provided with up to $150,000 to fund up to 20 local projects, with grants ranging from $2500 to $20,000 per project.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the Communities Environment Program would empower local community groups to deliver practical improvements to the local environment.

“Community groups in Bonner are already delivering fantastic projects, whether it’s planting trees, cleaning up local waterways, reducing litter or protecting native species,” Mr Vasta said.

“This investment of more than $22 million will help these groups to make our local region cleaner and greener for future generations.”

A broad range of organisations are eligible for nomination, including community clubs, not-for-profit organisations, landcare groups and schools.

More information is available at

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Just recently a young Manly West local, Nichola, wrote to me with a very upsetting story. She was out for a run on the local foreshore when she came across a dead hawksbill sea turtle. The turtle had died after eating a plastic bag. This is a common death for many turtles these days and it’s a horrible one.

The awful thing is that this turtle was just one of many dead marine animals Nichola has seen since she moved into the area only seven months ago. According to UNESCO, plastic debris kills over a million seabirds and over 100,000 marine animals every year. Meanwhile, according to Keep Queensland Beautiful data, there’s been an increase in litter around the bayside area. Clearly something must be done.

It heartens me to know so many locals who use their own time to go along the waterfront and pick up trash left behind by others. Local volunteer groups do regular litter clean-ups in the area. One constituent tells me he fills up bags of rubbish during daily walks, but when he returns the next day it’s all returned.

As Keep Queensland Beautiful CEO David Curtin said to me, if all we ever do is pick up after litterbugs, we will always be cleaning up—education is key. And there are already some fantastic education programs in place in my electorate.

The Moreton Bay Discovery Centre is a great educational resource for the community. I was happy to secure $450,000 for the Centre’s construction and fit-out. The Centre is an important tourism hub that will teach locals and visitors to the area how to help keep Moreton Bay healthy for local marine life. It will also run a Moreton Bay Discovers Children’s Programme when it opens. This is a great way to teach kids the importance of protecting the bay. Another great initiative in Bonner is the renowned Tangalooma EcoMarines program, which includes an Early Learning Centre program for pre-school children.

This Government supports moves by a number of states to phase out single-use plastic bags, including Queensland from July 1. We also welcome industry moves to do the same. Coles and Woolworths have announced they will no longer be using single-use plastic bags by the end of 2018. At the Manly Harbour Village Markets in my electorate, stallholders have reusable fabric shopping bags available for customers. The Manly Harbour Village Chamber of Commerce is also in discussions with the Village traders about using fabric shopping bags.

The Minister for Environment has said it’s inevitable that Australia will be free of single-use plastic bags over time. Until then, I intend to do my part. I will be launching a Clean Up the Bay initiative and working alongside local environmental groups to help keep the bayside beautiful and rubbish-free for marine life. I plan to get as many locals involved as possible. Together we can clean up our bay and teach and inspire others to do the same.

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