Local residents and business owners had the opportunity to learn more about the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout in their area at NBN information sessions held in Gumdale and Upper Mt Gravatt by Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta.

NBN Co representative Justin Thomson, and Telstra representatives Scott Mullaly and Sarah Kenny-Brand, joined Mr Vasta to help answer questions and provide solutions to attendees’ various connection issues.

“I’m pleased to report that 55 per cent of the NBN rollout is complete in Bonner, with all premises to have access to NBN services by 2020,” Mr Vasta said.

“Over time the NBN will replace most of the existing networks as the deliverer of a new service network. At the end of 2020, there will be further plans for path upgrades and speed building to ensure the best service is continually on offer for all users.”

Mr Vasta warned local residents to be wary of scammers going door-to-door or calling them.

“If you’ve been contacted by someone claiming the NBN is here already and that you must pay them to connect now, they’re scammers—please report them to my office,” Mr Vasta said.

Mr Thomson advised attendees to use the “Check your address” tool available at to find out when they can expect to be able to connect to the NBN.

He said every household that wanted to keep their landline and internet would be required to switch over to the NBN.

“Every premise in Australia will be connected to the NBN free-of-charge. You will then have 18 months from the installation date to switch over. This will give you plenty of time to shop around and look into the options and packages available to you,” Mr Thomson said.

“When contacting a service provider about switching over, ask them: what plan do they suggest, whether there will be any additional installation fees, and if you can keep your current home phone number—in most cases you’ll be able to. Have a good think about what plan will suit you best, you’ll have plenty of time to decide.”

Mr Mullaly said Telstra was working closely with NBN Co on the rollout, and that people could make NBN enquiries at any Telstra store.

“If you have any questions on the rollout and want to chat to someone about what’s available to you and the installation process, you can book an appointment at your local Telstra store to find out everything you need to know,” Mr Mullaly said.

When asked what options are available to people in a non-FTTN (Fibre to the Node) area looking to move onto FTTN, Mr Thomson said they should look into NBN Co’s Technology Choice Program.

“The Technology Choice Program gives interested parties the option to pay to switch over to FTTN or another NBN access network technology—look on the NBN website for more details,” Mr Thomson said.

Dr Richard Allen and Dr Michelle Allen from Upper Mount Gravatt said the forum they attended had been informative and well conducted.

“We came tonight to find out some information for our neighbours and we learned quite a bit,” Dr Michelle Allen said.

“We’ve found by contacting Ross’s office in the past with our NBN enquiries he’s been very helpful. We would recommend others to contact Ross as well if they run into any issues.”

Mr Vasta asked those with further issues or questions to contact his office or visit the NBN Co website at

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More than 35 residents from Gumdale, Wakerley and surrounding suburbs attended a crime mobile office hosted by Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta, and State Member for Chatsworth, Steve Minnikin, at Wakerley Park on Saturday morning.

The crime mobile office gave local residents the opportunity to share their crime and safety concerns with local police officers. Senior Sergeant Mark Norrish and Senior Sergeant Tony Brown from Wynnum Police Station answered attendees’ questions on local crime and police presence in the area.

“It’s good to get an idea of crime in our neighbourhood. Locals have been telling me about break-ins around this area, so I decided to hold this mobile office to give them the chance to air their concerns to local police and find out how they can protect themselves,” Mr Vasta said.

Mr Minnikin said it was important everyone felt safe in their homes and knew what they could do to keep their property secure.

“Residents received valuable information on what they can do at home; meanwhile Mr Vasta, the police and I were also able to hear firsthand the biggest concerns of our community,” Mr Minnikin said.

“Having an open communication line between residents, local police, Mr Vasta and myself means we can all work together to keep our community safe.”

Wakerley resident Leanne Swadling said she moved into the area in 2016 and had already experienced three attempted break-ins.

“It’s terrifying. I’ve got three young kids at home. I’ve come today to find out what’s going on and hear from police what they have to say,” Ms Swadling said.

Manly resident Tracey da Costa shared similar concerns, saying there had been break-ins in every second house of her street.

“There’s a feeling of absolute vulnerability. We had the Wakerley shooting the other week, and my daughter’s school was locked down because of an intruder. I couldn’t get to her. 

“Sometimes when my husband’s away from home, I sleep with a nine iron. I just want to know what can we do to make things safer?”

Senior Sergeant Tony Brown, who is currently in charge of Wynnum Station, said generally speaking crime in the area is on the way down.

“In the case of clusters of break-ins, our detectives are doing a good job. Nine out of ten cases are solved,” Snr Sgt Brown said.

When asked if Wynnum Station was a 24 hour police station, Snr Sgt Brown said the station opened according to demand.

“There are rarely walk-ins between 10pm and 6am, so we didn’t see a need for the station to be open 24/7. We would rather have officers out on the road where they’re needed rather than sitting behind a desk. We still have police cars deployed all throughout the night,” he said.

Gumdale resident Jan Evans said she attended the crime mobile office to thank officers for their consistent patrols in the neighbourhood.

“I hear police cars regularly doing the rounds in the middle of the night. It gives me peace of mind,” Ms Evans said.

“One time I went out at 3am in my car. I came back to the house to check if the garage door was locked. An officer stopped me to see what I was up to—he thought I was breaking into my house! It really gives me a sense of security that police are out there on the job looking out for residents.”

Wakerley resident Michael Norris said it was good of Mr Vasta to be out in the community listening to people’s concerns.

“I’ve had no problems with crime so far, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. I like to see how proactive police are being,” Mr Norris said.

Senior Sergeant Mark Norrish said people from outside the area were coming into the neighbourhood looking to commit break-ins.

“Wynnum Police is on them time and time again. We mobilise and do a good job, and that’s thanks to public input,” Snr Sgt Norrish said.

Mr Vasta said Wynnum police were doing an outstanding job and that they needed support from locals to keep crime down.

“I encourage you to connect with police and connect with us. Steve and I will be doing everything we can to help you,” Mr Vasta said.

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Local residents from the bayside and Gumdale-Wakerley areas joined officers from Wynnum Police, as well as volunteers from Crime Stoppers and Volunteers in Policing, at Coffee with a Cop hosted by Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta, in Manly West last Saturday.

Coffee with a Cop gave members of the community an opportunity to get to know their local police officers, discuss with them their experiences with crime, and seek advice on protecting their homes and properties from lawbreakers.

“I have received a fair amount of feedback from my constituents on local crime and safety. It’s a particularly vital issue for residents in the Gumdale-Wakerley area,” Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta said.

“This Coffee with a Cop was designed to start a conversation on crime in the area, and allow residents and local law enforcement to share their ideas on how to reduce and deter crime in the neighbourhood.”

Mr Vasta said the main issues of concern in the area were break-and-enters and hooning.

“It was great to see so many people taking the time to discuss local crime and help make our community safer,” Mr Vasta said.

“I will be using feedback from this Coffee with a Cop to develop a community-based program aimed at reducing crime and making the bayside and Gumdale-Wakerley neighbourhoods safer for everyone.”

“I will also be hosting more Coffee with a Cop sessions elsewhere in Bonner later this year, so stay tuned.”

Mr Vasta encouraged members of the public to complete his online Community Safety Survey at

He also thanked members of Volunteers in Policing for offering free security assessments for homes and businesses in the area, and encouraged locals to contact Wynnum Police Station for more information.

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Today I would like to speak on crime, an issue of growing concern in my electorate of Bonner. I have been receiving a fair amount of feedback from my constituents on local crime and safety. It is a particularly vital issue for residents in the Gumdale-Wakerley area. I would like to update the House on what I have been doing to address reports of crime in and around the suburbs and how locals can get involved to help tackle this problem.

Crime in the community can have a devastating impact, and I am not just talking about financial losses. Crime can also take a significant mental toll on its victims. Recently I heard from a constituent who lived in Wakerley for over 35 years. She told me that she used to be able to walk about in the neighbourhood without fear; but now, she says, most nights she is too afraid to go out alone. Her story and others like it have really touched me. It is important to feel safe and secure in our own homes and our own neighbourhoods. That is why this month I am launching a new campaign to identify crime and safety hotspots in the Gumdale-Wakerley area. This campaign will also give residents an opportunity to discuss crime with local law enforcement.

Earlier this month, I sent out a community safety survey to residents in the Gumdale-Wakerley area. This survey is helping me gauge how people feel about local crime levels, and how safe they feel in their community. It is also letting me know people's personal experiences with crime and their thoughts on the level of police protection in the area. I thank my constituents who have taken the time to complete and return my community safety survey. I have already had lots of great feedback and suggestions on what actions would be most helpful in alleviating crime in and around the Gumdale-Wakerley area.

Recently, I met with officers from the Wynnum Manly police station to discuss residents' concerns and a range of possible measures to reduce and deter crime in the Gumdale-Wakerley area. Since that meeting, Acting Senior Sergeant Carolyn Cox has graciously agreed to join me for a Coffee With a Cop event at Gloria Jeans Mayfair Village in Manly West next month. On Saturday 3 June from 10 o'clock to 11 o'clock, locals will be able to sit down with Sergeant Cox and Senior Constable Sharon Collins to share their thoughts on crime in the area, and they can ask any questions they may have on this important issue.

I am proud to be the sponsor of this neighbourhood safety initiative, and I thank local police and residents for their help in getting this crime campaign off the ground. I look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to ensure that everyone in our community is kept safe from crime.

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I’m pleased today to provide a positive update on the nbn rollout in Bonner. Under the Coalition’s revised rollout plan, thousands of people are being connected to the nbn each month. More people can access the nbn every month than Labor managed to connect the entire time they were in office!

The nbn has hit every rollout target the Coalition has set since coming to Government. This includes for Bonner.

Construction of the nbn network is now underway around the Eight Mile Plains and Capalaba exchanges. Right now, 1,100 premises in Eight Mile Plains are being equipped for fibre to the node connections. By Christmas it’s expected construction will begin for around 14,000 premises in the area.

Work is planned to progress south of the Eight Mile Plains site over the next few months. It is also expected to extend west of the Capalaba site, with nbn construction expected to begin in Chandler, Ransome and Gumdale before the end of the year.

There’s also good news for the Mt Gravatt region. Nbn network construction is planned to start in the Mt Gravatt area in the first half of 2017–mainly in areas of Upper Mt Gravatt, stretching toward Mackenzie. This is an area that, thanks to Labor’s mismanagement, has had to wait even longer for superfast broadband.

I’m thrilled for the locals in these areas who’ve been sharing with me for years their frustrations with slow, choppy internet. I’ve fought hard to bring the nbn to Bonner on their behalf and now it’s well on its way.

The vast majority of residents and businesses in Bonner will have access to the nbn in the next few years. Everyone in my electorate will have the nbn by 2020. This is a remarkable achievement and I thank my colleagues and nbn™ for working so hard to make this a reality.

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Member for Bonner Ross Vasta together with the Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield today announced that a re-elected Turnbull Coalition Team will deliver improved mobile phone coverage in Belmont, Burbank, Moreton Island and Gumdale, as part of an additional $60 million commitment to extend the successful Mobile Black Spot Programme.

“New mobile base stations in Belmont, Burbank, Moreton Island and Gumdale will bring a much-needed boost to mobile coverage, providing benefits to emergency service operators, businesses, and residents,” Mr Vasta said.

“I am pleased that under Round 1 of the Mobile Black Spot Programme, the electorate of Bonner will receive new mobile coverage to one mobile black spot area nominated by the public, with the results of Round 2 to be announced in the second half of 2016.

“The Turnbull Coalition Team understands the importance of mobile coverage in regional and remote areas of Australia and that is why we are committing an additional $60 million on top of the $160 million already invested in mobile black spots, bringing the Coalition’s total investment to $220 million,” Mr Vasta said.

To date, the Mobile Black Spots Programme has committed to 499 new or upgraded base stations covering around 3,000 black spots, which is the most significant one-time increase in mobile network coverage to regional and remote Australia.

Minister Fifield said the Coalition is committed to improving mobile coverage along major transport routes, in small communities and in locations prone to experiencing natural disasters, as well as addressing unique mobile coverage problems such as areas with high seasonal demand.

“Despite being in Government for six years, Labor did not spend one dollar on fixing mobile black spots in regional and remote Australia,” Minister Fifield said.

“The Coalition’s $220 million plan to address mobile black spots will ensure regional and remote communities have access to wider and more reliable mobile phone coverage.”

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Gumdale / Wakerley Telstra Tower – 90 Second Statement

I would like to commend a grassroots action group in Bonner for their dedication to protecting residents and wildlife in Gumdale and Wakerley. The No Telstra Tower near Gumdale School group was formed out of a concern over a proposed mobile phone tower site.

I have spoken previously in this chamber about the great work that the No Towers Near Guardian Angels group had made, and now the No Telstra Tower near Gumdale School group has also done an excellent job in raising awareness of this issue. They have encouraged more accountability from Telstra. Just recently they held a community meeting that was well attended despite short notice. This goes to show just how passionate people are in our electorate.

I share the group's uncertainty on the proposed tower's location. It is close to Gumdale State School, C&K Gumdale Community Kindergarten, Kindy Kapers Early Learning Centres at Wakerley and several private residences, as well as a protected koala habitat. I note that Telstra has shown it is willing to hear out concerns over its proposal. Telstra representatives have met with me recently to discuss the proposal at length. Tonight Telstra will also be holding a community information session for residents.

I recognise that measures to satisfy the concerns of a section of the community must be balanced with the wider community's need for improved mobile services. I am pleased that the actions of the No Telstra Tower near Gumdale School group have ensured a more balanced result for all involved. I applaud them for their commitment and hard work. I will continue to work with the group and with Telstra to achieve a desirable and practical outcome.

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Eastside Community Church Christmas Carols

When: Sunday, 21st December – 5.30pm (free sausage sizzle and kids activities); 6.30pm (Christmas carols).
Where: Eastside Community Church, Cnr Wondall Rd & Manly Rd, Gumdale.

Join Eastside Community Church to celebrate the joy of the holidays and take part in their Community Carols. Please bring your own chairs and/or blanket. Coffee and other drinks available to purchase.

For more information visit or contact them on (07) 3823 4455.

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