Last month I spoke about one of the extraordinary volunteers in my electorate, Irene Edwards. Earlier this year Irene received a Medal of the Order of Australia for her volunteer work at Wynnum Manly Meals on Wheels and other local organisations.

Today I want to talk about her husband Ken Edwards, also OAM. Ken is the President of the Wynnum Manly Meals on Wheels. Thanks to Ken’s efforts and other Meals on Wheels volunteers, and the support of the community, construction on the brand new Wynnum Manly Meals on Wheels kitchen and community centre at Wakerley has begun. It’s been a decades-long journey for Ken and the others. It’s a great story I wanted to share, one that others can take inspiration from.

I’m proud to support an outstanding organisation like Meals on Wheels. I think we all know someone Meals on Wheels has helped, whether it’s themselves or an aged, frail or disabled relative or friend. I very much support efforts to improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable members of our society; the Coalition government’s announcement of the aged care royal commission this week was very welcome.

But getting back to Meals on Wheels, the volunteers at Wynnum Manly have made such a huge difference at the local level. I turned the first sod at the new Wakerley site last Friday. Let me tell you, seeing the happiness on Ken’s face and how excited everyone was, it really made me proud to have secured them $300,000 in federal funding at the last election to fit out and equip their new facility. As well as a $20,000 Stronger Communities grant they used to purchase new kitchen equipment.

I also have to commend Brisbane City Council and my colleague Councillor Ryan Murphy for making the site available for lease to the Meals on Wheels.

These are significant investments from government. But compare it to everything the local community’s put toward getting the new Meals on Wheels facility up and running. Since 1995, they’ve fundraised tirelessly to make their new and improved home a reality. Together they’ve raised $2.8 million. What an achievement!

In Ken’s words, it’s been a very hard, dogged slug for this length of time. The hard work and perseverance from everyone involved has been such an inspiration. And I’m glad to say the benefits will flow on to the whole community.

The centre’s state-of-the-art commercial kitchen will allow the Meals on Wheels volunteers to cook, prepare and deliver more hot meals to more homes in the community. That means more people that will receive help to stay independent and remain in their own homes for longer. The fully-equipped kitchen will also ensure the Meals on Wheels can prepare meals to their usual high standards.

But that’s not all. The centre will also have many other features that local groups will be able to use for seminars, public meetings, training workshops, and other community events and activities.

There’ll be a community meeting room available for hire that can hold up to 150 people. Training spaces will be available, as well as a board room with a complete audio visual fit out, volunteer facilities, a veranda café, and a separate community kitchen.

Sporting spaces will also be available to sports groups in the area. Brisbane City Council is planning to build netball courts behind the new facility. These will be complemented by a canteen, dressing room and toilets underneath the new facility.

I’m so proud to be part of this government that recognises the importance of investing in vital community infrastructure projects like this. The new Meals on Wheels centre will help those in the community who need it most. It’s brought the community together, and when it’s completed it will serve to strengthen community ties. And it will also provide a boost to the local economy by creating dozens of construction jobs.

I can’t wait to see the completed kitchen and community centre and join everyone on opening day. I have to thank Ken and the rest of the Meals on Wheels volunteers, and everyone who donated to this worthy project, for their unwavering dedication. Thanks to your efforts the bayside community will benefit from this fantastic facility for years to come.

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Wynnum Manly Rotary Club Community Family Fun Day – 20 May 2018

Sunday 20th MAY 2018 from 10 am to 2 pm

FREE COMMUNITY FAMILY FUN DAY – this is a chance for families to get together, have some fun and learn about how to stay safe in the community!!

Enjoy Becoming Involved and Staying Involved at our local Community Family Fun Day where we bring the community together for education and fun.
Wynnum Manly Rotary Club with the support of local businesses and local community organisations is hosting a FREE Community Family Fun Day at Bandstand Park on the Lower Esplanade Wynnum from 10 am until 2 pm on Sunday 20th May 2018.

This is an initiative by Rotary with the focus on reducing crime and violence and improving the safety of our community through education, support and access to local services at a fun day out with family and friends.

There are loads of FREE fun activities to be enjoyed by all and a wonderful opportunity to meet members from our local Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance Services who continue to offer great support across the community.

• Sausage Sizzle • Fresh Fruit
• Popcorn • Face Painting
• Jumping Castle • Balloon Twister
• Photo Booth • Farm Animals
• AFL Footy Handball • Tug of War
• Sack Races • Egg and Spoon Races
• LIVE Music
• Show Bag 
• Beyond Blue • Kindergarten Art Activities
• Make It Home Initiative
• Volunteering in Policing

Wynnum Manly Rotary Club President Selwyn Payne says “Wynnum Manly Rotary Club is committed to strengthening family safety through continued education and support and believes that celebrating Family Fun Day with access to information and fun activities is an important first step in helping to keep our local community aware and safe”.

For further media information contact: 
Jo-Anne O’Connor, Wynnum Manly Rotary Club
Mobile: 0407 522 347

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Brisbane City Council is getting on with the job of ensuring residents get home quicker and safer, with the final designs released for a major upgrade of the Green Camp Road corridor. 

Infrastructure Chairman Amanda Cooper said the $28 million upgrade project, which was jointly funded with the Australian Government, would deliver vital infrastructure for our growing population. 

“The Green Camp Road upgrade is a priority investment as part of our $1.3 billion package of more than 90 suburban road projects across the city, which will tackle traffic congestion while also catering for future growth,” Cr Cooper said.  

“The project focuses on two key intersections along the stretch, with works to upgrade the Tilley Road intersection, as well as improvements to the layout and alignment of the Rickertt Road intersection. 

“The section of road between Rickertt Road and Manly Road will also be widened from one lane each way to a minimum of two lanes in each direction, and three lanes northbound through the Tilley Road intersection. 

“This will increase capacity for the corridor, which is already choked with traffic during peak periods, and cut travel times by around 50 percent in the morning and 35 percent in the afternoon.”

Chandler Ward Councillor Adrian Schrinner said the project would address serious safety concerns along the stretch, and was predicted to reduce crash risks through the area by more than half. 

“Fifty-seven crashes have occurred along the corridor over the past seven years, with 46 crashes requiring medical treatment or hospitalisation,” Cr Schrinner said. 

Doboy Ward Councillor Ryan Murphy said as well as ensuring residents get home quicker and safer, the project would also ensure a safer journey for native wildlife. 

“A range of environmental features have also been incorporated into the design including fauna exclusion fencing, dedicated underpasses, rope crossings and glider poles,” Cr Murphy said. 

“Green-coloured road pavement markings and signage will also be installed to alert motorists they are entering a wildlife awareness zone.”

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta said the project would mean a safer trip for those who commute along the corridor, including cyclists and pedestrians and would ease congestion, helping to get people home quicker.

“The community’s support for an upgrade to these roads has been overwhelming. I’m proud to have helped deliver this project for them,” Mr Vasta said. 

“I’m looking forward to working productively with each level of government to deliver more vital infrastructure projects like this one for our area.”

Federal Member for Bowman Andrew Laming said the collaboration between Brisbane City Council and the Australian Government would deliver huge benefits for residents. 

“This partnership between Canberra and Brisbane City Council is addressing a massive economic bottle neck for my residents as well,” Mr Laming said.   

“I’m delighted this high-quality project to expand Green Camp Road to four lanes is being delivered as promised to Brisbane City Council and Redland City residents.”

To facilitate the upgrade, a temporary closure of Tilley Road – adjacent to the Green Camp Road intersection – will be required for approximately three months. 

This closure will allow culvert installation and Tilley Road widening works to be completed within a shorter timeframe, reducing impacts to residents and businesses. 

Detour signage will be installed and the community will be given advanced warning to allow for alternative plans to be made. 

Construction is expected to commence in mid-2018 and be completed by mid-2019, weather and construction conditions permitting.

For more information on the Green Camp Road corridor upgrade visit or call Council on 3403 8888.

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I’m happy to report the first Bonner Seniors’ Expo I hosted late last year was a huge success! So many people have told me how much they enjoyed the Expo and how much useful information they got out of it. Over 300 locals from across my electorate came along to enjoy the free entertainment and free information sessions, and to have a chat with the 55 stallholders who took part on the day.

Stallholders included local activity groups, local small businesses, and local service providers including aged care providers from across my electorate. People said the best part of the Expo was the sheer number and variety of stallholders brought together under one roof.

There were also information sessions run by representatives from the Department of Health, Department of Human Services, South Queensland Police, Helloworld Travel Wynnum, Tyack Health and more, which many people found useful.

Lastly can I also thank: the wonderful folks at Waterloo Bay Leisure Centre; local stores Juicy Secrets and Bare Traps for their fashion show; students from the Guardian Angels choir for their beautiful performance; the EACH Zumba group for their entertaining dances and for being up for an encore when the crowd demanded it; and TransitCare for providing free bus trips for people living further away.

I’m humbled by the community’s support for the first Bonner Seniors’ Expo. I can’t wait to bring it back even bigger and better next year.

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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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The inaugural Bonner Seniors’ Expo hosted yesterday by Federal Member Ross Vasta MP was a huge success, with over 300 locals from across the electorate attending and 55 stallholders participating on the day.

“I’m proud to support our valuable local seniors and help them find out what services they can access in the community and how,” Mr Vasta said.

“So many people have told me how much they’re enjoying the Expo and how much useful information they’re getting out of it. They’ve told me they’re hoping it becomes a regular event and I’m definitely looking at bringing it back even bigger and better next year!”

Lota residents Sydney and Carol Lawrence thanked Mr Vasta for holding the Expo and said the local area needed an event like it.

“It’s drawn some great crowds and hopefully it can become a feature event for the community,” Mr Lawrence said.

“We’ve discovered a lot of new things today that we wouldn’t have known about otherwise.”

Barry Tewes from Upper Mt Gravatt said he’d recently gotten on the pension, and had come along to the Expo to find out what was out there for him.

“I’ve discovered lots of things I didn’t know about and found out about some good activities. This is a great event that deserves to grow bigger next year. I hope it does,” Mr Tewes said.

There were several informative talks held throughout the day and information stalls run by local activity groups.

“It’s great to have all these different groups and organisations under the one roof for people to discover,” Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed committee member Bart McKnight said.

“This event will really benefit the people coming along today.”

Past President of the Lions Club of Brisbane MacGregor Kathy McCarthy said it was an excellent event with a great turnout.

“It was so good of Ross to organise it. There are so many stallholders here, and there’s such a good variety of stallholders too,” Mrs McCarthy said.

She encouraged seniors to attend their MacGregor Lions Health and Wellbeing Expo to be held in Mt Gravatt next March.

CEO of Tyack Health, Joel Tyack, spoke on how people can stay healthy and active in their older years.

“I think the Expo is a fantastic initiative. I can tell from people’s enthusiasm that they’re really enjoying it,” Mr Tyack said. 

“It’s a great way for people to get out and about and enjoy themselves.”

Sailability Bayside volunteer Geoff Grace said the Expo would help people know what was available in their local area.

“It was great of Ross to set this up and bring so many local organisations and businesses together at one event for people to find,” Mr Grace said.

Mr Vasta said he hoped the Expo had helped and entertained everyone who attended, and encouraged attendees to contact his office to share their feedback with him.

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I wanted to share an exciting event coming up in my electorate. Next month I’m going to be holding the very first Bonner Seniors’ Expo at Waterloo Bay Leisure Centre. It’ll be on from 10am to 4pm on the 22nd of November, and what a day it’s going to be.

The Expo will be a fantastic event for seniors with free entry, free entertainment, a lucky door prize, complimentary afternoon tea, and free bus transport for the whole day. There’ll be key note speakers from various government departments and community organisations who’ll be on hand to answer people’s questions. And there’ll also be several local small businesses set up on the day for people to browse and discover.

I’ve found many of my senior constituents often don’t know about all the services and programs that are available in the community to help them. So I’ve invited representatives from the Department of Health, Department of Human Services, NBN Co, South Queensland Police, Hearing Well Australia, FSG Australia, Carers Queensland, Metro South Health and more to come along and let people know what they have access to.

I’ve also invited a number of local aged care providers who’ll be providing lots of great information about seniors’ care options in the community. This includes Janoah Gardens, Nazareth Care Wynnum, Regis Wynnum, Anglicare Southern Queensland, Mackenzie Aged Care, Aveo Manly Gardens and more.

There’ll also be stalls for Wynnum Manly Meals on Wheels, Wynnum Bowls Club, Manly Bowls Club, Sailability Bayside, Mt Gravatt Mens’ Shed, Port of Brisbane Rotary and many more local groups. Tyack Health from Manly West will be holding a session on how seniors can stay active and healthy. Helloworld Travel Wynnum will be providing travel advice for people thinking of taking a trip for the holidays.

All up there’ll be over 40 stalls, but that’s not all. There’ll be a bunch of entertainment on over the course of the day. First up is a fashion show showcasing all the latest designs from local clothes shop Juicy Secrets and local shoe outlet Bare Traps. Next is a performance from the Zumba dance group from the EACH Social Activity Club, who I’ve spoken about before here. And finally students from the Guardian Angels choir will be singing during afternoon tea.

It’s going to be a fantastic day and thanks to everyone in the community who’s helped me make the Bonner Seniors’ Expo a reality. Special thanks goes to TransitCare and Community Flyer for providing free bus trips for people attending! I can’t wait to see everyone on the day and I’m proud to support the local seniors’ community with this very special event.

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The NBN rollout continues to be an issue of high concern to my constituents. I am pleased to have another positive update for Bonner locals.

NBN Co has advised me that 21 per cent of the NBN rollout is complete in Bonner, thanks to the Coalition government's revised rollout plan. Every premise in my electorate will have access to NBN services by 2020.

The majority of residents and businesses in Bonner will have access within the next year. Over time, the NBN will replace most of the existing networks as the deliverer of a new service network. This means that, at the end of 2020, there will be further plans for path upgrades and speed building. This will ensure that all users in my electorate will continue to have access to the best service possible.

Many people have been asking me about the NBN and what they should do when it reaches their door. Many of my constituents, particularly older residents, have come to me worried about how the compulsory switchover to the NBN will affect them.

To help answer their questions, I recently hosted three community information sessions with representatives from NBN Co. We first visited the Eight Mile Plains-Wishart area to take questions from local residents and business owners. We held two seniors information sessions for locals from the Wynnum Manly and Mt Gravatt areas.

Many attendees have told me how helpful they found these sessions. Common questions addressed included: what steps people must take to switch over to the NBN; whether extra devices are needed to be installed inside their home; and how people can check whether medical devices connected to their landline will be compatible with the NBN. Attendees also learned how they should shop around for a suitable provider in order to get the best possible broadband speeds to suit their requirements.

These NBN information sessions were such a success that I will be holding another one around the Carindale-Carina area in the near future. I look forward to doing more with the NBN as it continues to roll out in my electorate.

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Local residents and business owners had the opportunity to learn more about the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout in Wynnum and Manly, thanks to an NBN information session today hosted by Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta.

NBN Co representatives, Kylie Lindsay and Johanna de Winter, joined Mr Vasta to help answer questions and provide solutions to attendees’ various connection issues.

“I’m pleased to report that 21 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 said the NBN would be available in the Wynnum-Manly area by mid- to late 2018.

“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.

Mrs Lindsay 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,” Mrs Lindsay 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.”

Mrs de Winter said people should also consider any medical devices they had currently connected to their home phone lines, and whether they would be compatible with the NBN.

“If you depend on medical alarms, auto diallers, or emergency call buttons, we recommend that you speak to your medical alarm provider before switching over to the NBN and ensure your medical device will keep working,” Mrs de Winter said.

“For additional support, you can also register your medical alarm with the NBN online at or by calling 1800 227 300.”

In response to questions about whether extra boxes would be required inside the home to be connected to the NBN, Mrs Lindsay said there are a number of different solutions depending on the location of a person’s property and the service NBN Co is able to provide.

“You may have FTTP (Fibre to the Premise), FTTN (Fibre to the Node), or HFC (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial), which will determine whether you have additional devices to be installed at your premise or not. Discuss with your service provider about what will be required to be installed in your home,” Mrs Lindsay said.

Mrs Lindsay said NBN Co understood many people were frustrated about being told one thing by NBN and another by their service providers in regards to solving their connection issues. She said there is currently an ACCC investigation ongoing and that NBN Co is confident there will be positive outcomes for all consumers following the investigation.

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

Due to popular demand, Mr Vasta will be hosting another NBN information session at Mt Gravatt Showgrounds on Thursday, 13th July from 10am to 11am (RSVP to or call 3893 3488).

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