Morrison government’s economic recovery plan delivering for women

Australia has achieved the highest female participation rate in the workforce ever recorded by the Australian Bureau of Statistics at 61.8%, up from 61.4% in February today’s unemployment figures show.

Unemployment overall declined to 5.6%, down from 5.8% in February, with around 71,000 jobs created. Of those around 55,400 or 78% went to women.

Female rates of underemployment have also fallen to the lowest level in over seven years.

“These figures are a welcome confirmation that the Morrison Government’s economic recovery plan is delivering for women.” Minister for Women’s Economic Security Senator the Hon Jane Hume said.

“Increasing female participation in the workforce is key to enhancing women’s economic security, and that is exactly what the Morrison Government is achieving.”

“Whether it be income tax cuts, business investment incentives, female entrepreneur programs or our investments in infrastructure, skills and training – the Morrison Government’s record investment in Australia’s economic recovery is delivering for women.”

The Morrison Government welcomes these positive numbers. However, the impact of COVID-19 will continue to be felt for some time and there is still a long road ahead.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said he was very pleased with these numbers as they represent more balanced workforces and progression towards closing gender employment gaps across the electorate.

“What we want to see is greater social and economic benefits for the electorate as well as workforces that reflect our community. This goes hand in hand with our commitment to further supporting choice and boosting workforce participation for women.

“Strong efforts are needed to continue building on this commitment and the recent figures released by the Morrison Government are evidence we are on the right track.”

The Government’s Economic Recovery Plan, described by the OECD as ‘key’ to saving jobs,will continue to create employment opportunities in Australia and secure the economic and labour market future for all Australians, and particularly Australian women.


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Extension planned for Minnippi Parklands’ bikeway

An extension of the Minnippi Parklands bikeway is one of 41 projects to benefit from a $40 million Morrison Government funding injection into infrastructure upgrades across the Brisbane region.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the funding had been delivered to Brisbane City Council through the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Grants.

“This funding will support a year’s worth of employment and support to local businesses and industries around Brisbane,” Mr Vasta said.

“I am very pleased my electorate of Bonner will benefit from this funding injection, with construction of a bikeway through Minnippi Parklands.

“The project will cost around $3.7 million and connect Wynnum Road and Creek Road through the existing bushland reserve.”

Mr Vasta said construction would get underway in mid-2021 and be completed by the end of the year.

“This new bikeway will be up and running by the summer school holidays so it will get plenty of use,” Mr Vasta said.

“Thanks to the Morrison Government, Brisbane City Council will be able to deliver a diverse range of projects across the city, including this project in my electorate of Bonner,” Mr Vasta said.

“These local projects will put money into the pockets of local suppliers and residents, putting a much-needed economic boost to our region.”

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Government invests $50.6 million to back our athletes

The Morrison Government is backing high performing athletes by investing $50.6 million over the next two years to ensure Australia remains a world-leading sporting nation.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said there had never been a more important time to ensure talented athletes and coaches were supported as they worked towards their ultimate goals.

“This funding will support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes and coaches across Bonner, many who use the Brisbane Aquatic Centre and Anna Meares Velodrome at Chandler, as they prepare for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics and Paralympics,” Mr Vasta said.

“We also have the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games coming up our athletes need to prepare for.”

Minister for Youth and Sport Senator Richard Colbeck said the government was committed to helping Australia’s sporting sector impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics likely to be the first major international sporting event to take place following the COVID-19 pandemic, Australian athletes are set to inspire the next generation,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Sport Australia will distribute the high-performance grants to our national sporting organisations who will identify, train and develop their most promising athletes.

“The Government is aware many national sporting organisations have had to stand down staff and reduce their hours because of COVID-19.

“Without this investment to high performance funding, there is a significant risk our best coaches and high-performance support staff will face an uncertain future.”

Minister Colbeck said the measure would ensure core funding for athletes and coaches was maintained at record levels, and build on the Morrison Government’s recent investments to support athlete wellbeing and pathways for young aspiring Olympians and Paralympians.

Additionally, as part of the previously announced $70 million Supporting Sport and Physical Activity election commitment, Minister Colbeck said more than $3.9 million would be brought forward to invest in five projects to improve infrastructure at high performance facilities across Australia.

It forms a part of the $11.5 million to support infrastructure upgrades at high-performance facilities.

“One of these recipients will be the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, which will receive $800,000 to improve training equipment available for aerial skiing and snowboarding,” Minister Colbeck said.

Other recipients include Swimming Australia which receives $725,000 to equip at least one pool in each state with the latest technology, including cameras and instrumented turning plates and Paddle Australia which will benefit from an allocation of $1.25 million to improve its high-performance facilities.

Minister Colbeck said the investments support the Australian Government’s Sport 2030 objective of backing our best athletes, coaches and sporting bodies to develop a high-performance culture.

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First Home Loan Deposit Scheme’s successful first year

Australian first home buyers have now reserved all of this financial year’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme guarantees.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said this was a major milestone for the Scheme which was a key election commitment of the Morrison Government to help Australians get into their first home sooner.

“Saving a deposit for your first home can be a real struggle, with most banks and lenders requiring a 20 per cent minimum deposit, or forcing borrowers to pay tens of thousands of dollars extra with mortgage insurance,” Mr Vasta.

“I am so please this Morrison Government scheme has provided 10,000 Australians with the opportunity to purchase their first home with a deposit of as little as five per cent with the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme offering a guarantee on the loan.

“Although all the places have been reserved, from July 1, the scheme will be back up for grabs so I encourage those in Bonner saving for their first home to speak to their bank or lender about taking part.”

National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) data shows applications for guaranteed loans are being received from all parts of our community, be it in our capital cities, regional centres or rural areas.

Intended purchase location data presently shows the following amount of guarantees have been secured in each state and territory:

  • New South Wales: 3,114
  • Victoria: 2,306
  • Queensland: 2,111
  • Western Australia: 550
  • South Australia: 413
  • ACT: 200
  • Tasmania: 183
  • Northern Territory: 35

NHFIC data also shows it is Australians on middle incomes who are taking advantage of the Scheme, with the average income of applicants are well below the Scheme’s caps.

The average income of single applicants is $67,387 ($125,000 cap) and for couples $109,525 ($200,000 cap).

The Scheme has proven most popular with first home buyers under the age of 30 years of age who have secured 58 per cent of guarantees.

Another positive Scheme outcome is the fact that 12 per cent of guarantees have been secured by Australians over the age of 40.

This is a clear indication Scheme is helping Australians who are a bit older and may have struggled in the past to get a deposit together.

Also, the largest amount of applications for guarantees, 44 per cent, have been made through mortgage brokers.

Despite the COVID-19 health crisis causing a slight flattening of demand in the Scheme in mid-March, first home buyers have shown huge confidence in the housing market and have moved quickly to secure the remaining guarantees available before the 30 June deadline.

On 1 July 2020, a further 10,000 guarantees will become available to first home buyers, and given buyer’s initial reception of the Scheme they will be highly sought after.

For more information on the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme visit:

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Improved access to My Aged Care for seniors

Improvements to the My Aged Care website have been made to provide easier access to the online portal for older Australians.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the My Aged Care website and it’s helpline were key resources for delivering care to those who need it most.

“The helpline has a strong record of answering calls quickly with unanswered calls dropping below two per cent in 2019-2020,” Mr Vasta said.

“With improvements to our helpline and online portal, we’re now exploring opportunities for further face-to-face support.”

Minister for Aged Care Richard Colbeck MP said the department was also exploring new support opportunities so there was no wrong door to access aged care services.

“In 2018-19, over 440,000 face-to-face assessments were completed to support older Australians, so we’re exploring opportunities for further face-to-face support to be provided through a wider range of community organisations,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Elderly and senior Australians deserve the highest possible standards and practices when it comes to delivering care and offering families’ peace of mind.“We will continue to implement changes and remain focused as the important work of the Royal Commission continues and anticipate its final recommendations on November 12.”

For more information visit

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Get the facts about immunisation

The Morrison Government has launched a new education campaign targeted at parents of young children to help boost low vaccination rates.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said although almost 95 percent of five-year-old children were vaccinated in Australia, there were areas where the immunisation rate was too low.

“The ‘Get the Facts about Immunisation’ campaign will help parents access evidence-based information to support their decision making about childhood vaccinations,” Mr Vasta said.

“The science is proven and the medical experts’ advice is absolute – vaccinations save and protect lives and are essential to a healthy society.

“Skipping or delaying vaccinations puts children and those around them at risk of catching serious diseases.  “It’s important children receive their vaccine on time, every time, for the best protection.”

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged five years are above the National Immunisation Target at 96.87 percent as a direct result of a micro-targeting advertising campaign.

“I am confident this campaign will boost immunisation rates across the country to the national target of 95 percent,” Mr Vasta said.

The eight week campaign will run nationally on television for the first time, supported by a range of online channels.

For more information visit immunisation coverage rates

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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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Construction ramps up on Brisbane Metro

Construction is ramping up on the state-of-the-art Brisbane Metro depot to house the fleet of fully-electric vehicles.

It is a major milestone for the $944 million Metro project with 165 direct jobs expected to be created during the construction phase.

Brisbane Metro will provide services every three minutes in peak periods, reducing travel times by up to half, busting congestion and improving the greater Brisbane public transport network.

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge MP said works on the Rochedale site would include the removal and relocation of a number of buildings.

“Construction is underway and this work will continue throughout 2020,” Mr Tudge said.

“The Metro project will revolutionise the way Brisbane commuters travel by doing away with the need for timetables.”

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said a tender was announced for a fleet of fully-electric Metro vehicles and they were finalising the depot design to include charging infrastructure for these vehicles.

“The depot will be the base for an initial fleet of 60 new electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, maintenance and staff facilities,” Cr Shrinner said.

“There is also capacity for future growth at the School Road location at Rochedale as the Brisbane Metro system expands.

“This major infrastructure development is expected to start next year and take two years to build in time for the delivery of the full Metro vehicle fleet.”

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said Brisbane commuters were excited to see the Brisbane Metro up and running soon.

“Brisbane Metro will have four stops in my electorate of Bonner and I have no doubt once completed we will see thousands of commuters embracing this new public transport infrastructure,” Mr Vasta said.

“This project is expected to provide significant benefits right across the Brisbane CBD and Brisbane’s southern suburbs.”

Intersection upgrades at the corner of Peel and Merivale Street and Peel Street and Cordelia Street, in South Brisbane and Skew Street and Upper Roma Street in the CBD have already been completed as part of the Brisbane Metro project.

Council is finalising the procurement process for the design and construction of the Brisbane Metro depot. The Request for Tender is expected to be released in mid-2020 and awarded by mid to late 2020.

The preferred tenderer involving Brisbane-based suppliers Volgren and world-leading electric-vehicle producer HESS to deliver 60 vehicles for the Brisbane Metro, was announced in November.

The initial Metro pilot vehicle will arrive this year and be housed at Volgren’s Eagle Farm workshop to allow for trials and testing in local operating conditions.

The project will drive jobs and economic growth, with an extra 40 jobs created in Brisbane for fit-out and maintenance of the Metro vehicles when they are delivered.

Flash charging technology at each end of the route will recharge the vehicles in just six minutes, meaning passengers will get home safer and quicker in a Metro vehicle with no tailpipe emissions.

Council is delivering the $944 million fully-funded Brisbane Metro in partnership with the Australian Government which has committed $300 million to the project.

Preliminary works for Brisbane Metro will commence around the Cultural Centre in early 2020.

Stage 1 of Brisbane Metro will provide a 21-kilometre service connecting 18 stations along dedicated busways between Eight Mile Plains and Roma Street, and Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and University of Queensland.

Stage 2 may see services expanded to Carindale in Brisbane’s south east and to Chermside and Brisbane Airport in Brisbane’s north.

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Bonner  veterans and their families will benefit from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ (DVA) Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) grants program.

Federal Member, Ross Vasta MP said this funding will help Bonner  ex‑service and community organisations to continue to put veterans and their families first.

“It is through the dedication and hard work of ex-service and community organisations that veterans and their families receive services, support and opportunities allowing them to continue active roles in their local communities,” Mr Vasta said.

“I congratulate the Manly-Lota RSL for receiving a $24,207.75 grant through DVA’s Building Excellence in Support and Training grants program.

The Manly-Lota RSL have provided continued to support to our veterans and their families through their programs.”

MR Vasta said that ex‑service and community organisations, veteran groups and private organisations play a crucial role in supporting the health and welfare of the veteran community.

“Thank you to these organisations for provide support to our veterans and their families when it is most needed.

“The Government will continue to support veterans and their families by providing more than $4 million to 139 projects across the country.”

For more information on BEST grants visit the grants page on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website (

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Men’s Shed Life Week to combat loneliness

Men’s Shed is celebrating Shed Life Week at four locations across the Bonner electorate to encourage men from all walks of life to build and create together.

With over a thousand locations across Australia, Men Shed aims to be a creative space to combat isolation and loneliness as well as reduce preventable mental health issues.

“Bonner is home to four Men Sheds that do amazing work to foster a sense of community for men of all ages to build and create with the latest shed tools,” Mr Vasta said.

“They’re also a place men can come together to openly talk about import issues relating to their physical and mental health shoulder-to-shoulder.

“Originating in Toowoomba, Men’s Shed has gained momentum world wide breaking the stigma around masculinity and to semi-retired to retired men on the same page about their issues.”

Shed Life Week encourages members to showcase their craftsmanship from around the world, open their doors to new members and promote talking about issues that matter to men’s health.

To find out how you can get involved with your local Men’s Shed visit:

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