Stage 2 Lindum Crossing upgrades underway

With stage one safety upgrades completed to the Lindum level crossing, work has begun on Stage two upgrades to improve safety for motorists, pedestrians, and commuters.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said since securing the $85 million Federal Funding for this project in 2019, he had been working with the state and local council to move forward with vital safety improvements.

“I’ve been fighting for this upgrade since 2017 when over 7000 locals in Bonner signed my petition to fix Lindum crossing,” Mr Vasta said.

“Sadly, we have lost too many lives at this dangerous level crossing, and while stage one safety improvements are completed thanks to $1 million from our $85 million, I am very pleased work on stage two is now underway.”

Mr Vasta said the immediate safety upgrade to Lindum crossing included the installation of new and extended median islands, as well as new on-road line markings and resurfacing.

“The second stage utilises $10 million of our government’s $85 million commitment and involves realigning and signalising the intersection at the level crossing,” Mr Vasta said.

“I will continue to work with all levels of government and deliver on my commitment to the people of Bonner to fix Lindum crossing and provide an upgrade that safely caters for commuters, school children, business, bike riders and pedestrians.”

More information on stage one and two Lindum safety upgrade works is available here.

In addition to the Federal Government’s commitment, Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Government have each committed $5 million to stage two of the project.

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Nominate an outstanding volunteer in our community

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Bonner Volunteer Awards, to help recognise outstanding local volunteers and volunteer groups in the Bonner electorate.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta is encouraging local people to nominate individuals and groups that have demonstrated outstanding volunteer qualities, made a significant and lasting contribution to the community, and set a good example for fellow volunteers and inspired others to volunteer.

Nominations open 29 March, 2021 and close 19 April, 2021 in the following categories:

  • Student (17 years and under)
  • Young adult (18 to 24 years)
  • Adult (25 to 64 years)
  • Senior (65+ years)
  • Group/organisation

Winners will be presented their awards at a special ceremony on 5 May, 2021

“Volunteers are often the unsung heroes of our community, so I’m pleased to hold these awards to shine a spotlight on them and the vital work they perform within our community,” Mr Vasta said.

Nomination forms can be completed online here. Alternatively, a paper nomination form can be requested by phoning (07) 3893 3488 or emailing

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Join the 2021 Bonner Youth Advisory Council

Students in Bonner can have their say on the issues important to them by taking part in the 2021 Bonner Youth Advisory Council (BYAC).

Launched in 2020, BYAC invites each high school in the electorate to select students to take part in the program, which provides young people the opportunity to meet with Mr Vasta and other community leaders.

“BYAC participants can be chosen by their school or they can self-nominate for the chance to be the youth voice of their peers,” Mr Vasta said.

“These are the future leaders of our country and we want to share and learn about the issues important to them.”

Mr Vasta said it was also a great opportunity for young people to learn about the role government’s play in their local community.

“The more they understand how the levels of government work and who is responsible for what, it provides them a clearer path on how to get involved, give feedback and influence change on the matters they care about,” Mr Vasta said.

“If you would like to be part of the 2021 BYAC, you can be nominated through your local high school or contact my office.”

Mr Vasta said BYAC members would have the opportunity to meet with different Members of Parliament and other community leaders to learn about the role they play, and share their feedback on important matters.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to have a voice and influence change,” Mr Vasta said.

Young people aged 15 – 17 can nominate for the BYAC by emailing

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New medicines on the PBS for Australians with MS and cancer

From 1 November the Morrison Government will invest more than $86 million over the next four years to provide greater access to life saving medicines for Australians living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and various forms of cancer.

MS is the most commonly acquired neurological disease in younger adults with over 25,600 Australians living with MS and over 2.3 million people affected globally.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt MP said the average age of diagnosis was only 30 and around 75 per cent of those affected with MS in Australia were female.

“There is a high clinical need for effective treatments for patients with progressive forms of relapse onset multiple sclerosis,” Minister Hunt said.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said Mayzent® (siponimod) would be listed on the PBS for the first time to treat those patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.

“Without PBS subsidy, these patients would pay more than $25,000 per year for treatment with approximately 800 patients benefiting from this listing each year,” Mr Vasta said.

“The PBS subsidy now means patients will only need to pay $41 per prescription, or $6.60 with a concession card.”

In addition to this listing, Australians diagnosed with a rare type of lymphoma which affects the skin will receive subsidised access to a new medication and specialised treatment from 1 November 2020, through an investment of over $11.5 million.

Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that affects the skin and causes an accumulation of malignant T-cells in the skin, resulting in raised, rash-like or itchy patches of skin, skin lumps or ulcers and swollen lymph nodes.

Mr Vasta said Uvadex® (methoxsalen) would be listed on the PBS for the first time for treatment of patients with erythrodermic cutaneous T-cell lymphoma who have not responded to other treatments.

“Around 75 patients per year may benefit from this listing and without this PBS subsidy, these Australians would pay more than $3400 per year,” Mr Vasta said.

Other PBS listings from 1 November ­– announced in the Budget 2020-21 – include the expanded listing of:

  • Tecentriq® and Avastin® (atezolizumab and bevacizumab) for use in combination to treat patients with advanced unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of primary liver cancer. An average of 500 patients per year may benefit from this. They would normally pay up to $170,000 for a course of treatment without PBS subsidy;
  • Lynparza® (olaparib) for the treatment of newly diagnosed advanced high grade epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancers. An average of 300 patients per year may benefit from this listing and would normally pay around $140,500 per course of treatment for this medicine.

These PBS listings have been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

Since 2013, the Australian Government has approved over 2,450 new or amended listings on the PBS.

This represents an average of around 30 listings or amendments per month – or one each day – at an overall investment by the Government of $11.8 billion.

The Morrison Government’s commitment to ensuring that Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.

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Transforming our manufacturing industry to grow jobs in Bonner

The Morrison Government is launching a new era of Australian manufacturing, as part of our JobMaker Plan to rebuild the economy, create jobs in Bonner and recover from the COVID-19 recession.

The $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy will make Australian manufacturers more competitive, resilient and able to scale-up to take on the world, while ensuring our nation is more secure.

“Our Modern Manufacturing Strategy is exciting news for the 513 local manufacturing businesses and the 4651 locals they employ,” Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said.

“Importantly, it will create new jobs in Bonner both now and into the future.”

Mr Vasta said the Government was charting a course to ensure manufacturers right across the country could seize the opportunities to grow into new and emerging local and global markets.

“Manufacturers are central to our economic recovery and they have capabilities that underpin so many other industries and support businesses in my electorate right along the supply chain,” Mr Vasta said.

“As a Government, we’re determined to play to our strengths and ensure we are strategically investing in areas where we have an edge.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said this strategy draws on what we have learned during the COVID-19 crisis but has also been developed following extensive work with industry before the pandemic.

“Our manufacturers have risen to the challenge to deliver during COVID-19 and now, we’re unlocking their potential to deliver for our future,” Minister Andrews said.

“By playing to our strengths, strategically investing and boosting the role of science and technology in industry, we can open up new markets and take more of our quality products to the world.

“This Strategy sends a clear signal that not only is Australia open for business, but we mean business.”

The centrepiece of the Strategy is the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI), which will see the Government strategically invest in projects that help manufacturers to scale up and create jobs.

The MMI will support projects within six National Manufacturing Priorities;

  • Resources technology and critical minerals processing
  • Food and beverage
  • Medical products
  • Recycling and clean energy
  • Defence
  • Space

Industry will be engaged to help develop tailored road maps for each of the priority sectors.

The Strategy will also address the competitiveness of individual manufacturers in our priority sectors, with a $52.8 million expansion of the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund.

“At the last election we announced the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund, which has delivered support for 200 projects across the nation, including Crystalaid at Tingalpa, and I’m very pleased we are now expanding it to help more local businesses boost their production,” Mr Vasta said.

“There’s been a real groundswell of support for Australian-made recently because we all know buying Australian made supports local jobs.

“Our plan to scale up will mean more Australian made products on the shelves and more jobs in our local community.”

The COVID-19 crisis has also highlighted supply chain issues and opportunities. A $107.2 million Supply Chain Resilience Initiative will support projects that address an identified supply chain vulnerability.

Innovation and Science Australia will be repurposed as Industry Innovation and Science Australia, to provide strong industry advice to Government throughout the implementation of the Strategy.

This strategy builds on the work across Government to improve economic conditions for business, including streamlining regulation, cutting red tape and cutting input costs. A key part of that will be cutting energy costs as outlined in the Gas-fired recovery statement on 15 September 2020.

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Labor’s Lindum announcement nothing but smoke and mirrors

The Queensland Labor Government’s Band-Aid election commitment of $40 million to provide “accessibility improvements” to Lindum Station fails to address the dire safety situation of the level crossing and five-way intersection.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the proposal ignored the $85 million delivered by the Federal Government and $40 million delivered by Brisbane City Council to provide a long-term solution to this dangerous level crossing.

“We have had this funding on the table since 2018 to deliver a major improvement to the notorious level crossing at Lindum Station, yet Queensland Labor has created this smoke and mirrors election commitment to improve passenger accessibility to the station,” Mr Vasta said.

“This is an appalling response after our $85 million commitment.”

Mr Vasta said the brochure released by the Department of Transport and Main Roads this week declared a long-term safety solution may not even happen.

“I’m so disappointed by this latest update,” Mr Vasta said.

“They have basically said “here will chuck in some traffic lights to keep you happy” and say a long-term solution is subject to “state-wide prioritisation and funding availability”.

“In other words, it may not even happen if the state doesn’t prioritise it.

“How many more people have to die before the Queensland Labor Government commits to funding a long-term safety solution to Lindum crossing?”

Mr Vasta said traffic was only getting busier and he would not settle for meaningless cosmetic upgrades which is all the Queensland Labor Government is offering.

“Pedestrians, motorists and commuters had been crying out for major improvements to the dangerous level-crossing and five-way intersection and again they miss out,” Mr Vasta said.

“When I delivered $85 million Federal funding for Lindum Crossing, it was to deliver a long-term, safe solution for all road users in partnership with all levels of government.

“Labor’s $40 million for “accessibility upgrades” is nothing but a distraction from the fact that they won’t commit what’s needed to fix Lindum crossing.”

Mr Vasta said to make matters worse, they had tied in a 2017 election commitment with this one and packaged it up as a new deal – ignoring the fact they failed to deliver on a $5 million parking upgrade announced three years ago.

“Queensland Labor has done nothing for this region and given they couldn’t even deliver a $5 million parking upgrade; will this $40 million project even get off the ground?”

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Boosting Australia’s fuel security

The Morrison Government is taking action to secure Australia’s long-term fuel supply, keep prices low for consumers and create over 1000 new jobs through a new domestic fuel security package.

As part of our 2020-21 Budget, the Government will deliver a $211 million investment in new domestic diesel storage facilities, reforms to create a minimum onshore stockholding, and measures to support local refineries.

This will be delivered through a combined market and regulatory framework, with three key elements:

  • Investing $200 million in a competitive grants program to build an additional 780ML of onshore diesel storage
  • Creating a minimum stockholding obligation for key transport fuels; and
  • Backing the refining sector by entering into a detailed market design process for a refinery production payment.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia’s fuel security was essential for our national security and that we had been fortunate to not have experienced a significant fuel supply shock in over 40 years.

“Our positive changes to the fuel market will ensure Australian families and businesses can access the fuel they need, when they need it, for the lowest possible price,” the Prime Minister said.

“Fuel security underpins our entire economy. Not only does it keep Australia moving, the industry supports thousands of people across the country and this plan is also about helping keep them in work.

“Like all sectors of the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on Australia’s fuel industry. The events of 2020 have reminded us that we cannot be complacent. We need a sovereign fuel supply to shield us from potential shocks in the future.”

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Government recognised that Australian refineries are under significant financial pressure and is committed to working with the sector to ensure it has a long-term future.

“Almost all Australians are reliant on fuel and it is the lifeblood of so many sectors in our economy. Our farmers and miners rely heavily on diesel to do their jobs and provide services, while the transport sector sources 98 per cent of its energy from liquid fuels,” Minister Taylor said.

“That’s why it is critical that Australia has control over its fuel security arrangements and the Government is making sure of that.”

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the construction of additional diesel storage would not only secure our diesel supplies but support up to 950 jobs, along with 75 new ongoing jobs, many in regional areas.

“Supporting our refineries will ensure Australia has the sovereign capability it needs for any event, protect families and businesses from higher prices and support thousands of jobs across the economy as we recover from COVID-19,” Mr Vasta said.

A minimum stockholding obligation will act as a safety net for petrol and jet fuel stocks, and increasing diesel stockholdings by 40 per cent.

The Government will work with industry over the next six months on the legislative and regulatory design of the package.

Refineries play an important role in securing Australia’s fuel security and putting downward pressure on fuel prices for consumers. Modelling has shown that a domestic refinery capability is worth around $4.9 billion (over 10 years) in value to Australian consumers in the form of price suppression.

The Government is committed to a sovereign on-shore refinery capacity. We will design a market system for a production payment that recognises the fuel security benefits Australia’s refinery sector provides. It will protect Australian families and businesses from the around 1 cent per litre increase that modelling shows will hit fuel if all refineries close in Australia. For refineries to receive support, they will be required to commit to stay operating in Australia.

The Government recognises that the future refining sector in Australia will not look like the past. However, this framework will protect Australian families and businesses from higher prices and will secure jobs in the fuel sector and in fuel-dependent industries, such as our farmers, truckers, miners and tradies.

Additional measures will also be introduced to reduce the burden on industry and improve fuel market information.

This includes modernising the online fuel reporting system to make it easier for industry to report stock levels to Government and improve the timeliness of data. The Government will also remove the application fees for fuel standard variation requests.

This domestically-focused package builds on Government action to purchase up to $94 million of crude oil at record low global prices to be stored in the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve for access during a global emergency.

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Funding available to support events during Veterans’ Health Week

Funding is now available for Ex-Service Organisations and other local community groups to host an event during Veterans’ Health Week this year to encourage veterans and their families to stay connected.

Veterans’ Health Week will be held from 24 October to 1 November 2020 and the theme is Social Connection.

Local community and ex-service organisations can apply for $720 in funding to support their local veteran community with a creative social activity, within their local restrictions.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the funding would help veterans to stay socially connected with their community through innovative event ideas such as meditation or yoga sessions, local catch-ups and creative workshops, all in-person or virtually.

“I encourage local organisations in Bonner to apply and host a Veterans’ Health Week event so we can keep our community spirits high while we face the coronavirus pandemic,” Mr Vasta said.

“From fitness challenges to zoom catch-ups or even a COVID Safe catch-up, there’s many ways we can still connect and support each other.”

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the global coronavirus pandemic had made it difficult for many people to physically see each other and finding ways to socially connect with one another was now more important than ever, particularly for the ex-service community.

“Social connection is one of the most important aspects for your mental health and wellbeing, and as part of Veterans’ Health Week this year we are encouraging those in the ex-service community to remain socially connected, with family, friends and local community,” Mr Chester said.

“This year we invite our local organisations to come up with more innovative ideas for hosting events and create new opportunities to connect, either in person where possible or virtually.”

For more information on Veterans’ Health Week visit the Veterans’ Health Week page on the DVA website.

You can also call 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) or email

Applications for funding close 9 October 2020.

Applicants must be aware of local state or territory Coronavirus restrictions that are in place and ensure their event is following all Coronavirus guidelines.

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New scheme helps small businesses get paid on time

The Morrison Government is supporting millions of small businesses by helping to ensure they get paid on time.

Legislation to implement the Payment Times Reporting Scheme was passed by the Senate, which will put every big business on notice.

Under the scheme, large businesses and applicable government enterprises with a total annual income of over $100 million will have to report publicly on how and when they pay their small business suppliers.

This scheme will provide unprecedented transparency and will show Australians how big businesses pay their suppliers.

This transparency will help small businesses make more informed decisions about who they do business with, and the general public can make better decisions about the large businesses they purchase from.

We have already seen large companies change their practices following adverse media coverage. Recently, businesses such as Rio Tinto and Telstra rapidly abandoned payment practices which negatively impacted on small businesses once they were subject to public exposure.

As a result, their payment policies were shortened to ensure suppliers were paid within 20 days.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said the measure would support small businesses, especially through COVID-19 challenges.

“Late payments have a significant impact on small business cash flow and inhibit the ability of a firm to invest, grow and employ,” Minister Cash said.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said shining a light on large business payment performance would lead to fairer and faster payments for Australia’s 3.5 million small and family businesses.

“Bad payers won’t be able to hide, as this Scheme will expose their poor practices,” Mr Vasta said.

“The Morrison Government is committed to striking the right balance to ensure faster and fairer payment terms to local small and family businesses in Bonner.”

The Government developed the legislation following extensive consultations with industry associations and representatives of small and large business since early 2019.

Their feedback has directly informed the design and operation of the scheme.

The Coalition Government has a strong record when it comes to ensuring small and family businesses get paid on time.

Since July 2019, Commonwealth agencies have paid invoices for contracts up to $1 million within 20 calendar days or paid interest on any late payments.

This captures approximately 95 per cent of procurement contracts entered into by the Commonwealth.

The scheme will begin on 1 January 2021.

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Win a BBQ pack this Father’s Day

I’d make a joke about meat, but I’m afraid I’d butcher it…. “badum tish”

If you can beat this corny dad joke, enter for your chance to win a barbecue pack and meat tray this Father’s Day.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, September 6 he was running a competition for the best dad jokes.

“If you’d like the chance to win a barbecue pack and $100 meat tray from one of Bonner’s butchers, email in your best dad joke for your chance to win,” Mr Vasta said.

“I love being a dad to my two boys. They are full of energy and bring me so much joy every day.

“They’re definitely not a fan of my dad jokes though, but if you can send me one that impresses them, you’ll be our lucky winner.

To enter, email your name, suburb, contact details and dad joke to

“You can also enter on behalf of your dad and surprise him if you win,” Mr Vasta said.

“It has been such a difficult year for everyone, and I hope this competition brings out some smiles and laughter for Bonner families.

“I’ll also share some of the best dad jokes with the Bonner community over the Father’s Day weekend on Facebook.”

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