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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Bonner receives agricultural show and field day COVID-recovery boost

  • Australian Government support continues for agricultural shows and field days forced to cancel because of COVID-19
  • 110 events nationally—including the Mt Gravatt Show in Bonner—to share in $710,818 Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days supplementary payments

The Mt Gravatt agricultural show in Bonner is receiving an Australian Government cash boost to help it bounce back bigger and better from COVID-19.

Agricultural shows in Bonner are being boosted with more Australian Government support to help them bounce back from COVID-19 cancellations.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the event has been awarded supplementary expense funding under the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program.

A total of 110 events across the country will share in the $710,818 cash boost.

“Almost $34 million has already gone out to the 378 shows and field days approved for funding for costs paid from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Our agricultural shows and field days are bouncing back from the pandemic because of the hard work of their volunteers and support from their communities.”

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said these events were at the heart of local communities and help farmers stay competitive by sharing innovation and new ways of doing business.

“I’m very pleased the Mt Gravatt Show will receive this boost. This is great news for the volunteers and Bonner communities,” Mr Vasta said.

“The Australian Government is committed to ensuring agricultural shows and field days are in the best position possible to continue in 2021 and beyond.”

For more information on the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program visit

Fast Facts:

  • The supplementary funding will be delivered to grantees in April-June 2021.
  • The Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Program reimburses eligible costs for shows and field days which had to cancel because of COVID-19.
  • There are 580 agricultural shows nationwide, that contribute $1 billion to the economy, attract six million visitors and are serviced by 50,000 volunteers.

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Phil Thompson MP inspires during final BYAC

Member for Townsville Phil Thompson MP joined Ross Vasta MP for the final Bonner Youth Advisory Council (BYAC) Zoom of 2020 to offer inspiring insight into his journey from infantryman to parliamentarian.

Mr Vasta said BYAC was not only about giving local students a platform to have their voices and opinions heard, but to also provide insight on the inner workings of their Government.

“We had a fantastic turnout for the final BYAC Zoom meeting of 2020 and I hope they encourage their fellow students to get involved next year,” Mr Vasta said.

“My BYAC guest was the Member for Townsville who spoke about his journey into public life following a career in the Australian Defence Force.

“If there’s one message Phil passed on, I felt resonated, was his views on leadership and standing up for something you believe in – in his words it’s about ‘taking the hard right instead of the easy wrong’.”

Mr Vasta said BYAC participants asked some great questions around mental health, how students like themselves could reach our and why Phil took on further studies after his military career.

“It’s always great to hear about the issues at the forefront of young people’s minds and how they feel about other matters,” Mr Vasta said.

“I look forward to continuing the BYAC into 2021 and nominations are now open for the Junior (years 5-6) and Senior (years 10-12) BYAC.”

For more information or to get involved, contact your school and email your nomination to

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2020 Ross Vasta Christmas appeal to support local families and businesses

The 2020 Ross Vasta Christmas Appeal officially launched today and has partnered with national online charity GIVIT to provide much needed support to families in Bonner.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said 2020 had been a year like no other with the global coronavirus pandemic impacting on hardworking families.

“To say it has been a difficult year would be an understatement,” Mr Vasta said.

“I know there are many families in my electorate still doing it tough and this year’s Christmas Appeal, I would like to see the community come together to support those families who may be looking at a very different kind of holiday season.

“I have partnered with GIVIT who work with charities in Bonner recognising families in need of support.

“We’ll be putting up a Christmas tree in my office where you can read some of these families’ stories, and donate cash or a gift card which will be used to purchase essential items to help ease their financial burden.”

Mr Vasta said all items would be purchased from local small businesses in Bonner, which are also in need of community support.“Small businesses are run by hard working locals and families so I’d like to buy locally to support these businesses,” Mr Vasta said.

GIVIT CEO Sarah Tennant said GIVIT has been working with local frontline charities to identify the families and households needing support through what has been a very difficult year.

“Christmas is always a hard time for people who are struggling financially, exacerbated by the economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Ms Tennant.

“Sadly, we’re seeing a significant increase in people needing help, including many who have never before needed to ask.

“We’re proud to once again partner with the Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP, and provide some Christmas cheer across Brisbane’s southside to those who need it most.”

To donate to the Ross Vasta Christmas appeal, visit or visit the office at 69 Clara St, Wynnum.

100 per cent of funds received will be used to purchase essential items for Bonner families in need this Christmas.

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Funding new apprentices and trainees in Bonner

The Morrison Government will invest an additional $1.2 billion to support Australian businesses to employ 100,000 new apprentices and trainees as part of our COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

Starting 5 October 2020, businesses who take on a new Australian apprentice will be eligible for a 50 per cent wage subsidy, regardless of geographic location, occupation, industry or business size.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said apprenticeships and traineeships were an important pathway to get young people into jobs and to ensure there is a skills pipeline to meet the future needs of employers.

“During this pandemic the Federal Government has been focused on supporting and creating jobs as well as identifying the skills we need in the economic rebuild,” the Prime Minister said.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said whether it be manufacturing, housing and construction, arts or mining sectors – this new wage subsidy gave businesses certainty to hire and provides a career path to young school leavers or others looking for an apprenticeship or traineeship.

“This new wage subsidy will provide school leavers and job seekers in Bonner with a real opportunity to upskill and reskill through an apprenticeship or a traineeship,” Mr Vasta said.

The subsidy will be available to employers of any size or industry, Australia-wide who engage an Australian apprentice or trainee from 5 October 2020 until the 100,000 cap is reached.

Under the new measure, employers will be eligible for the wage subsidy for a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee for the period up to 30 September 2021, up to $7,000 per quarter.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said the measure builds on the existing $2.8 billion Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy that is helping employers to retain their apprentices and trainees.

“The Australian Government has already invested significantly to ensure that apprentices are retained where possible and supported to re-engage if they lose their job,” Minister Cash said.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, the Hon Steve Irons MP, said the new measures we are announcing today will build on the already significant investment to support apprentices and trainees.

“Through the existing Supporting Apprentices and Trainees measure, as many as 90,000 businesses employing around 180,000 apprentices throughout Australia will continue to be supported,” Assistant Minister Irons said.

More information on the measure is available at

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More skills training for Queenslanders

Queensland school leavers and job seekers will benefit from increased access to free or low-fee skills training under a significant investment through the JobTrainer Agreement to be rolled out across Queensland.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said strengthening Australia’s skills and training system was a priority as the nation responded to COVID-19.

The $1 billion JobTrainer program will provide up to an additional 340,700 training places across the country for school leavers and help upskill and retrain jobseekers in areas of demand.

“JobTrainer is central to Australia’s recovery from COVID-19. It will provide Australians with new opportunities and skills to get a job” Minister Cash said.

“It is a significant joint investment by the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments.”

The Queensland agreement will inject an extra $201 million into the state’s vocational education and training sector.

The Australian Government will contribute $100.5 million, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Queensland Government.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said this was a fantastic result for Queensland which would greatly assist job seekers and young people, especially school leavers.

“The JobTrainer Fund will help lift Queensland as the state recovers from COVID-19,” Mr Vasta said.

“I have spoken to a lot of young people concerned about what the future holds and to provide more skills training opportunity will provide some certainty and confidence our economy will get back on track and there will be jobs for young people.”

Minister Cash said JobTrainer was part of the Australian Government’s $6.5 billion investment in Vocational Education and Training in 2020-21.

“As part of this investment the Commonwealth is also providing additional support with the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees (SAT) wage subsidy, which has provided more than $500 million to employers across Australia since April this year.

“As part of the SAT the Government has invested $102.89 million to assist 10,461 employers to retain 17,290 apprentices and trainees in Queensland.”

For more information about JobTrainer visit:

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Ross Vasta throws support behind Save our Seton

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP has thrown his support behind Save our Seton, a group of parents and students committed to saving Seton College following the announcement by Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) to close the school in 2024.

Mr Vasta and LNP Candidate for Mansfield Janet Wishart held a teleconference with BCE today, declaring he would do whatever it takes to keep Seton College open.

“Unfortunately, the decision to close this wonderful institution will have a devastating impact on our local community,” Mr Vasta said.

“I’ve been contacted by many parents who are so upset about the closure and had been told it was a “compliance issue” or “funding issue” with the Australian Government.

“I can confirm I have received a letter from Education Minister Dan Tehan to clarify that is not the case, and the department will work with the school to assist in any way possible.

“The good news is BCE advised there are no plans for the site to be repurposed so that means we have an opportunity to save Seton College.”

Ms Wishart said as a parent of a child with a disability, she knows firsthand just how hard these families fight every day for their kids.

“The decision to close Seton College is devastating for our local community and to date, the current Palaszczuk Labor Government and local member have refused to speak with families, and they simply deserve better,” Ms Wishart said.

“Working with Ross I’ll be fighting to ensure the voices of local families are heard, local families who have been let down by this decision and Labor’s inaction.”

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New reading resources for families and teachers

Families and teachers in Bonner can now access free online resources to help their children learn to read.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the Morrison Government had launched a free phonics check for teachers and a simple reading awareness check for families.

“Literacy and numeracy are the fundamentals of a successful education, and our Government is giving families free tools to ensure their children’s reading is on track,” Mr Vasta said.

“We have provided $10.8 million to develop resources for families and educators to assess the language skills of students to help them better understand a child’s reading level.

“By checking on the language skills of our youngest students we can ensure that no one is left behind and every student has the building blocks to develop strong reading, writing and speaking skills.”

Mr Vasta said he encouraged all local schools in Bonner to take advantage of the free phonics check to help teachers determine a child’s reading progress and what additional support they may need.

“Literacy and numeracy are the absolute fundamentals of a world-leading education, and studies have shown phonics is the most effective way of teaching children to read,” Mr Vasta said.

“Our Government has delivered on its election promise to provide a voluntary phonics health check for Year 1 students.

“Our Government has also released a new reading awareness check and literacy resources for parents to help their children learn to read.”

The phonics check and reading awareness check are available with more resources to support literacy development on stage one of the new online Literacy Hub at

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Clubhouse upgrade on the way for Bayside BMX

Bayside BMX will be able to upgrade their clubhouse and storage facility thanks to a $20,000 Morrison Government Stronger Communities grant.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the grant would help the club build a permanent club house facility for club operations and equipment storage.

“Bayside BMX is a great local club in the Bonner community providing coaching, running BMX competitions and loaning equipment,” Mr Vasta said.

“Thanks to a $20,000 Stronger Communities grant they will be able to upgrade from their existing shipping container to a new clubhouse and storage facility to improve the safety and operations for members, volunteers and the community.”

Mr Vasta said the project would increase security of their assets and allow the club to increase its capability to loan equipment to the public, run more coaching and provide a better canteen and rider registration services.

“The Stronger Communities Program is aimed at funding projects that deliver social benefits as part of the government’s continuing commitment to strengthen communities across Australia,” Mr Vasta said.

“Our local communities are the heart of this great country and this investment in local projects under the Stronger Communities Program is about invigorating these organisations and ensuring their continued success.”

The Stronger Communities Program funds small capital projects in each of the 151 federal electorates.

Each electorate nationwide has received $150,000 to allocate towards successful projects, with a maximum of 20 projects to be funded per electorate.

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Submissions open for review into Disability Standards for Education

The Coalition Government is calling for public submissions into a review of the Disability Standards for Education 2005.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the standards played a key role in ensuring students with disability could access and participate in education without any barriers.

“It’s incredibly important we review these standards regularly to make sure they are doing their job to give equal access and opportunity for students with disability,” Mr Tehan said.

“The standards help students with disability and their families know their rights and make clear the obligations of all education providers – from preschool and kindergarten through to vocational education providers and universities.

“This could include making reasonable adjustments in the classroom, such as additional learning support and modifying homework tasks, or adjusting the classroom environment to suit a student’s mobility needs.

“An extensive community consultation process will be held from 16 July to 25 September, providing an opportunity for the public to share experiences and ideas.”

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said he strongly encouraged current, former and prospective students with disability, their families and carers, educators, and other members of the public to share their thoughts on the standards and their implementation.

“People can have their say by completing an online questionnaire, making a submission, participating in a webinar, or by expressing their interest in a focus group, one-on-one interview, or an online discussion,” Mr Vasta said.

The first webinar on 23 July will centre on schooling.

The standards are reviewed every five years.

For more information, visit the Consultation Hub at

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