Bonner Senior’s Expo goes online

The annual Bonner Senior’s Expo has gone online for 2020, with the Virtual Bonner Senior’s Expo now live.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said every year he loved putting on the Bonner Senior’s Expo to meet with constituents and put on a fun and informative day.

“Unfortunately, with the coronavirus pandemic, it was important we didn’t put vulnerable people at risk with large gatherings, so for 2020 we’ve put together this Virtual Senior’s Expo,” Mr Vasta said.

“Last year’s Seniors Expo was a huge success despite my being in New York at the UN General Assembly.

“We had more than 500 people through the door with a range of exhibitors and fantastic guest speakers at the Wynnum Manly Leagues Club, who always provide great hospitality.”

Mr Vasta said the Virtual Bonner Senior’s Expo was live on his website where attendees could access links to all the stallholders.

“We still have some great raffle prizes donated by our generous sponsors, so head to my website where Bonner’s Seniors can explore all the local services to support them and enter the raffle draw,” Mr Vasta said.

“From local community groups to aged care support services, there’s plenty to check out online.

“I hope next year we will be able to come together again for the Bonner Seniors’ Expo to enjoy hearing from our guest speakers, have a chat and have a delicious morning tea, but for now, this is a great way to stay connected and also keep everyone safe.”

For more information or to visit the 2020 Virtual Bonner Senior’s Expo, visit

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Supporting senior Australians to stay connected

The Morrison Government is supporting senior Australians through two new initiatives to prevent loneliness and social isolation under a $6 million communications package.

The Be Connected program will provide digital devices and support to older residents to help them connect with friends and family during the coronavirus pandemic, while also helping to boost IT skills.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said with more than 22,000 seniors in his electorate, these grants would also help many of them to build confidence using digital technology.

“In addition to the Be Connected program, an additional $5 million will be used to expand the Friend Line, a national telephone support service for older Australians, to answer 60,000 calls a year.

“These grants will help improve the online skills of our senior residents who are increasingly turning to the internet to access online services during the coronavirus while expanded access to Friend Line will make sure that no seniors in Bonner will feel lonely or isolated.”

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said access to timely support as well as digital and social connections was essential to support older Australians to live independently.

“With a third of all senior Australians living alone there is a real need for this assistance to alleviate loneliness and social isolation,” Minister Ruston said.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher said the Government’s Be Connected program was making modern technology available to seniors for free as well as building their online skills and know-how through step-by-step training.

“These grants will help provide devices such as a laptop or tablet and data plans to older Australians who would otherwise be at risk of disconnecting,” Minister Fletcher said.

“The Be Connected program, delivered in partnership by the eSafety Commissioner and the Good Things Foundation, plays a critical role delivering digital skills workshops to older Australians helping build their confidence online as they increasingly turn to virtual services, including telehealth, during COVID-19.”

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck said the funding for Friends Line would enable its provider Friends for to expand the service through to 30 June 2024.

“Friend Line is a free and anonymous telephone service that will provide older Australians an opportunity to chat with a friendly volunteer,” Minister Colbeck said.

“In the first year Friend Line anticipates answering 20,000 calls scaling up to at least 60,000 a year after that up from 5600 calls a year currently.”

Friend Line (1800 4 CHATS) will rapidly expand to be available outside normal business hours between 10am to 8pm, seven days a week.

The latest investment comes on top of a new support line offering specific advice and counselling for senior Australians seeking assistance because of COVID-19.

Established in conjunction with the Council on the Ageing Australia, National Seniors Australia, the Older Persons Advocacy Network and Dementia Australia, the COVID-19 support line will operate Monday to Friday, except public holidays, from 8.30am to 6pm on 1800 171 866.

To find a Be Connected program near you 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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Safer Internet Forum for Seniors

February 11 is Safer Internet Day and to mark the occasion, Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP is hosting a Safer Internet Forum for Seniors to help educate older Australians on safely using the internet and avoiding scams.

Mr Vasta said the forum would empower older residents in his electorate to feel confident when logging on, and educate them on how to identify and avoid common scams.

“Navigating the online world for seniors can be quite daunting and full of uncertainties,” Mr Vasta said.

“We will have a guest speaker from the Office of Fair Trading who will discuss how to identify and avoid common scams online which unfortunately catch our too many people.

“The internet is a powerful tool that connects the world around us so but important we use it wisely and help vulnerable people in our community avoid getting caught out.”

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher MP said the Morrison Government’s Online Safety Act was helping combat fraudulent behaviour online.

“Australia has been at the forefront of online safety policy over the past two decades and the proposed reforms address the risk of evolving harms and build on our strong foundations,” Mr Fletcher said.

“The internet offers significant economic and social benefits, but these benefits will only be fully realised if Australians can engage confidently and safely in the online world.”

The Safer Internet for Senior’s forum will be held on Friday, February 21 at the Mount Gravatt Bowls Club from 9.30am.

For more information or to RSVP, email or phone (07) 3893 3488.

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Bonner Senior’s Expo bigger and better than ever

The third annual Bonner Senior’s Expo is set to bigger and better than ever with exhibit spaces now completely booked out and hundreds of local seniors expected to attend.

The free Senior’s Expo is on Thursday, October 31 and will include over 50 stallholders from government services and community organisations right through to legal aid and real estate agencies.

Information sessions on issues such as the National Broadband Network rollout to services provided by the Department of Human Services will be held throughout the day.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the annual expo was always a great opportunity for local seniors to have face to face access with the services they use and community groups there to support their needs.

“It is a big day out for all our wonderful seniors to gather information and enjoy a locally sourced morning tea,” Mr Vasta said.

“Even though I will be at the United Nations for this event, I have made sure all the relevant resources will be available to our local seniors just like past events.

“At the end of the day, we’re here to help, we’re here to provide and we’re here to listen to the unique concerns of the seniors in the Bonner electorate – that’s what this expo is all about.”

The Bonner Senior’s Expo will be held from 9am to 1pm on Thursday, October 31 at the Wynnum Manly Leagues Club.

Stall holders will include:


Piccardi Legal

Department of Health


Carers QLD

It’s a Bloke Thing

Vision Australia

Brisbane City Council


Cancer Council

and many more.

For more information call the office of Ross Vasta MP on (07) 3893 3488.

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The second annual Bonner Seniors’ Expo hosted by Member for Bonner Ross Vasta attracted 320 locals from across the electorate today.

The free Seniors’ Expo included 50 stallholders representing a range of government departments, community organisations, businesses and local services available to seniors.

There were also information sessions held throughout the day from Queensland Rail, NBN, Wealth Create Financial Planners, Department of Human Services, Office of Fair Trading and Carers Queensland.

“It was my pleasure to bring the Expo back and see so many new faces this year. I’m proud to host local events that help our seniors and help them access valuable services in our community,” Mr Vasta said.

Barbara Grayson from Wynnum thanked Mr Vasta for holding the Seniors’ Expo.

“I’m so grateful to Ross for hosting this event again this year and looking after his senior constituents,” Mrs Grayson said.

Minnie Bowman from Wynnum said she had greatly enjoyed everything the Expo had to offer.

“I found all of the information stalls so useful and thanks to Ross for making this possible,” Mrs Bowman said.

Jackie Butler from stallholder Friends of Tingalpa Cemetery Heritage Group said there had been a wonderful response from people to the Expo.

“It’s not often you see an event like this that benefits older people. I’m very happy to see this and I think Ross did a wonderful job. I hope the Expo will continue next year,” Ms Butler said.

Mr Vasta thanked TransitCare for supplying transport to and from the Expo for attendees, as well as Senator Amanda Stoker for her ongoing support of the Expo.

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Last week I had a big turnout at my roundtable on Labor’s Retirees and Pensioners Tax. It goes to show just how worried the community is about Labor’s shameless retiree tax grab.

Thanks to the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer for coming out to Bonner to hear my constituents’ concerns. Many people had horror stories about what Labor’s policy will mean for them.

Betty, a self-funded retiree from Wynnum, told me it would affect her portfolio greatly—potentially forcing her to dip into her capital.

Denis from Wakerley told the room that in terms of his own super fund, he stands to lose 20 per cent of his income if Labor gets their proposal through.

I didn’t invite along millionaires to this session; they weren’t the ‘top end of town’, as Labor would have you believe they’re targeting with this tax. These are ordinary people, just like you and me, who’ve tried to be self-reliant. Now Labor wants to take 20 or 30 per cent of their income to fund their unsustainable spending!

Almost a million retirees and pensioners will be immediately affected. Dave from Mansfield also made a great point. He was a third generation Labor voter until they announced this reckless new policy. Now he’s worried about his niece’s and nephew’s and other younger people’s ability to generate a decent income for their future.

I invite my constituents who’d like to share their own story about the terrible impact of Labor’s Retirees and Pensioners Tax to contact me.

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Over 50 Bonner residents attended a Pensioners and Retirees Tax Roundtable with Assistant Minister to the Treasurer the Hon Michael Sukkar and Member for Bonner Ross Vasta in Wynnum today.
“So many people have contacted me about Labor’s policy on franking credits and how this shameless tax grab will negatively impact them,” Mr Vasta said.
Mr Sukkar said many people were worried about Labor’s Pensioners and Retirees Tax, and said the Coalition would be fighting Labor’s proposal from now until the next election. He called on attendees and others impacted in the community to stand up and be counted and to spread the word to their friends and family.
“The Government is supporting retirees who have worked hard all their life and done the right thing by setting themselves up for retirement,” Mr Sukkar said.
“In contrast, Labor is proposing to tax retirees. This will leave retirees with less money to live on and disinsentivise younger Australians from saving.
“For over 3 years Bill Shorten has told Australians that he is fighting against the big end of town, when in reality he is doing the opposite. Labor has promised well over $200 billion in increased taxes and is intending to make retirees take on the largest burden of these tax increases.”
Betty Ollenburg from Wynnum said she had substantial concerns about Labor’s policy.
“As a self-funded retiree, it would affect my portfolio quite significantly. I may even be forced to dip into my capital to get along,” Mrs Ollenburg said.

David Dilger from Mansfield said he had been a third generation Labor voter until March this year, when Labor announced their franking credits policy.
“I’m scratching my head wondering how Labor could betray people like this. Their policy also affects young people and their ability to generate an income. And then for older people, there’s the question of whether Shorten will stick to the pensioner guarantee,” Mr Dilger said.
Tom and Shirley Tolland from Rochedale said it had been a very enlightening and informative session.
“It was good to hear many different points of view from people in different financial positions. The franking credits proposal affects us all so it was good to learn more about it from the Minister,” Mrs Tolland said.
Mr Sukkar said he and Mr Vasta would be taking attendees’ real-life examples to Canberra to further make the case against Labor’s Pensioners and Retirees Tax policy.
Mr Vasta invited people who wanted to share their stories or who had further questions to contact his office on 3893 3488.

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Last Monday I had the pleasure of hosting the Minister for Aged Care in Bonner. There were many important visits and announcements on the day. I wanted to focus on two events that were particularly significant for my older constituents.

The first event was a Seniors Forum I hosted in Mt Gravatt. It was another great turnout: over 70 Bonner locals attended!

The Minister’s news of our record $5 billion investment in aged care, and the extra 20,000 home care places we’re providing, was very well received. Wishart local Muriel Mitchell said she learned a lot of useful information about residential and home care. She feels a lot more confident about her options to look after her husband at home for longer.

Carindale local Paul Williams brought his father Victor along to hear what the Minister had to say. They appreciated the Minister’s passion for finding new ways to improve aged care services. They also appreciated the range of stallholders at the forum, which included My Aged Care and Brisbane South PHN.

The Minister also spoke about how we’re investing over $100 million in mental health funding for older Australians. This is the largest ever single increase to mental health funding for older Australians. I’m proud to be part of a Government that is delivering for older residents in Bonner.

The second event was a meeting with a local Wynnum group that is doing great things for people living with dementia. The Dementia Awareness Advocacy Team is a wonderful group of people that is striving for a more dementia friendly community.

It advocates for people living with dementia and their care partners. It also aims to raise awareness of dementia and reduce the stigma and stereotyping of this condition.

The team provides dementia awareness training that has benefitted many local businesses, including my own office. This training gives people a thorough understanding of what dementia is and how to relate to people living with dementia. It’s a fantastic initiative and I thank them for their great work.

I’m also pleased to see $5.3 million in the Budget for dementia innovation which will benefit people living with dementia.

I thank the Minister again for his visit and speaking with my senior constituents about their experiences with aged care and mental health support.

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Over 70 locals from across Bonner attended a Seniors Forum in Mt Gravatt hosted by Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta on Monday.

Mr Vasta was joined by Minister for Aged Care the Hon Ken Wyatt at the event, who spoke on what the Government is doing for people in aged care and took questions from the audience. Stallholders from My Aged Care, PHN Brisbane South, Office of Fair Trading, Queensland Rail, NBN Co, and Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed also took part on the day.

“I thank the Minister for coming out here today to chat with people about their aged care options and hear about their aged care experiences firsthand,” Mr Vasta said.

Minister Wyatt told attendees the Government was delivering the biggest reforms to aged care in years.

“The Coalition is investing a record $5 billion over five years for aged care. We’re delivering an extra 20,000 home care packages and an extra 13,500 residential places,” Minister Wyatt said.

Minister Wyatt also spoke on the importance of meeting the mental health needs of older Australians.

“We’re providing the largest ever single increase to mental health funding for older Australians, at over $100 million,” Minister Wyatt said. 

Minister Wyatt also set out the scope of the new Aged Care Complaints Commissioner, and asked people with family members in aged care to contact him and share their experiences dealing with the aged care system.

Paul Williams from Carindale and his father Victor thanked Mr Vasta for holding the Seniors Forum and said it had been a good opportunity to learn useful information.

“We appreciate the opportunity to meet the Minister and Department representatives. The Minister has a great depth of knowledge about the issues people face. It’s clear he’s passionate about finding new ways to improve services,” Victor said.

Muriel Mitchell from Wishart said it had been a great forum and that the Minister had explained things very well.

“I learned a lot of useful information today about residential care and home care, and how I can look after my husband at home for longer,” Mrs Mitchell said.

“I’m very grateful to Ross for holding this forum and everything he’s done for us.”

Mr Vasta thanked attendees for coming along and sharing their views with him and Minister Wyatt.

“I’m pleased to be a part of a Government that considers older Australians a top priority, and I’m proud that in the recent Budget we were able to deliver for older residents in Bonner,” Mr Vasta said.

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