More support for travel agents in Bonner

Travel agents in Bonner will benefit from a share in additional funding support of $130 million from the Coalition Government.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said local travel agents could apply for funding support in Round 2 of the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program which opens this month.

“The Coalition Government has committed $258 million to support our travel agents through the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program, with $128 million provided in Round 1 to support some 3000 travel agents,” Mr Vasta said.

“We are now providing additional support via Round 2 and I encourage local travel agents to check their eligibility and apply for funding.

“Our support for travel agents complements the $1.2 billion aviation and tourism support package which was designed to get domestic tourists spending and follows the successful JobKeeper program.

“We can all support our local travel agents in Bonner by using their services when booking a holiday this year.”

Eligible travel agents and tour operators who have received a payment under Round One may be entitled to a second payment, ranging between $7500 and $100,000. To be eligible the business must:

  • Have been operating a travel agent, inbound tour operator or tour wholesaler business prior to the announcement of the closure of international borders, and are continuing to operate that business;
  • Have a turnover of between $50,000 and $20 million (or between $500,000 and $200 million Total Transaction Value – TTV) for the 2019 calendar year; and
  • Have been in receipt of the JobKeeper extension (28 September 2020 to 28 March 2021).

For more information, visit the Austrade website here.

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JobKeeper payments and Coronavirus Supplement extended for Bonner businesses and households

The JobKeeper program and the Coronavirus Supplement have been extended for those in Bonner under the next phase of the Morrison Government’s support for affected businesses and households.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the unprecedented economic support for local businesses and their workers was helping the community through the COVID-19 pandemic and bolstering our economic recovery.

“Under the Morrison Government’s next phase of support, the JobKeeper Payment will continue at its current level until 27 September, after which it will be extended for a further six months to 28 March 2021,” Mr Vasta said.

“A two-tiered payment will also be introduced so as to better reflect the pre-COVID-19 income of payment recipients.”

From 28 September until 3 January 2021, the two payments will be $1200 and $750 per fortnight, with the lower payment for employees who worked less than 20 hours a week in the month of February pre-COVID-19.

From 4 January to 28 March 2021, the two payments will be $1000 and $650.

The temporary Coronavirus Supplement for those on income support will also be extended until 31 December 2020.

The $550 per fortnight Supplement will continue until 24 September.

From 25 September until 31 December 2020, the Supplement will be $250 per fortnight, reducing by the same amount as the JobKeeper payment.

Mr Vasta said the continued support for Australians who were without work, and for businesses and their workers would help his electorate to not only get through the crisis, but recover on the other side.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the extension of support recognised Australia’s economic recovery was still in its early stages and a number of local businesses and individuals remained significantly affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Morrison Government’s focus remains on reopening the economy where it is safe to do so, but the extension of these measures recognises that some parts of the economy will continue to be affected and need continued support,” the Treasurer said.

“Sadly, as a result of this global health pandemic, businesses will close and people will lose their jobs, but that is why we have extended the Coronavirus Supplement and announced a new skills package to help people transition from welfare to work.”

Mr Vasta said extending the JobKeeper payment beyond September would help keep businesses in business and Australians in jobs as our economy reopens.

“The program has made a difference to local businesses in Bonner by keeping a connection between employers and employees to help them get to the other side of the crisis.”

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‘Go Local First’ campaign to support small businesses in Bonner

A national campaign has been launched to support the recovery of Australia’s small businesses by calling on all Australians to ‘Go Local First’.

Funded by the Morrison Government, the campaign led by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) will urge Australians to ‘Go Local First’ when purchasing products and services to help the small business sector get back on its feet.

The campaign will highlight the vital role of small businesses in our nation’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

Minister for Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said now more than ever Australian small businesses needed local communities to back them and support their recovery by choosing to shop with them either in-person or online.

“Australians know when they make the choice to go to their local small businesses, they are supporting their community and the national economy as a whole,” Minister Cash said.

“The ‘Go Local First’ campaign will feature numerous small businesses from across Australia including cafes, chemists, retailers, trades, hairdressers, butchers, accountants and bookkeepers.”

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said spending with local small businesses kept money within our communities and helped the local economy thrive.

“This campaign is all about getting behind your local small business whether it is your local baker, plumber, barista or butcher for example,” Mr Vasta said.

“Every small business employs locals in our community and it’s time we all come together and support one another.

“The resourcefulness of Australians working together will see us emerge stronger on the other side.

“I encourage everyone in our local community to actively support this campaign and do whatever you can to back our fantastic small and family businesses and Go Local First.”

Over the coming months, Australians will see the ‘Go Local First’ message on TV, radio, online and in their community.

For more information on the campaign 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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