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Sep 102014

The following is a speech made by Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta, in Parliament this month. You can add any comments or questions at the end.

I rise to give an update on some of the positive outcomes that have been achieved in my electorate of Bonner. As I have previously spoken about in this chamber, Bonner has benefited from a significant amount of federal funding and we have continued to deliver on our commitments to the area.

This month, I received the extremely good news that the Queensland RSL Manly-Lota Sub Branch will be receiving $13,525 in government funding. This will be provided under our restored Building Excellence in Support and Training, or BEST, grants program. The Manly-Lota RSL provides vital support to local veterans, and it is wonderful to be able to supply this funding that will help many of the volunteers at Manly-Lota with their day-to-day work. I am extremely proud of Bonner’s active veteran community. It was a privilege to attend services for Vietnam Veterans Day in August at the Wynnum RSL and also at Brisbane East Branch of the National Servicemen’s Association at the Manly-Lota Sub Branch hall. It was a great honour to be asked to do a Bible reading at the Brisbane East Branch service on the day. On top of Manly-Lota’s BEST grant, the government will also be providing $125,000 to Bonner under our Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program. These funds will help local groups and organisations with projects and events that commemorate the coming Anzac Centenary. I look forward to seeing these wonderful projects that have been set up to honour the centenary being rolled out throughout Bonner.

This month has also seen the rollout of a number of Green Army projects in Bonner. The government is now recruiting young people aged between 17 and 24 to take part in rehabilitation projects in Mansfield, Wynnum North, Minnippi Parklands, Rochedale and Carina. Local youths who sign up will be among the first in Australia to take part in this crucial environmental initiative. Several young people in Bonner have also benefited from individual grants to help them pay for the costs of participating in state, national or international sporting competitions. A total of 15 young sportsmen and sportswomen from Bonner, whom I was happy to nominate for funding, have received Local Sporting Champions grants of $500 to help with their costs. I was so happy to hear from Laura Tyson and her mother Dee about how the $500 grant she received helped her attend the World Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships in Paris. I am glad Laura was able to have this wonderful experience, and I look forward to helping many more young athletes like her in future.

Primary school students across Bonner will benefit from $100 million that the government is putting into its new Sporting Schools initiative over the next three years. From next year, local primary schools can apply for grant money that can be spent on their sporting activities throughout the year. I am pleased that primary schools in Bonner will have these funds available to them to help their students into a more active and healthy lifestyle. Students who would benefit from this wonderful initiative are the girls and boys from St. Catherine’s Catholic Primary School, whom I was thrilled to meet with last month. They had some great questions for me about Australian politics and life in Parliament House. I want to thank them and their teachers for their insight and for a lovely morning out.

Following up my previous update, I am pleased to report that the improved safety measures at Minnippi Parklands in Tingalpa are going ahead quite smoothly. We have provided $70,000 in funds to go toward safety measures that will include new CCTV cameras in the area. I would like to thank the members of the Tingalpa Model Aero Club, who have given their time and assistance in implementing these new safety measures at the parklands. They are a great bunch who are doing their annual fly-in to Norfolk Island this October. I was happy to arrange some meetings for them for their time over there. I wish Allen Danvers and the rest of the TMAC team all the best. I look forward to hearing about the outcomes of their trip.

Finally, I am also pleased to report that the volunteers at the Mount Gravatt Men’s Shed have been doing very well. Just last week I heard that five volunteers at the shed have been working on an important G20 project. They are constructing a giant 3D ‘E’, which will be used to form a 25-metre-long sign of the word ‘Brisbane’ that will go on display in the lead-up to the G20 Cultural Celebrations later this year.

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