Nine Network - Today Show


A boost for Brisbane's arts industry

South Brisbane’s creative and entertainment sector has received a major boost, with the Morrison Government providing three local projects with around $700,000 in funding under the RISE Fund, which provides support for events and productions to help our arts and entertainment sector rebuild from the impact of the pandemic.

Assistant Attorney General, Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations, and Assistant Minister for Women, Queensland Senator Amanda Stoker welcomed the local funding from the $200 million Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund, which includes:

  • The Dead Puppet Society Limited will receive $238,635.00 to complete design and development work to tour the critically acclaimed visual theatre production THE WIDER EARTH through regional Australia from February - April 2022.
  • Jet Black Cat Music will receive $74,163.00 for the Nine Lives Festival, a celebration of music and community taking place annually in Brisbane.
  • Metro Arts Ltd will receive $400,000.00 for the MAVA Program, which invests in visual artists to build their capacity through innovative use of digital and public engagement opportunities to create sustainable career pathways.

Senator Stoker said $40 million will be shared by 82 leading organisations across the country, in the fourth batch of the grants.

“Queensland is home to a massive contingent of talented film, visual art, entertainment and music industry professionals, and this funding is one of many ways the Morrison Government is ensuring our arts sector thrives.

“The arts industry is a crucial job driver in South East Queensland, and funding like this ensures that talent is maintained throughout the pandemic.”

Almost one third of the projects funded to date have been provided funding for COVID safe measures and infrastructure.

Australia’s premier Blues festival Bluesfest will receive $2.4 million, the highest amount of RISE funding ever delivered, to reignite the festival with an all Australian line-up after consecutive COVID-19 cancellations in 2020 and 2021.

In March 2020, the Morrison Government announced the RISE Fund would receive an extra $125 million, building on an original commitment of $75 million.

To date, the Government has allocated $140 million of the $200 million RISE Fund, creating more than 145,000 job opportunities and expanding cultural and creative experiences for audiences across Australia.


COVID-19 payments available to Queenslanders

Queenslanders whose hours of work have been impacted by the current lockdown will be able to claim the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

This decision follows the lockdown of the City of Brisbane, Moreton Bay Region, Redland City, Logan City, City of Ipswich, Shire of Noosa, City of Gold Coast, Lockyer Valley Region, Scenic Rim Region, Somerset Region and Sunshine Coast Region Local Government Areas.

Assistant Attorney General, Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations, and Assistant Minister for Women, Queensland Senator Amanda Stoker said the Australian Government is committed to standing with Australians as we make our way through the global pandemic.

“Eligible people will receive $750 per week if they have lost 20 or more hours of work, and $450 per week if they have lost between 8 and less than 20 hours of work, or a full day of work,” Senator Stoker said.

“The payment will be available to eligible people who live or work in the hotspot areas across the 11 local government sites affected in South East Queensland, or who have visited a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot.

“Eligible people will be back-paid to the start of the lockdown.”

People who currently receive an income support payment can also claim to receive a payment of $200 if they have lost more than 8 hours of work and meet the other eligibility requirements for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment. This payment is additional to their regular income support payment.

The fastest and easiest way to claim is through a myGov account. More information about financial support available to Queenslanders and how to claim will be available on the Services Australia website at:

The Disaster Payment Access follows the announcement earlier today about additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) being made available for GPs, community pharmacies and other healthcare providers across Queensland who need to see their patients within their practices.

Health professionals in these areas are able to request a package of PPE from the National Medical Stockpile (NMS) through their local Primary Health Network (PHN) from an initial allocation of up to:

  • 725,000 surgical masks;
  • 725,000 N95 masks;
  • 175,000 pairs of gloves;
  • 175,000 gowns; and
  • 175,000 goggles.

These items will be made available through the five PHNs relevant to the Commonwealth hotspot, namely:

  • Brisbane North;
  • Brisbane South;
  • Darling Downs and West Moreton;
  • Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast; and
  • Gold Coast.

These packages will assist to further suppress the COVID-19 infection rate occurring across Queensland and builds on the recent commitment to support New South Wales and Victoria.


Transcript - Sky News Credlin


Transcript – Sky News with Peta Credlin


Subjects: Labor negative gearing policy, citizenship, Queensland LNP




PETA CREDLIN: Welcome back. You know we are nearing the campaign discussion time when political parties start to scrape off the barnacles. Labor is doing that. Bill Shorten's election-losing agenda from last time. They are getting rid of negative gearing. They are endorsing the government's stage three tax cuts. Anthony Albanese’s small target strategy, looking after the chase on aspirational voters in key marginals. Let's bring in my political panel to discuss all of this, from Brisbane Senator Amanda Stoker, from the Hunter Valley, New South Wales MP Joel Fitzgibbon. Joel, I am interested in your view. Would you say this is smart politics or is Albanese making a mistake by not having a bold agenda for Labor?


JOEL FITZGIBBON: It is sensible politics, Peta, and I welcome it. In opposition, you can have the best and the most bold policies in the world but it is not much good if they stay in the top desk drawer after every election. I am delighted that Labor has been creeping back to the centre ground, where most Australians are in the last two years for that we have dispensed with the unsellable tax changes. We have made good decisions on the gas industry and Shadow Ministers are lining up to visit coalmines to demonstrate our support for what is such an important export industry for the country and we have moderated our language on climate change. Climate change is important, but it cannot be your signature policy. And I am hoping in the not too distant future we will dispense with that crazy idea of having a medium-term target from opposition.


PETA CREDLIN: I can't disagree with much of that there, but there is no commitment, Joel, from Anthony Albanese that I have seen. Never ever would he make changes to negative gearing, was that ruled out in the caucus?


JOEL FITZGIBBON: The caucus was actually unanimous in its support for the recommendation of the Shadow Cabinet. That was to dispense, well, we have already dispensed with some of these proposals so dispensing with negative gearing-


PETA CREDLIN: [inaudible]


JOEL FITZGIBBON: I‘m not going to use that term but they are finished with it, Peta. Changes to negative gearing are now behind us. And the madness of even considering repealing legislative tax cuts, tax cuts which Scott Morrison had a mandate to introduce, by the way, is also well and truly behind us and I think that is absolutely a good thing. You can't go to an election campaign promising to kick sand in the faces of half the Australian community which is what we did at the 2019 election.


PETA CREDLIN: Right, Senator Stoker, quite a lot of LNP news over the weekend, lots of changes but we won't bore people with the party detail. I did notice Henry Pike, new candidate for Bowman, he’s not long been preselected, it is a must-win seat for the Coalition. You know him well and he is facing an investigation about the backroom deals, the allegation of, in relation to his preselection, and now we have Campbell Newman quitting the LNP and saying he is likely to run for the Senate. And you are number three on the ticket. You are the one he is likely to go after. How do you feel about all of that?


AMANDA STOKER: Well, I think the most important thing we can do is, instead of focusing on ourselves, focus on the needs of Australians. And the very policies that you have just discussed with Joel are at the heart of what matters to Australians. Joel used some really, I think, important language in the way he has talked about these changes to Labor's policies. He talked about moderating our language. But what it speaks to is the deep division at the heart of Labor's economic policy. There is more than half of that hard left party room that has taken years to let go, kicking and screaming almost, ever so reluctantly of $387 billion worth of new taxes, and fiddling around with negative gearing to the detriment of mum and dad investors. The people of Australia want us to focus on that, what is in their pockets and in their homes, rather than politicians talking about their own prospects.


PETA CREDLIN: Joel, I want to go to another issue. A little history here. There was some in the Labor Party not supportive of the move in relation to dual nationals who were foreign fighters. You know, Australians with foreign nationality as well who went to fight with ISIS. We have a particular Turkish Australian dual national in prison in Syria at the moment, over suspected terror activities. His family, though, want to challenge the move by Karen Andrews, the Home Affairs Minister, to cancel his citizenship earlier this month and they have filed an urgent case in the High Court. He left Australia back in 2013. I don't think there are many Australians who would support this bloke. ASIO said he was likely involved in foreign incursions and recruitment while in Syria. Do you have much sympathy here?


JOEL FITZGIBBON: You are right to say, Peta, I know that most of Australians, the overwhelming majority, would say to keep him out and give him no opportunity whatsoever. I don't know a lot of the detail of this case. For example, I don't know who he was fighting for. If he was fighting. It's a very complex situation in Syria, with about at least four groups. There are two questions. First, the validity of the original law which gave the Minister the right to revoke Australian citizenship. And the second, of course, is what he did or did not do while in Syria. I thought I read he had been pardoned by the courts over there, which needs to be a bit of a guide from the Australian perspective. But there is a big question as to whether the Minister of the day should have this discretion, rather than leave it to the legal system. It is a pretty big deal taking away someone's citizenship. He had a dual citizenship. And I think, Peta, clarify if you can, I think he may have been born in Australia?


PETA CREDLIN: Sorry, Joel, I missed that.


JOEL FITZGIBBON: Was he born in Australia? I know he had dual citizenship.


PETA CREDLIN: I am not sure he was.


JOEL FITZGIBBON: I am not sure.


AMANDA STOKER: It's my understanding he was.


JOEL FITZGIBBON: I thought Tony Abbott's law allowed the Minister to take citizenship away if he held a dual nationality.


PETA CREDLIN: He certainly has dual nationality.


AMANDA STOKER: I can answer that if you like.


PETA CREDLIN: Please, Senator.


AMANDA STOKER: Thank you. He does have dual nationality. That is the only kind of person the regime applies to. As I understand it, he was born in Australia. But if we speak in the general, rather than about a specific case, it is entirely legitimate for a person who held citizenship and therefore allegiance to two countries and behaves in a way that is related to terrorism, in a way that demonstrates a repudiation of their commitment and their allegiance to Australia, that they should no longer have the opportunity to be a part of the Australian community. Now we don't do that lightly. The test for doing so is really very high. And as the current news shows, it is able to be challenged in court. So, we have in place the safeguards necessary to make sure that we're doing the right thing by individuals. But as a matter of principle, I don't think there is anything wrong with the proposition that a person who leaves this country to engage in terrorist behaviours and does so in a way that doesn't fit with their duties to Australia should no longer have that privilege.


JOEL FITZGIBBON: Can I just say, Peta


PETA CREDLIN: Thank you Senator. I'm sorry, Joel. I'm really tight on time. We will come back to it next week if we have to. Amanda Stoker, Joel Fitzgibbon, thank you for your time.




Media contact: Valeria Cheglov 0438 494 351 / Patrick Hannaford 0424 625 518




Media release - Keeping the projectors rolling at local independent cinemas

Keeping the projectors rolling at local independent cinemas


Around $290,000 in grants has been allocated to several of Brisbane’s independent cinema sites, as part of the Morrison Government’s $20 million SCREEN Fund (Supporting Cinemas’ Retention Endurance and Enhancement of Neighbourhoods).


More than $8.7 million will go to 158 independent cinema sites across the country to keep operating and to provide a popular, low-cost and COVID-safe way for people to go out and enjoy a movie as part of a community - particularly in regional areas.

Assistant Minister to the Attorney-General, Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations and Assistant Minister for Women, Queensland Senator Amanda Stoker said the grants will support the recovery of independent cinemas from significant declines in revenue due to COVID-19.


“This funding will help Brisbane’s independent cinemas to keep operating during a period of severe disruption,” said Senator Stoker.


“Independent cinemas are vital to the social and cultural health of our communities and that’s why we acted quickly to introduce our $20 million SCREEN Fund.”


Administered by Screen Australia, the fund assists independent cinema operators who have experienced significant declines in revenue due to the pandemic, with one-off business continuity grants of up to $85,000.


In recognition of the economic, social and national importance of the cultural and creative sector, the Morrison Government is investing over $1 billion into the arts and creative sector in 2021-22.


SCREEN Fund applications are open until 24 December 2021 or until total funds are committed. For more information on the SCREEN Fund, visit:


The list of approved SCREEN Fund grants to date is below:


Dendy Cinema Coorparoo



Cineplex Hawthorne 4



Cineplex Balmoral



Cineplex Southbank5 - 167 Grey Street Southbank









Media contact: Valeria Cheglov  0438 494 351 / Patrick Hannaford 0424 625 518


Sky News - Outsiders




Helping local health manufacturer modernise

15 July 2021


Helping local health manufacturer modernise


The Morrison Government is providing local company WearOptimo Pty Ltd with a $973,000 grant to increase its competitiveness and productivity, while also helping to grow local jobs.


The grant is being delivered under round two of the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund (MMF), which is providing grants totaling $55 million to 86 projects around Australia.


The grants help small and medium sized manufacturers invest in capital equipment and new technologies, while improving the skills of their workers - a central element of the Government’s $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy to drive growth in the sector.


Assistant Minister to the Attorney-General, Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations and Assistant Minister for Women, Queensland Senator Amanda Stoker said the grant would help WearOptimo create greater efficiencies by transforming and upgrading their manufacturing operations.


“By encouraging businesses to enhance their operations through investment in cutting-edge technologies, we’re also supporting them to create new job opportunities, boost economic growth and build a highly skilled manufacturing workforce.”


“This funding will help WearOptimo to modernise its business and create new opportunities, including local jobs,” Senator Stoker said.


“It reflects well upon the quality of businesses in Queensland, as well as providing an example of what others can also achieve.”


WearOptimo Pty Ltd provide affordable, wearable technology that allows people to read their health signals in real time. The company is working on next generation wearable devices for continuous monitoring in precision health.


Businesses which receive MMF grants are required to match government funding on a three-to-one basis, with government grants funding up to 25 per cent of eligible project expenditure.


MMF round two was a competitive merit-based grants program, with applications assessed by a committee of independent industry experts.


The six National Manufacturing Priorities of the Strategy are: Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing, Food and Beverage, Medical Products, Recycling and Clean Energy, Defence and Space.


For a full list of successful recipients under the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund round two, visit




Media contact:        Valeria Cheglov  0438 494 351 / Patrick Hannaford 0424 625 518


Authorised by Senator the Hon Amanda Stoker, Liberal National Party, Queensland


Transcript – Sky News, the Kenny Report with Chris Smith

Transcript – Sky News, the Kenny Report with Chris Smith


Subjects: China influence on universities, Julia Banks comments, Queensland borders




CHRIS SMITH: Good to have you with us. Now, the links between China’s Communist Party and Australia’s universities, both on and off campus, pose a real threat to this country. The CCP has been accused of long-reach repression, monitoring students and harassing tutors. There’s plenty of first-hand evidence. The former ASIO Chief Duncan Lewis has played down the threat posed by China’s research links, warning against histrionics, that he believes don’t align with the national interest. For more, I’m joined by Queensland Senator and Assistant Minister for Women Amanda Stoker. Amanda, good to have you with us.


AMANDA STOKER: Lovely to see you Chris.


CHRIS SMITH:  The former ASIO Chief Duncan Lewis seems to be playing down this impact. He reckons there’s too much histrionics. What’s your call on that?


AMANDA STOKER: Well, it’s important we approach this very serious issue with a level head. We don’t want to get carried away, but what is reported by Human Rights Watch is very serious. They’ve spoken with students from mainland China, on Australian campuses, firsthand and they describe having to self-censor. They describe bullying, harassment and intimidation. Reporting on them to authorities back home and, quite disturbingly, families on mainland China receiving visits from Party officials to follow up and deliver consequences for those people who are too outspoken here in Australia. They draw in that report connections between Australia’s high number of international students that come from mainland China and draw out some of the risks that exist to academic integrity as a consequence of that dependence on foreign money. And so, I’ve been somebody who, when I was a member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, was a proponent for that Committee looking into the issue of just how switched on universities are and just how switched on they need to be in order to ensure that our universities are meeting their role of being a place of genuine, free inquiry and a place where academic freedom and freedom of speech can genuinely prevail, because without it, universities don’t fulfil their function.


CHRIS SMITH:  Yeah, and I worry when people start to say, ‘oh, our national interest’, when you’re calling out the truth, I don’t buy that. I think, you know, at the end of the day you’ve gotta call it out and calling it out is not histrionics. I want to go into something else. Earlier in the week, the former Liberal MP Julia Banks had plenty to say, disparagingly, about the Prime Minister, and she apparently had some foul brush with a Minister. What did you make of her comments and do you buy the fact that she doesn’t want to take it any further?


AMANDA STOKER: Look, I think it’s very easy to take cheap shots and not follow through. What I know of the Prime Minister and what I know of the team I work with, is that they’re enormously professional; they always act with the interests of the Australian people as their first, second, third, fourth and fifth priority and that’s as it should be. You see that in their work to get Australia’s economy back on track, you see that in their efforts to ensure that we are able to be protected and to suppress the COVID virus, you see it in their efforts to make sure we don’t just look after this country, but we are safe in an uncertain world.




AMANDA STOKER: It’s a cheap headline. That doesn’t mean we don’t all need to pull together and work hard to build as good a culture as we possibly can but I certainly haven’t seen in my personal experience the matters of which she complains.


CHRIS SMITH:  Okay. We’ve seen some really heartless border closure decisions during this pandemic. I don’t think it gets as bad as the case of Anthony McCormack, who just wanted to go in and see his mother before she died. She’s now passed away, as we learned today. This is some of what he had to say this afternoon.


AUDIO: It’s just devastating, in these compassionate cases; they’re complicated, they’re nuanced. They need dialogue. Like, you need to be over-communicating in these situations. And none of that was going on with that Queensland team. I mean, no one proactively called me at all, in the entire process.


CHRIS SMITH:  This is the worst case we’ve seen in this pandemic. Not even a communication once they closed his file. These are human beings, not numbers.


AMANDA STOKER: And it really is, you know a reflection of a tale of two governments. Poor Mr McCormack has done everything right to try and get himself back into the country to see his mother before she passed away. And New South Wales proactively reached out, gave him a phone call before he got on the plane from Canada-




AMANDA STOKER: -were there to meet him at the airport, facilitated an exemption, particularly given eh was vaccinated, from the usual quarantine requirements, and they did everything they could to make it right. As right as it can be in circumstances where a person is about to lose their mum. And then you compare it to Queensland, a government, sadly as a Queenslanders I am far too used to seeing the incompetence of, and they didn’t reach out, they didn’t even answer the phone when he called-


CHRIS SMITH: Just gross. Just gross.


AMANDA STOKER: -multiple times. He couldn’t get an answer and then, even after he waits, they deny his request. Now his mum is gone. He didn’t get to say goodbye and when you add this circumstance of the horror stories we’ve heard of babies being separated from parents and people being turned way at the border for health care. I mean, this is barbaric and it’s wrong.


CHRIS SMITH:  Yep. Barbaric is a good word. Amanda stoker good to have you on again. Good to see you.


AMANDA STOKER: Thanks very much.




Media contact: Valeria Cheglov 0438 494 351 / Patrick Hannaford 0424 625 518


Media release - Veteran Health and Wellbeing Supported in Brisbane

Veteran Health and Wellbeing Supported in Brisbane


More activities supporting the health and wellbeing of Brisbane’s veteran community will receive a share of more than $2.4 million in funding under the Federal Government’s Veteran and Community Grants Program.

Assistant Minister to the Attorney-General, Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations and Assistant Minister for Women, Senator Amanda Stoker said these programs provided through local organisations are important in ensuring veterans and their families continue to get the support that they need.

“In Queensland, the National Servicemen’s Association of Australia (Queensland) and the Naval Association of Australia (Queensland Section) have received a total of $21,400,” Senator Stoker said.

“The National Servicemen’s Association will purchase some raised garden beds, conduct a series of healthy eating workshops; and encourage social interaction with a BBQ boat, while the Naval Association will buy computers to help the Bayside Sub-Section Veterans stay connected and organise virtual meetings,”

“Around 1,780 local veterans and their families will benefit.

“Congratulations to the successful applicants for this round and thank you for the ongoing support that you offer to the veteran community.

“This funding not only supports local veterans and their families, but has a growing effect within our communities, by supporting local employment and businesses.”

The funding will also go towards the development of new programs and services to help reduce social isolation by supporting local social events, upgrade existing facilities, create a community garden and provide transportation for veterans to participate in community events.

For more information visit the Veteran and Community Grants program page on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website or visit the Community Grants Hub.


Media contact:Valeria Cheglov 0438 494 351 / Patrick Hannaford 0424 625 518


Transcript - ABC Canberra Breakfast

TRANSCRIPT – ABC Canberra Breakfast

Subjects: National Archives funding


LISH FEJER: There's been a lot of discussion, hasn't there, around the National Archives in Canberra needing a little bit more funding. After pleading for public donations, the National Archives in Canberra has been granted $67 million in urgent federal funding. Australia was at risk of losing priceless historical records as the Archives struggled with budget cuts. Joining me this morning is Senator Amanda stoker. Good morning to you, Senator.

AMANDA STOKER: Good morning, Lish. How are you?

LISH FEJER: Very well, thanks. So, $67 million; this is urgent funding and in response to the plea. What'll it be used for?

AMANDA STOKER: The $67.7 million that's been committed to the Archives in the announcement today, is to ensure that we can swiftly digitise at-risk records, to make sure that we are preserving for the long-term, Australia's national story. It's also dealing with some of the, I guess, surrounding factors that impact upon the service people are able to get from the National Archives. So that they can speed up the times that people have to wait in between making an application to access records and actually getting them in their hot little hands. And also to improve their cyber resilience capability. Because when you think about the Archives as an agency that traditionally dealt with paper, they are transitioning to a very digital world. And so they need some help to make sure that as they transfer from a paper world into a [indistinct] one, they've got the skills they need to be able to do it well and do it securely.

LISH FEJER: And it'll be more than just photocopying, I imagine, Senator? Photocopying and scanning; it's- a lot of technology involved – and throughout the day, we'll probably hear from the Archives for their response. And time is of the essence as well, isn't it, in this?

AMANDA STOKER: There's an important moment that will come at the end of 2025 for the archives, and that's the moment they've assessed they really need to be able to have got through the bulk of the digitisation of at-risk records. And when we say at-risk, we're talking about things like magnetic tapes and microfiche that have a shorter shelf life. And so getting those down by 2025 is important. But what's good about this funding, is that it make sure that the archives will have the resources they need to do this within the forward estimates – over the next four years. That's a lot faster than was originally contemplated by the Tune review, which put this issue on the agenda. That report suggested seven years. Of course, some time has passed since then and so we're committed to making sure that that important milestone for the Archive is met.

LISH FEJER: Well, all the best with that. And no doubt, lots of- a few jobs as well for digital archivists, will be added as part of that 67 million.

AMANDA STOKER: Yes. I know that's- I know that's something that's always of interest in Canberra. And it's something that, in particular, Zed Seselja and Josh Frydenberg had in mind in; the importance of making sure those jobs were acknowledged for their importance, and so funded.

LISH FEJER: Yeah, why wasn't it- why wasn't it done in the first place?

AMANDA STOKER: Well, I think that it's possibly an over simplification to say this should have been done straight off the bat. The Archives is an agency that is at a bit of a crossroads. They have a changing responsibility in circumstances where, as I mentioned before, they have been paper agency, but now they are increasingly needing to be a digital one. They face a number of matters which they need to build capability, with our support, of course. And so the task of making sure we get this right, wasn't as simple is I'll throw in some money. It means that we needed to really understand what was necessary at a granular level to make sure this Agency wasn't- didn't just have the money to solve this short-term problem, but in fact, had the plan and the capability it needs to be able to be relevant for decades and decades to come.

LISH FEJER: Okay. Thanks so much, Senator.

AMANDA STOKER: So a much bigger job.

LISH FEJER: Yep. And money's certainly going to help. That $67 million. It all starts with cash. Thank you so much for joining me.

AMANDA STOKER: Thanks, Lish. Bye-bye.

LISH FEJER: Senator Amanda Stoker there, funding for the National Archives, $67 million going to them to digitise, digitise, digitise, so that all those incredible resources and material of our history stays in place.



Media Contacts: Valeria Cheglov – 0438 494 351 Patrick Hannaford – 0424 625 518