Category: Luke's latest news

Bruce Highway Upgrades at risk under Labor’s infrastructure razor gang

Delivery of the Bruce Highway Upgrades from Bracken Ridge to Pine River, including the Dohles Rocks Rd on/off ramps, Linkfield Rd Overpass and the Beams Rd Overpass, have been put at risk by the Albanese Labor Government’s decision to have a razor gang review funding for Queensland infrastructure projects.

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Last week, the Federal Member for Petrie, the Hon. Luke Howarth celebrated the contributions of volunteers in the local community who go above and beyond in remarkable ways at Petrie’s 2023 Volunteer Awards Morning Tea.

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The new Deception Bay Skate Park officially opened to four and two wheeled enthusiasts on Saturday and the Deception Bay community showed up in droves to support this brand-new development.

The Federal Government invested $156,000 into the $1.5 million project, working together with the Moreton Bay Regional Council under Phase 3 of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

The project scope included the design and construction of an upgrade to the existing skate park with the objective to provide quality and safe skating facilities to encourage community engagement in physical activity and to meet the future infrastructure demand for skating.

The Skate Park was originally projected to be completed by June 2023, however the Moreton Bay Regional Council worked tirelessly to deliver this project two months ahead of schedule and the community are now already enjoying the benefit of this newest feature to the Deception Bay area.

The Federal Member for Petrie, the Hon Luke Howarth has said “I am pleased be able to deliver this much needed upgrade for the Deception Bay community in conjunction with the Moreton Bay Regional Council. The old skate park was worn down and out of date. The concrete used for the new skate park is much smoother and safer, meaning less injuries for skaters, and obstacles designed for both beginners and those more experienced.”

“Youth engagement in physical activity is such an important initiative in our communities and the PCYC down at Deception Bay do a great job in keeping young people engaged with positive recreational programs and sporting activities.”

Media contact: Danielle Rossetto: 0421105795 |

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Labor must reveal Moreton Bay Regional Councils infrastructure fund allocation

The Albanese Government must end eight months of secrecy over how much money the Moreton Bay Regional Council will receive from the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program.

Federal Member for Petrie, The Hon Luke Howarth said councils are being restricted in planning their operations for 2023 due to Albanese Government secrecy and delays over grants programs.

“Labor is showing complete disrespect for the Moreton Bay Region by keeping councillors in the dark about when they will receive promised funding and how much will be made available.

“Councils are trying to plan their capital works budgets for the year ahead but they are being hampered in their ability to do so by Government secrecy.

“At the last election Labor promised to extend a highly successful Coalition program by investing $750 million for local roads and community infrastructure, including $500 million additional funding budgeted by the former Coalition Government.

“This is a program strongly supported by local government because it provides a source of untied funding which they can use to upgrade roads or invest in other community infrastructure to help local families and businesses.

“Councils are relying on this grant being available from 1 July, but after eight months in office the Government has failed to provide any information to councils as to what amount of funding they can expect to receive or the conditions attached to it.

Luke Howarth has said it makes life difficult for councils to finalise budgets and capital works plans when government refuses to say how much they will receive and on what conditions.

“Labor’s secretive approach to this program compares poorly to the Coalition’s open style, where councils were told exactly how much money they would receive within a few weeks of an extra $500 million being committed in the March 2022 Federal budget.

“In our community, the Coalition had budgeted for the Moreton Bay Regional Council to receive $5,003,061.

“It is concerning that the Department was unable to confirm whether Labor would honour this and other funding commitments, as a minimum, when interrogated at Senate Estimates in December 2022.

“The Government needs to start showing respect to the Moreton Bay Regional Council and our local community by ending the secrecy and delays over this program.

“I call on the Government to write to the Moreton Bay Regional Council advising what funding they will receive from the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program to enable councillors and staff to get on with the task of improving our local area.

Media contact: Danielle Rossetto: 0421105795|

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The test for this year’s federal budget was for the Government to build on the strong position it inherited from the Coalition to address the cost of living crisis bearing down on families and businesses in Petrie.


Labor has failed this test.


This budget does nothing to assist your family budget.

This budget fails families in Petrie at a time when they really need a plan to address cost of living pressures.

This budget confirms that families in Petrie.



·         Your cost of living is going up.

·         Your power prices are going up (by more than 50%).

·         Your gas prices are going up (by 40%).

·         Taxes are going up (with $142 billion more receipts to be collected).

·         Unemployment is forecast to go up.

·         Real wages are forecast to go down.

·         Interest rates are continuing to go up.


It’s a high-taxing and high-spending budget that does nothing to help you or your family get ahead.


Just before the election, the Prime Minister told Australians that they “will be better off under a Labor government.”

In fact, by Christmas, the average Australian family will be at least $2,000 worse off.


The Coalition wants Australia to do well, but we are being hampered by a new government with no economic plan for the future.


Australians deserve better from a government that promised so much, but in its first economic test, has delivered very little.




Media contacts:

Danielle Rossetto – – 07 3284 8008

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Shadow Ministry Acceptance


Australia’s reality is Ukraine today could be East Asia Tomorrow

When a Chinese military fighter jet intercepted a RAAF plane in international airspace over the South China Sea last month setting off flares and releasing a load of aluminium chaff, threatening the safety of its Australian crew, they defied international law and conventions.

And we should heed Japanese Prime Minister Kishida’s warning that what we are seeing play out in Europe today in Ukraine, upsetting the balance of world order, could be East Asia tomorrow.

Authoritarian governments around the world are destabilising our longest-ever period of relative global peace.

Most of us have not lived through a more treacherous period in history and as such, I am honoured to be appointed as Shadow Minister for Defence Industries.

I partner with my colleagues Andrew Hastie as Minister for Defence, Phillip Thompson OAM as Assistant Minister for Defence, and Barnaby Joyce as Minister for Veterans Affairs to uphold the strategic vision laid out by the Coalition government led by Peter Dutton for Australia’s national security.

I am proud to have been a part of the Coalition government that addressed the biggest issues impacting our national security and Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel as part of that strategic vision:

  • Commissioning the Afghanistan Inquiry Report to preserve Defence’s proud and respected reputation earned by professional and ethical personnel over decades
  • Lifting ADF funding to 2% GDP addressing the budgetary cuts by previous Labor governments
  • And making the difficult, but economically and militarily responsible decision to replace the French submarine deal with the nuclear submarine capability that comes with the trilateral security pact with the United Kingdom and United States (AUKUS).

We must accept the reality we have entered a dangerous new era in foreign relations, and I will challenge the current Labor government to have realistic conversations on how to best secure the peace going forward for Australia with an acceptance that Beijing will never recede and will not back off.

With Beijing’s increased militarisation, aggression in the South China Sea, economic coercion with Pacific Island neighbours and $20 billion in Australian trade sanctions, there has never been a more crucial time for liberal democracies around the world to deepen and strengthen ties to counteract the aggression.

A strong Australia is only possible with responsible government and our Shadow Defence Ministers will be closely monitoring this Labor government to ensure it acts in the interests of Australia.


Media contacts:

Kimberley Washington – – 07 32848008

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$600 million package to help Queensland businesses




The Commonwealth and Queensland Governments have reached a 50/50 funding agreement that will see the value of the Queensland COVID-19 Business Support Grants rise from $260 million to $600 million.

As part of the package additional support for businesses that have had a decline in turnover of more than 30 per cent will include:

  • A $1,000 one-off grant to non-employing sole traders across Queensland that have had a decline in turnover of more than 30 per cent.
  • Payroll-based support for all businesses across Queensland, that have had a decline in turnover of more than 30 per cent.
    • A $5,000 one-off, top-up grant to small business with payroll of less than $1.3 million
    • A $10,000 one-off, top-up grant to medium sized business with payroll between $1.3 million and $10 million
    • A $25,000 one-off, top-up grant to large sized tourism and hospitality focused businesses only with payroll of greater than $10 million.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said this new business support package recognises that the impact of lockdowns is felt right across Australia.

“The Morrison Government recognises the impact that lockdowns across the country are having on businesses in Queensland,” Treasurer Frydenberg said.

“This package will help to keep businesses in business and Queenslanders in jobs and builds on the almost $30 billion in economic support the Morrison Government has provided Queensland households and businesses during the pandemic.”

“As we have done so throughout this crisis, we will continue to work with the Palaszczuk Government to ensure the Queensland economy continues to recover from the impact of COVID-19.”

Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Investment Cameron Dick said the agreement would boost support, not just for businesses that have been affected by recent lockdowns, but by those that continue to suffer because of lockdowns in other jurisdictions.

“We know that across Queensland, the lack of international and interstate visitors is affecting businesses every day, especially those in tourism and hospitality,” Treasurer Dick said.

“This dollar-for-dollar agreement with the Federal Government will see Queensland’s contribution rise to $300 million and vastly increase the scope of support available to businesses right across the state.”

“From Monday 16 August, our $5000 COVID-19 Business Support Grants program will be open to businesses across Queensland, but this agreement with the Federal Government is in addition to that and means that we will be able to extend our support even further.”

“It comes on top of the nearly $70 million in additional support and benefits for Queensland tourism and hospitality businesses that I announced earlier this week.”

“I want to thank Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg for his rapid response to the evolving impact that COVID-19 is having on businesses right across Queensland.”

Full details about the program can be accessed at

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Government tells big tech to put safety first


8 AUGUST 2021

Social media and tech companies will be expected to protect their users from online harms such as
bullying and cyber abuse under a new set of Basic Online Safety Expectations (BOSE) released for
public consultation today by the Morrison Government.

Following the passage in June of the tough new Online Safety Act 2021, Australians are now
encouraged to have their say on the BOSE, which sets out a series of demands to big tech that reflect
how the community expects to be kept safe online.

Under the BOSE, online providers will be subject to core expectations, additional expectation and
reasonable steps to ensure the safety of users on their platforms. While core expectations include
taking actions to deal with longstanding harms such as cyberbullying or kids accessing violent
material, reasonable steps could include actions against such emerging risks such as ‘volumetric
attacks’ where ‘digital lynch mobs’ seek to overwhelm a victim with abuse; or that products for
children have the highest privacy and safety settings set as default.

Other expectations include:

  • That providers take steps to prevent children accessing class 2 material such as R18+ content;
  • That services do more to prevent unlawful or harmful material on anonymous accounts;
  • That providers take steps against cyber-bullying, non-consensual intimate images of a person
    and promotion, incitement or instruction in abhorrent violent conduct; and
  • That users have clear ways to make reports or complaints to services.

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner will have the power to order tech companies to report on how they
are responding to these harms and issue hefty fines of up to $555,000 if they don’t respond.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP,
said online safety was a priority of the Government: “We we will always fight to protect all Australians, but
especially children, from online harm and we expect big tech to step up and deliver on these expectations.”

Consultation is now open for all Australians to have your say on the proposed BOSE. After
considering feedback, the Minister will make the final BOSE in early 2022. Submissions are open until
Friday 15 October 2021.

More information, including how to participate, is available at
Media contact:
Imre Salusinszky | 0432 535 737 |
Erin Forster | 0448 207 414 |

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Veterans Affairs Legislation Amendment Bill 2020

9 November 2020: Hon. Luke Howarth, Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services speaks in Parliament regarding the Veterans Affairs Legislation Amendment Bill.

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