Media Releases

La Trobe Regional Arts students will be hit hard by 2021 changes

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is calling on La Trobe University to reinstate face to face learning for Bachelor of Arts students in Bendigo next year.

“I am deeply concerned that La Trobe is moving their arts degree to an online only option for regional students in the same year that fees for these students will dramatically increase,” Chesters said. 

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Chesters Releases Damning Report on Aged Care Sector in Bendigo Electorate

Chesters Releases Damning Report on Aged Care Sector in Bendigo Electorate

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters has published a report titled ‘Fix the Aged Care Crisis’ after conducting a survey on the aged care sector within the Bendigo electorate.

“Australia’s aged care system has been broken for years and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how desperately the sector needs serious reform,” Chesters said.

“The findings of my report demonstrate this experience is no different in Bendigo.

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Latest JobSeeker Cut Announced at Worst Time for Recipients

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters has slammed the Federal Government’s latest JobSeeker cut, raising concerns for 10,000 locals receiving the payment.

“The Morrison Government will extend the JobSeeker supplement to March 28th and reduce the rate by another $100 per fortnight,” Chesters said.

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Morrison Must Provide More Support to Graduating Class of 2020

With Central Victorian Year 12 students graduating this month, Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is calling on the Federal Government to provide certainty for the class of 2020 by increasing university places.

“Students at Bendigo Senior Secondary are graduating this week and other schools are following in the coming weeks, but many students are still anxious about whether or not they’ll get into uni,” Chesters said.

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Chesters Calls for Extension of Coronavirus Supplement and Announcement of JobSeeker Base Rate

Federal Labor has moved amendments to extend the Coronavirus Supplement until March, in line with JobKeeper – and require the Government to announce a permanent increase in JobSeeker Payment.

 Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters says the Government must provide some certainty for anxious JobSeeker recipients.

“Now is the worst time for the Government to be cutting support for people who have lost their jobs and are strugging to find work,” Chesters said.

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Morrison Government Could Help End Poverty Now

This Anti-Poverty Week is the perfect time for the Morrison Government to step up and take action to help end poverty.

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters says there are two key areas that the Federal Government need to pay more attention to.

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Budget Fails to Deliver for Bendigo

Last night’s Federal Budget is more of the same from the Liberal Government, but times are not normal.

Bendigo is not mentioned once in the Budget papers. 

Once again, we have missed out on our fair share of funding for local projects and many of us have been left behind.

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Bendigo Deserves Its Fair Share This Federal Budget

Bendigo Deserves Its Fair Share This Federal Budget

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is calling for investment in a number of key local infrastructure projects, including the Bendigo Airport Expansion and Bendigo Showgrounds Redevelopment, in next week’s Federal Budget.

“Now is the time to get behind big projects in Bendigo that will support our growth and the economy as we recover from the covid-19 pandemic,” Chesters said.

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Travel Industry Deserves More Support This Federal Budget

Travel Industry Deserves More Support This Federal Budget

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP is calling for additional support for the travel industry in next week’s Federal Budget.

“Since March I have spoken to many travel agents in the Bendigo electorate who have been severely impacted due to the covid-19 pandemic,” Chesters said.

“Through no fault of their own, travel agents were the first to be hit by covid-19 restrictions and the sector will be the last to recover

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Government Should Rewrite Plan for Higher Education this Budget

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is calling on the Morrison Government to scrap their higher education package and release a new plan in the upcoming budget.

“The hard truth is that many Central Victorians will miss out on university altogether and fees for some degrees will double under the changes announced by the Liberals,” Chesters said.

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JobSeeker Cut to Cost Central Victorians $3million per Fortnight

The Central Victorian economy will be more than $3million worse off per fortnight when next week’s JobSeeker cut takes place.


Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters has raised concerns at the timing of the cuts, with restrictions now eased across regional Victoria.

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Three Weeks Until Telehealth Trouble

Concerns are growing for healthcare in Central Victoria with temporary telehealth measures introduced by the Government for the COVID-19 pandemic due to expire on September 30. 
 
Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is calling on the Government to urgently extend these Medicare Benefits Schedule subsidies.

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Labor Will Move to Save the Aboriginal Flag

The Aboriginal flag is a national symbol, but it’s not being treated like one said the Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters.

Labor has announced that they will introduce a private members bill to compel the Government to negotiate with all rights holders so the Aboriginal flag design can be used freely by the community, similar to the Australian flag. 

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Pensioners Must Not Get Left Behind

Central Victorian pensioners are being warned they will not receive their usual payment increase this month.

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is in Canberra for Parliament this week and will be calling on the Morrison Government to make sure pensioners are not left behind throughout the continuing pandemic.

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Over 10,000 Central Victorians Facing JobSeeker Cut in Less Than One Month

Central Victorian JobSeeker recipients are less than one month away from a rate cut of $300 a fortnight, despite the continuing COVID19 pandemic.

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters said it’s not fair that payments are reduced whilst Victorian lockdown continues.

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Morrison Government Must Urgently Act to Prevent Further Job Losses at Latrobe University

La Trobe University has announced another round of voluntary redundancies as the sector continues to suffer from the financial impact of COVID-19.

This is in addition to the voluntary round of redundancies called several months ago and two forced restructures, which will lead to job losses in Student Services Portfolio and the Education Portfolio.

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Morrison Government Must Provide Greater Support to Meat Processing Industry

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is calling on the Federal Government to provide greater support for the meat processing and food manufacturing industry.

For COVID19 Health and safety reasons, the Victorian Government has imposed restrictions for meat processing facilities across the state, including staff reductions to 66 per cent in red-meat plants and 80 per cent reductions at chicken processing facilities.

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Central Victorians Can Claim Pandemic Disaster Leave Payment From Today

From today, employees can contact the Australian Government Emergency Information line on 180-22-66 to make a claim for a Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is encouraging Central Victorians to access the payment if they need to stay home from work, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and further restrictions on the region.

“From midnight tonight our region will be under Stage 3 restrictions. Access to this payment could stop us from having to move to stage four restrictions if people know that they don’t have to go into work while sick,” Chesters said.

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Chesters Calls for Action Around Paid Pandemic Leave

Chesters Calls for Action Around Paid Pandemic Leave

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is calling for action around paid pandemic leave for all Central Victorian workers.

“I’ve spoken with many local workers, unions and employers over the past few months. 

“Almost every workplace is doing something different when it comes to leave entitlements for COVID-19 testing and isolation,” Chesters said.

“No worker should be left considering if they should go to work with mild symptoms to pay the bills.

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Morrison Government Should Invest in Regional Tourism Infrastructure

Morrison Government Should Invest in Regional Tourism Infrastructure

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is calling on the Morrison Government to fund their fair share of the Macedon Ranges Trails Project.

“The Victorian State Government has committed $8.75 million towards the first stage project and I’d like to see the Federal Government step in and help with the second stage,” Chesters said.

“The local tourism industry is one of the hardest hit in this pandemic, so it is vital that we invest in infrastructure which encourages visitors to our great region,” Chesters said.

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Maldon Golf Club Upgraded Thanks to Stronger Communities Grant

Maldon Golf Club Upgraded Thanks to Stronger Communities Grant

The Maldon Golf Club have upgraded their clubhouse and enhanced access for all abilities thanks to $15,000 from the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Programme.

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters has visited the club to see the improvements.

“It’s great to see smaller, regional clubs like the Maldon Golf Club being recognised through the Stronger Communities Programme.”

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Macedon Support Agencies Raise Concerns Over JobSeeker Snap-back

Macedon Support Agencies Raise Concerns Over JobSeeker Snap-back

Macedon support agency, Cobaw Community Health are calling for a rise in the JobSeeker rate after seeing the positive impact of the $550 Coronavirus Supplement.

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters has supported their call.

“Concerns are growing, with the rate set to snap back to around $40 a day, or $567.70 a fortnight, in just 69 days," Chesters said. 

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Chesters Backs Hospitality Industry's Calls Not To End Jobkeeper Too Early

Chesters Backs Hospitality Industry's Calls Not To End Jobkeeper Too Early

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP is backing the local hospitality industry’s call on the Federal Government not to end the JobKeeper Scheme.

“The Morrison Government must not end JobKeeper too early,” Chesters said. 

“I have met with a number of locals in the hospitality and tourism industry who have told me that we are far from the recovery stages of this pandemic.

“With capacity limits in place and Melbourne lockdown continuing, our restaurants, bars and cafes are still relying on support packages to stay afloat.

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Chesters Welcomes Bushmaster Contract at Thales Bendigo

Chesters Welcomes Bushmaster Contract at Thales Bendigo

A $75million contract has been secured by Bendigo’s Thales factory to build 43 new Bushmasters for the New Zealand Defence Force.

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters has welcomed the news, congratulating Thales on their ongoing defence manufacturing.

“This is fantastic news for Thales and its staff,” Chesters said.

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Now is the Time to Fund Sporting Infrastructure Upgrades

Now is the Time to Fund Sporting Infrastructure Upgrades

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP is calling on the Federal Government to provide funding for local sporting infrastructure projects.


“With covid-19 restrictions forcing leagues to cancel their seasons, now is an ideal time for building works and upgrades to happen,” Chesters said.


“The list of clubs that have contacted me to say they require an upgrade is endless.

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JobKeeper Must be Extended for Travel Industry

JobKeeper Must be Extended for Travel Industry

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP has met with travel industry experts in Castlemaine to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to demand the extension of JobKeeper.

“There’s no doubt that the travel industry has been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chesters said.

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Higher JobSeeker Rate is Changing Lives

Higher JobSeeker Rate is Changing Lives

Central Victorian JobSeeker (formerly NewStart) recipients have shared their experiences since receiving a higher payment rate, due to the $550 Coronavirus supplement.

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters said concerns are growing, with the rate set to snap back to around $40 a day, or $567.70 a fortnight in just 85 days.  

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Justice Demanded for Central Victorian Robodebt Victims

Justice Demanded for Central Victorian Robodebt Victims

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is demanding justice for local Robodebt victims and calling on the Morrison Government to refund all debt and rule out reducing to such a scheme again.

“Many Central Victorians have contacted my office over the past few years after receiving confusing Centrelink debt notices as high as almost $40,000,” Chesters said.

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Round 4 Local Sporting Champs Grants Awarded to Bendigo's Young Champions

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, has announced 16 successful recipients of Round 4 of the 2019-20 Local Sporting Champions Grants.

“Playing sport at competition level takes passion, dedication and hard work.  It also involves extensive travel, training, specialist equipment and clothing, and as many parents have told me, all those costs add up,” Chesters said.

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Local Businesses Want JobKeeper Expanded and Extended

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters has released the findings of the COVID-19 business survey, after contacting more than 100 local businesses.

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