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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 1 November 2021


NOVEMBER has arrived and I want to wish our Higher School Certificate students every success with your HSC exams starting next week.

My thoughts are with you after the challenging preparation that you have endured during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Your school is now able to apply on your behalf if you have experienced severe disruption during the learning from home period through the NSW Education Standards Authority’s (NESA) new COVID-19 Special Consideration Program for HSC written exams. The program is open to students whose learning was significantly compromised for six weeks or more due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

Whilst the completion of your secondary education has been challenged by events beyond your and your teachers’ control, I hope the resilience you have developed over the past two years will come to the fore over coming weeks.


I was pleased to join Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey, and Upper Hunter Council Mayor, Councillor Maurice Collison, to officially open the new Murrurundi reservoir last week.

The NSW Government Safe and Secure Water Program provided over $900,000 funding for the storage which complements the State funded $13 million Scone to Murrurundi Pipeline Project.

The new 1,650kl concrete reservoir is more than three times bigger than two older reservoirs it is replaces and will store water from the pipeline for the township.


A new state-wide campaign by the NSW Rural Fire Service is urging the community to prepare for the bush fire season and to live bush fire ready.

The ‘Live Bush Fire Ready’ public awareness campaign captures the stories and emotive images of people at the height of the 2019-20 bushfire season, and importantly, how they are planning and preparing for this bushfire season.

I encourage local communities not to be complacent or delay preparations with the Bush Fire Danger Period having commenced on 1 September across the majority of council areas in the Upper Hunter electorate.

Visit to learn more about preparing your plan. Watch the new TV ad online at


An awareness campaign has also been launched by the NSW Government to remind motorists of the road rules when driving near horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles on roads.

Animal collisions are a risk in rural areas, which is why Transport for NSW is running this campaign to remind everyone to share the road safely with horses.

In the last ten years, there were nine casualty crashes involving a ridden horse while there were 54 casualty crashes involving a riderless horse struck by a vehicle, resulting in two deaths and 15 serious injuries.

If you’re passing a horse, whether it’s being ridden or led, or pulling a vehicle, you should slow down and leave plenty of room, don’t use your horn or rev your engine as horses can get spooked which can pose a risk.


Hunter New England Health Local Health District is inviting farmers to participate in the Farming and Rural workers Sleep Health (FRESH) study.

The research aims to better understand farmers’ sleep and sleeping issues, as well as their general health and wellbeing and work habits to improve management strategies and as a result, their physical and mental health.

The study involves a quick online survey which asks about farm demographics, sleeping habits and sleep disorders, general and mental health and workplace accidents.

Participants should be older than 18 years and work on a farm for eight or more hours a week. The survey can be found at


Service NSW’s Mobile Service Centre will be a familiar sight across the Upper Hunter electorate this month.

On Thursday 4 November it visits Duke Street Paterson (9.30am-3pm) then Tuesday 9 November outside the Uniting Church in Liverpool Street Stroud (9am-4pm).

The mobile service then heads to Scone Tuesday 16 November outside Upper Hunter Shire Council (9am-4pm) and the Murrurundi Community Technology Centre on Wednesday 17 November (10am-3pm).

Driver testing will be conducted by appointment during the Stroud and Scone visits.


One of the great honours of being your member in the state parliament is being about to make nominations for the NSW Government Community Service Award.

It recognises individuals who have substantially contributed to the improvement of the quality of life of members in their community.

The award must be for community work performed principally within the Upper Hunter electorate with the nominee held in high regard by the community and has strong ethical and community values.

Award recipients receive a NSW Government Community Service Award plaque engraved with their name, and a certificate signed by the Premier.

I would like to hear your thoughts on prospective nominees by emailing the Upper Hunter Electorate Office


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