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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 10 October 2022


REGIONAL HEALTH SURVEY


NSW HEALTH is inviting public input on the draft framework for the Regional Health Plan 2022-2032.


The plan will provide a blueprint for the future to enhance regional, rural and remote NSW health services, improving patient experience, and delivering better health outcomes for these communities.


The draft framework provides an overview of the 10-year deliverables and goals which will improve regional health outcomes.


It has been informed by previous work and contact with key stakeholders including 68 consultation sessions with 1,600 people across NSW and completion of more than 2,000 surveys.


Provide your feedback and share ideas until 23 October at: https://www.haveyoursay.nsw.gov.au/nsw-regional-health-plan


DRAFT TRANSPORT PLAN


The Draft Hunter Regional Transport Plan is now out for public consultation and outlines the NSW Government’s strategy to address congestion, improve freight connections and make the M1 a Smart Motorway.


The Upper Hunter Electorate is already seeing some initiatives delivered – like the New England Highway upgrade between Belford and the Golden Highway – and others that are about to get underway, including the Muswellbrook and Singleton bypasses.


Future planning includes investigating initiatives such as further New England Highway upgrades north of Scone at Rocky Cut, Singleton to Muswellbrook and Muswellbrook to Scone.


The plan covers 10 local government areas including Mid Coast, Dungog, Singleton, Muswellbrook, Upper Hunter, Cessnock, Maitland and Port Stephens.


Residents and stakeholders can visit the Future Transport website to make submissions by 11 November;


NIGHT HIGHWAY CLOSURE


A road closure is planned this week as part of the continuing work on the New England Highway upgrade between Belford and the Golden Highway.


Night work to install safety barriers on the new overpass bridge across the New England Highway will be carried out from Monday 10 October.


Work will be carried out between 7pm and 5am until Friday 14 October and is expected to be completed in four shifts, weather permitting.


Access will be maintained for residents and emergency services, however, a detour will be in place via Range Road and the Golden Highway.


Motorists are advised to plan ahead as the detour is expected to add up to 10 minutes of extra travel time.


BROKE FLOOD CONCERT


Singleton is the venue this weekend for the Broke Flood Relief Concert Fundraiser to assist the Broke Residents Community Association with its flood relief efforts.


The Brisbane Water Brass Band has taken the lead to organise the event on Saturday night at Club Singleton from 7pm.


Singleton Town Band will join the Central Coast musicians with the concert supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.


Tickets for the fundraiser are available from the Trybooking website www.trybooking.com/events/landing/964600 or at the door.


REGIONAL ACTIVATION FUNDING


The Regional Investment Activation Fund is putting more than $100 million on the table to co-invest in game-changing projects that turbocharge priority industries or locations in regional NSW.


Applications are now open for expressions of interest from Australian and global investors interested in expanding or setting up in the state’s Special Activation Precincts, Regional Job Precincts and other priority locations.


The Regional Investment Activation Fund will invest with eligible businesses in projects that aim to deliver significant economic, social and/or environmental benefits for a priority industry or location.


Projects must be completed by 30 May 2025 with more information at: www.nsw.gov.au/RIAF.


ENERGY TENDER


The NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap has been launched paving the way for a cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy future for the state.


A tender for renewable energy and long duration storage contracts open until 28 October is the first in a series of bi-annual tenders over 10 years to replace retiring coal fired power stations with modern electricity infrastructure.


NSW is targeting the construction of 12 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, enough to power the equivalent of 5.8 million homes, as well as 2 gigawatts of long duration storage like pumped hydro.


Five massive Renewable Energy Zones will be built across the State, which will produce clean electricity and create major investment opportunities for industry and small businesses.


WORKERS COMPENSATION CHANGES


Following wide consultation on a new claims model and a comprehensive tender process Insurance and Care NSW (icare) has selected six Claim Service Providers to manage claims in the Nominal Insurer (NI) scheme.


Allianz, Employers Mutual Limited (EML), DXC, Gallagher Bassett (GB), GIO, and QBE have been appointed to manage claims for the NSW NI workers compensation scheme.


This is a significant milestone to improve workers compensation and the next step in a major reset of the scheme that will improve outcomes for injured workers, give employers greater choice, and increase financial sustainability over time.


This implementation aligns with the measured and staged approach recommended by the McDougall Review with the new claims model part of an extensive improvement program underway at icare.


IVF TREATMENT REBATE


A cash rebate of up to $2,000 is now available for NSW women who undergo fertility treatment with an accredited private provider.


The NSW Government rebate builds on earlier state government initiatives that make fertility treatments more affordable.


To be eligible for the fertility treatment rebate, women must be a resident of NSW and incurred an out-of-pocket cost from an accredited private provider from 1 October 2022.


More information on how the NSW Government is working to improve affordability and access to IVF services is available online:


STAY FIRE ALERT


The Rural Fire Service is warning NSW communities of a greater risk of grass fires after recent wet weather with the official bush fire season now underway state wide.


While flooding is a focus, it is important we also stay prepared for bush and grass fires.


The rain has triggered rapid vegetation growth with more than 1,000 grass fires across the state already since July.


The RFS warns all it takes is a few days of hot, dry and windy weather for fire conditions to deteriorate which is why we need to be aware of the risks and be ready to respond.


Information about fire permits, required notifications and hazard reduction burning is available at: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/BFDP


SWIM LESSONS VOUCHER


Parents are being encouraged to take advantage of the First Lap learn to swim program with a $100 state government voucher available.


The program helps families across NSW access swimming lessons with registered First Lap providers to ensure more children have vital water safety and survival skills so they are safe in the water this summer.


Your child must be aged between 3 and 6 years with the voucher only able to be used for a program of at least five structured and supervised swimming lessons, which are either intensive (daily) or regular weekly lessons.


Parents can redeem the voucher via the Service NSW app, by calling 13 77 88 or visiting the Service NSW website:

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