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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 11 April 2022


CELEBRATIONS were held recently to mark the completion of the Merriwa Rotary Skate Park.

The multi-stage development on the eastern side of the township commenced in 2005 as a Rotary Centennial project with the final works completed in June last year.

Congratulatory to Merriwa Rotary for its vision which has delivered not only a skate park but a range of outdoor facilities and a new Driver Reviver rest stop.

I’m pleased to see the NSW Government among the many contributors to this project through the Stronger Country Communities Fund, the Community Building Partnership Program and NSW Government Sport and Recreation grants.


I encourage motorists taking to the roads during the Easter-April school holidays to plan their trip and make use of Driver Revivers including the new Merriwa facilities.

NSW Police will conduct Double Demerit enforcements for the Easter holiday, 14 -18 April and Anzac Day long weekend, 22-25 April.

Drivers and riders are currently being reminded about roadwork speed limits and looking out for road workers as temporary work sites increase due to recent floods and NSW Government work on regional road projects.

The NSW Centre for Road Safety has also called for motorists to brush up on the road rules with transportable mobile phone detection cameras targeting drivers illegally using a mobile phone across NSW anywhere, anytime day or night.

There are different rules for using a mobile phone depending on your licence, to discover more check Mobile Phone Laws at:


I encourage everyone from the Upper Hunter electorate to take advantage of the NSW Government’s Fare-Free 12 Days of Easter.

The free travel delivers some hip pocket relief after a challenging time for many following COVID-19 restrictions, adverse weather and disruptions to the rail network.

All modes of public transport on the Opal network including Metro, train, bus, light rail, and ferry services in the Hunter, Central Coast, Sydney, Blue Mountains and the Illawarra are involved.

The fare-free period commences Thursday 14 April from 4:00 am until 3:59 am Tuesday 26 April with passengers required to wear a mask on public transport and sit or stand where they see a green dot.

Plan your trip through Transport for NSW


A revolutionary app has helped SafeWork NSW prevent injuries and deaths, with 1,297 reports since its inception two years ago.

The ‘Speak Up Save Lives’ app allows workers to anonymously raise safety concerns with SafeWork NSW.

Anonymity is a major concern for workers, who fear speaking up could lead to punishment or even the loss of their jobs.

Minister for Fair Trading Eleni Petinos has reassured workers that any identifying features of a submission will not be made visible to an employer.

Businesses are still required to report all notifiable incidents, including death, serious injury or illness, or a dangerous incident, by calling 131050 immediately.

For more information on the Speak Up Save Lives app,


The Seniors Card is celebrating 30 years with the NSW Government making a digital version available via the Service NSW app.

The digital cards will be opt-in only and customers will continue to receive a physical card.

When this initiative was first introduced 250,000 seniors had access to discounts and rebates from 320 goods and service providers.

Now, it is one of the largest programs of its kind in Australia, with 1.8 million seniors able to access discounts and rebates at more than 6,500 shops, travel, entertainment and professional services.

To find instructions on how to add a digital Seniors or Senior Savers Card to the Service NSW app or to learn more visit


Primary producers are set to benefit from the NSW Government’s $125 million investment in the Primary Industries Productivity and Abatement Program to drive sustainable land management, boost productivity and help reduce emissions.

This program is about improving both our planet and bottom line by supporting farmers to take up low emissions technologies and sell more produce to consumers who want a low carbon future.

The Primary Industries Productivity and Abatement Program has three focus areas

including to develop market and industry foundations, to build critical mass and capacity and accelerate finance for natural capital and low carbon farming.

The Government is continuing to engage with stakeholders on the implementation of the program, with applications for funding to open in the coming months.


Nominations for the 2022 NSW Education Minister’s and Secretary’s Awards for Excellence are now open.

The Public Education Foundation manages the awards on behalf of Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, Sarah Mitchell, and NSW Department of Education Secretary, Georgina Harrisson.

These awards showcase the exceptional work that occurs every day across NSW public education by schools, students, teachers, employees and parents.

All nominations must be submitted online by Wednesday 8 June with winners presented with their awards at Sydney Town Hall on Tuesday 6 September.

Find out more about the award categories and submit your nominations:


The community can recognise a frontline emergency service worker who goes above and beyond the call of duty by nominating them in the annual Rotary Clubs and Districts of NSW Emergency Services Community Awards (NSW RESCA).

The awards recognise emergency service personnel and volunteers from Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW Ambulance, NSW State Emergency Service, Surf Life Saving NSW, Volunteer Rescue Association and NSW Marine Rescue NSW.

Emergency services personnel are not only first responders during times of crisis, but also do important work year-round, including community engagement and fundraising.

RESCA nominations close Tuesday 31 May:


Tennis clubs and community organisations can access a share of $2.4 million to build new tennis facilities for people of all ages and abilities to play tennis.

The NSW ATP Cup Tennis Legacy Fund is a partnership between the NSW Government and Tennis NSW that sees money invested over three years for grassroots organisations to deliver accessible sport.

Grants of up to $50,000 are for applicants who can make a co-contribution to their project with tennis clubs, associations and councils encouraged to apply.

Applications close on Monday 2 May with more information at:


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