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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 12 June 2023


DISASTER FUNDING


TWO projects in the Upper Hunter electorate have secured federal government disaster assistance funding.


Round one of the Disaster Ready Fund provides almost $1.2 million for stage two of the Denman Drainage Strategy and over $672,000 for the Disaster Ready Singleton Project.


Muswellbrook Shire Council will deliver the Denman project at a total cost of almost $2.6 million with over $1.3 million required for Singleton Council to rollout Disaster Ready.

The Disaster Ready Fund will help better protect and prepare for future disasters with round one projects to support community safety, reduce disaster risk and support community resilience.


For more on Disaster Ready including round two visit: https://nema.gov.au/programs/disaster-ready-fund/round-one


LAND TAX PAYMENTS


The MyServiceNSW Account is being expanded to handle even more transactions including the ability to manage land tax obligations.


Land tax is an annual tax levied at the end of the calendar year on property which is above the land tax threshold.


In most cases a principal place of residence is exempt and other exemptions and concessions may apply.


People can also opt-in for digital notifications via their account, giving customers an alternative to paper notices and speeding up delivery time from ten business days to just 48 hours.


Customers can continue to manage their land tax obligations on the Revenue NSW website, in person at a Service NSW Service Centre, by calling 1300 139 816, with BPAY payments or via post.


COUNCIL: CALL US!


Roads conditions in Dungog shire prompt regular calls and emails to my electorate office.


However, Dungog Shire Council wants motorists to call them and has issued this message to the community - if you see something, say something.

Council needs your help, so if you see damage report it by using the correct channels.


Whilst Facebook enables Council to provide timely information to the community - it is not the hazard or complaint reporting system.


Report road hazards directly to Council by calling 4995 7777 or email shirecouncil@dungog.nsw.gov.au


WHAT IS A REZ?


If you are feeling overwhelmed by the jargon which has accompanied discussions about renewable energy – let me try to demystify a couple of points.

A REZ is short for a Renewable Energy Zone, which is the equivalent of a modern-day power station.


It combines new renewable energy infrastructure including generators such as solar and wind farms, storage which includes batteries and pumped hydro, and high-voltage transmission infrastructure.


The Upper Hunter electorate has two REZs with Cassilis part of the Central-West Orana zone and the Hunter-Central Coast includes the Muswellbrook, Singleton, Cessnock and Maitland council areas.


EnergyCo is coordinating the transition to ensure clean energy can be harnessed and distributed reliably and affordably in an orderly manner.



SCHOOL ZONE SAFETY


The NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Command is reminding motorists that safety is a top priority when it comes to School Zones.


Adults need to be mindful of the rules and regulations in place when School Zones operate and follow them carefully.


This means not double-parking, not blocking pedestrian crossings, sticking to the 40 km/h speed limit and making sure that children are always supervised walking to and from the car.


It is also equally important to be patient and courteous with other motorists and pedestrians.


By working together and following the basic rules, we can all contribute to a safer School Zone experience whilst avoiding the potential for a fine and demerit points.


DRIVER INSTRUCTOR WORKSHOP


If you are planning to teach a learner driver then a free workshop aimed at parents and supervising drivers being held at Gloucester next week will be time wisely invested.


The workshop covers topics include laws that apply to L and P licence holders, completing the learner driver log-book and the benefits of well supervised on-road driving experiences.


The free two-hour session is at the MidCoast Council building, Railway Street side entry from 6pm and light refreshments will be available.

Booking is essential, so visit: www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety


WHIPLASH FEEDBACK


The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) wants feedback on the draft Australian clinical guidelines for health professionals managing people with whiplash-associated disorders, 4th edition.


The draft guidelines intend to improve health, quality of life and social outcomes of people with whiplash associated disorders (WAD) by providing best-practice recommendations for health professionals delivering care and guide insurers managing claims to facilitate better outcomes.


Key changes include updated recommendations for acute whiplash, a new section on chronic whiplash with respect to treatment, prognosis and assessment and risk stratification protocols and tools for people with acute whiplash.


A summary is available on the SIRA website: www.sira.nsw.gov.au with comment closing on 5 July at: www.nsw.gov.au/have-your-say/draft-whiplash-guidelines


WATER USER INPUT


WaterNSW is asking customers and stakeholders for their priorities when it comes to water.


The bulk water supplier will be submitting its proposal for customer prices for the period 2025-2030 to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) in September 2024.


Feedback is required to understand what are the services, products and prices that WaterNSW customers value and need.


You can get involved in the pricing proposal process by registering at:


BUSES REPLACE TRAINS


Upper Hunter electorate rail commuters travelling to Sydney on weekends can expect changed travel arrangements for the next year or more.


A massive, coordinated rail maintenance program will be undertaken by the NSW Government in response to the recent interim recommendations of the Sydney Trains Review.


It made 12 recommendations for restoring reliability to the network partly because of extreme weather events and industrial action, but mainly because a new timetable in 2017 severely restricted access to the tracks for maintenance.


An all-out assault on the backlog to repair the network aims to dramatically reduce equipment failures and restore reliability for passengers.


Around 600,000 weekend passengers will lose normal train services and need to use replacement buses over the next 12 months.


KOREAN WAR REMEMBERED


The service and the sacrifice of Australian Korean War veterans is being honoured by a new exhibition in the Anzac Memorial Auditorium in Hyde Park, Sydney.


Armistice in Korea, 1953-2023, features the photographs and stories of 11 veterans to

commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Armistice of the Korean War.


The Korean War began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following clashes along the border and rebellions in South Korea with fighting ended by the armistice on 27 July 1953.


Over 17,000 Australians served during the Korean War of which 340 were killed, over 1,216 wounded and a further 29 become prisoners of war.



ESSENTIAL’S CHOICE GRANTS


Nominations are now open for the Essential Energy 2023 Community Choices program.


A total of $250,000 will be shared by eligible groups across Essential’s footprint with Gloucester, Dungog and Stroud vying for a slice of the Zone 20 funds.


Community Choices provides an opportunity for customers to nominate and vote for community groups, community halls, not-for-profit and registered charities, in the network area, that could benefit from a funding boost.


Nominations close on 26 June with voting from 3 July – for more on Choices go to: https://essentialenergy.com.au/choices

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