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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 12 September 2022


ON BEHALF of the people of the Upper Hunter Electorate, I extend my deepest sympathies to all members of the Royal family, following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

She has been an inspiration to the global community and here in New South Wales, visiting our State 12 times including many regional areas like Newcastle, Armidale, Bathurst, Tamworth and Dubbo.

While we mourn her passing, it is the occasion for the people of NSW to offer thanks for a lifetime of public duty to the Crown, the Commonwealth, and to millions of people across the globe.

More information on how the NSW Government and the people of NSW will pay tribute to commemorate the life and service of Her Late Majesty is available at;


The COVID-19 self-isolation period is now reduced from seven days to five days in line with the recent decision by National Cabinet.

If you have a positive Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), register this on the Service NSW website.

Self-isolate immediately for five days from the positive test, however, if you continue to have acute symptoms remain in self-isolation for seven days.

COVID-19 can be transmitted for up to 10 days after you test positive so NSW Health strongly recommends wearing a mask when in an indoor setting that is not your home and

avoid healthcare, aged care, disability or correctional settings.

Latest NSW respiratory surveillance report data shows Hunter New England Local Health District had 3,354 COVID-19 cases for the week ending 3 September (2022 HNELHD Total: 359,694) and eight Influenza cases (2022 HNELHD Total: 14,451.)

View the NSW Health COVID-19 Factsheet at:


Women in NSW will now find it easier to start, run and grow their own businesses, thanks to the State Government’s new one-stop shop Women in Business Hub.

The online Hub will connect women with personalised support including opportunities for networking, training, grants, funding and mental health support to enable more women to start and grow their own business.

The Hub also provides access to trusted resources including the Women’s Financial Toolkit and the Return to Work Toolkit.

The Women in Business Hub will provide female business owners links to assistance including Service NSW, Business Connect, NSW Small Business Commission and TAFE NSW’s Women in Business initiative.

For more information visit the Service NSW website;


Applications are open for the next round of the NSW Government Traineeship program with more than 70 trainees set to enter the construction sector.

The two-year traineeship program is a collaboration between NSW Government infrastructure agencies and industry partners, offering Year 12 school leavers a rounded experience in the infrastructure sector.

Trainees run through three rotations of eight months each with government agencies, contractors and consultant organisations.

Find out more information about infrastructure traineeships at the Apprenticeship Careers website


The state government’s Createability Internship Program is giving artists and practitioners with disability the opportunity to develop meaningful career pathways into the arts, screen, and culture sectors.

The program is a three-year commitment delivered by the state government in partnership with Accessible Arts and leading NSW-based arts, screen and cultural organisations.

Createability internships are open to any NSW-based person with disability who has been actively engaged in or seeking a career opportunity in the arts, screen and culture industries.

For further information or to apply, visit the Create NSW website;, with applications closing on 26 September.


For the first time pensioners are eligible for cash back on their tolls and are now accumulating toll savings that will be delivered into their bank accounts in January.

Pensioners can access up to $750 a year in toll relief from January, in addition to the Gold Opal that caps public transport costs at $2.50 a day.

There are more than 70 discounts and rebates available through the state government’s Savings Finder program.

Pensioners can drive their pension dollar further by accessing the council rate rebate, electricity rebate, gas rebate, assistance with water rates, Gold Opal, travel vouchers, free car registration, free glasses and the Seniors Card.

Check the Savings Finder tool via the Service NSW website, make an appointment with a savings specialist at a Service NSW centre or call 13 77 88.


Nominations are now open to find the most outstanding and influential women in the state, who will be recognised at the 2023 NSW Women of the Year Awards.

The annual awards play an important role in recognising inspirational women from diverse backgrounds including those across regional NSW.

Nominations are open for the six categories: Woman of Excellence; Aboriginal Woman of the Year; Community Hero of the Year; Young Woman of the Year; Regional Woman of the Year and the One to Watch.

The winners will be announced at the NSW Women of the Year Awards ceremony on 9 March as part of the 2023 NSW Women’s Week.

Nominate an extraordinary woman or girl in your community by 30 September at the NSW Women of the Year Awards


A new synthetic biology and biomanufacturing development program designed to improve access to manufacturing and production facilities and equipment across the state has secured a $6 million NSW Government investment.

Synthetic biology and biomanufacturing involves the design and manufacture of new and existing living systems to make products with applications in areas including biofuels, food production, manufacturing, environmental protection and healthcare.

The state government is calling for applications from universities, research organisations, industry and consortiums for infrastructure and programs to support the scale-up and commercialisation of synthetic biology and biomanufacturing products.

The Emerging Industry Infrastructure Fund (EIIF) will support the new program with applications to close on 20 October at:


More than $6 million is available for football clubs and players to help build or upgrade community infrastructure and boost female participation through the NSW Government’s Football Legacy Fund.

The Fund, for hosting the FIFA Womens’ World Cup 2023, is being delivered in partnership with Football NSW and Northern NSW Football, with a focus on inclusive projects that encourage the participation of females and people with disability.

Round one has two streams; Infrastructure, with up to $2.5 million for the upgrade or construction of new community facilities; and Participation, with up to $650,000 for programs that support increased football participation and leadership development.


Volunteers across the state are being encouraged to have their say as part of the NSW Government’s Ministerial Volunteer Taskforce.

The Taskforce was established to identify emerging trends, issues and opportunities across the sector to support and grow volunteering.

The Ministerial Volunteer Taskforce is looking at the future of volunteering and it is hoped the consultation period will bring in as many voices as possible to help shape the future of the sector.

The consultation phase runs until 30 September with online submissions accepted at:


Communities will have a greater opportunity to have their voices heard by the NSW Government through a new state-wide engagement initiative.

The Regional Engagement Program will see nine Regional Community Networks established throughout the state.

Each network will reflect the diversity of the communities it represents including the voices of young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and new and established migrant communities.

Each of the nine networks will have 15 formally appointed members with one network to cover the Hunter and Central Coast.

For more on the Regional Engagement Program visit;


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