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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 13 May 2024


COMMUNITIES across the Upper Hunter Electorate have been successful in securing a range of grants from the NSW Government.


Singleton Council will undertake upgrades under the Alroy Oval Masterplan, including the creation of three full-sized football fields, with $2 million from the women’s sport program, Level the Playing Field.


The ClubGrants Infrastructure Grants Program, which reinvests registered clubs gaming machine profits back into community projects, is providing $116,163 to Dungog Community Radio Inc. for Radio Dungog 107.9.


And, the Local Sport Defibrillator Grant Program makes $17,000 available for Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) at sport and recreation facilities in Lorn, Singleton and Branxton.


Northern Suburbs Cricket Club, Maitland receives $8,547 for a Defibrillator Safety Initiative at Lorn Park and Bolwarra Sports Complex, Singleton Rugby Club has $5,698 to purchase AED Units for Rugby Park and Miller Park Bowling Club Inc. has $2,850 for a Local Sports Defibrillator at the East Branxton bowling club.


For more information on the Local Sports Defibrillator Program go to:



Singleton netballers have new playing surfaces for the winter season after Singleton Council carried out repairs with funding approved by the NSW Nationals and Liberals Government.


The Essential Community Sport Assets Program, jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, provided $1 million in March last year to Singleton Council for the $1.4million project.


In January 2023, I took then Deputy Premier and NSW Nationals’ leader Paul Toole to Rose Point Park to inspect the damage to the netball courts caused by the 2021 and 2022 floods.


The work over two stages transformed all 12 courts with new asphalt surfaces, goal posts and line-marking.


NSW Health advises that there is some suggestion from emergency department and notification data that COVID-19 and influenza activity may be increasing.


Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) continues to show a high level of activity with 253 cases in the Hunter New England Local Health District for the week ended 4 May taking the Year-to-Date case total to 2,276.


There were 180 local COVID cases for the week lifting the Year-to-Date figure to 3,313 with 74 Influenza infections taking the 2024 tally to 995.


Everyone can help reduce the spread of respiratory pathogens by staying home if unwell and wearing a mask should you need to go out, staying up to date with recommended vaccinations and practicing good hygiene, including regularly hand washing.


COVID-19 guidance and support are available at:



Seatbelt wearing will be enforced by the NSW Government using existing mobile telephone detection cameras from July 1.


Unlike when other new enforcement technologies have been introduced, there will be no grace period of warning letters after the NSW Parliament voted against starting seatbelt detection cameras in warning mode when enabling legislation was passed last year.


Photos from testing of the cameras show a small but persistent percentage of drivers and some passengers continue to flout the law and wear their seatbelt incorrectly, including with the sash below the arm.


The correct wearing of a seatbelt while in a moving vehicle has been a legal requirement in NSW for more than 50 years and every dollar raised by seatbelt cameras will go back into road safety.


The NSW Centre for Road Safety has more information on the wearing of seatbelts:



Some of the Upper Hunter Electorates’ rural firefighters have been recognised in this year’s St Florian’s Day awards.


The NSW Rural Fire Service honoured volunteers, staff and teams for bravery and exceptional service during the May fourth presentation marking the Feast Day of St Florian, Patron Saint of Firefighters and International Firefighters’ Day.


Liverpool Range District received RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers’ Unit Certificate of Commendation.


Area Command North Western along with Liverpool Range, Castlereagh and Tamworth were recognised for dedication, innovation and hard work to build community trust including during the Sir Ivan fire near Cassilis in 2017 and the subsequent 2019-20 bushfire season.


Liverpool Range District award recipients include Supt Paul McGrath, Group Cpt Mike Gilder, Deputy Cpt Bradley Tito, Cpt Shane Rawlinson, Insp Nicolas Everard-Shepley, Operational Officer Aarin Power and Firefighter Tony Dean.


An individual Commissioner’s Commendation for Service was presented to Deputy Captain Stephen Tonitto of the Booral Rural Fire Brigade for exceptional and dedicated service.


Deputy Cpt Tonitto was recognised for building an overhead filling point at Booral RFS Station in addition to numerous other enhancement projects he has undertaken.



A diary note to get your orange clothing ready for WOW Day 2024 which is coming up next week.


Wear Orange Wednesday (WOW) on 22 May is a special day dedicated to thanking the volunteers of the NSW State Emergency Service (SES).


You can show your support for the devoted SES volunteers by wearing orange and sharing a photo of yourself on social media with the tag @nswses and #ThankYouSES.


The SES is looking to expand its team offering a range of rewarding roles for individuals of all backgrounds.


Whether you’re drawn to emergency response on the frontline or working to support behind the scenes, there’s a place for you in the NSW SES!




The Hunter Transmission Project (HTP) will hold community drop-in sessions later this month for residents and landholders to speak with members of the project team.


Millfield Community Hall hosts sessions on Monday and Tuesday 27-28 May, 3-7pm with the Singleton CWA Hall the meeting point on Thursday 30 May, 3-7pm.


The HTP Scoping Report has been lodged with the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure and can be viewed at:


The new transmission line is critical State significant infrastructure to connect the existing 500 kV transmission line at Bayswater to the existing 500 kV transmission line in the Olney State Forest near Eraring.


The Hunter Transmission Project Community Team can be contacted via email: or call: 1800 645 972.



Visitor economy stakeholders are invited by the NSW Government to contribute their insights and ideas into the review of the state’s Visitor Economy Strategy.


The current strategy originally published in January 2021 provides a roadmap for growing the NSW visitor economy to 2030.


The purpose of the review is to help NSW continue to set ambitious goals for the visitor economy, ensuring the settings are in place to grow the highly valuable sector.


Your feedback will help identify the barriers to growth and most importantly the opportunities and strategic initiatives that will turbocharge the growth of the visitor economy through to 2035.


Read the NSW Visitor Economy Strategy and share your insights and feedback by Sunday 2 June at:



Nominations are open for this year’s Ministers’ Awards for Women in Local Government.


The awards highlight and celebrate women’s excellence with recognition of individuals and council programs across metropolitan and regional councils.


The categories to focus the spotlight on outstanding achievements and contributions include

Alternative Pathways, Champion of Change, Elected Representative, Employment Diversity,

Woman of Distinction and Young Achiever.


Nominations close Friday 14 June with the awards presented on Tuesday 20 August during a ceremony at NSW Parliament.


For Awards information or to make a nomination visit the Office of Local Government website:



NSW Police Rural Crime Prevention Team officers are encouraging firearm holders to ensure guns are stored correctly in gun safes that are bolted or fixed to the property.


They are also calling for licence holders keep their gun safe key on them and not hidden at their property so that they comply with legislation.

Another Rural Crime Prevention Team tip is to avoid advertising you have firearms on social media, during open discussions in public places or by showing your firearms to others.


For further information on safe storage of your firearm/s visit:


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