• Dave Layzell MP

State Matters - 14 February 2022


‘LET’S DO THIS’


NSW Health is making walk-in vaccination appointments available every weekend until Sunday 6 March to ensure that our COVID-19 vaccination is ‘up-to-date.’


Whether you are due for your first dose, second dose, or a booster, or you want to get your kids vaccinated, walk-ins allow you to easily access protection against serious illness from the infectious disease.


Participating clinics are located at Muswellbrook Hospital, Taree’s Manning Base Hospital, the Newcastle Vaccination Centre at Belmont and Tamworth Hospital.


No appointment is needed and you can plan your visit by checking into;

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/vaccination/weekend-walk-in


WATER SHARING SUBMISSIONS


I encourage everyone with comments on the draft replacement water sharing plan for the Hunter Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sources and the Lower North Coast Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sources to lodge a submission by Sunday 27 February.


The water sharing plan establishes rules for water management including the limit of the total volume of water that can be extracted from the unregulated and alluvial water sources in the Hunter and Lower North Coast regions.


Water sharing plans are subject to review every 10 years under the Water Management Act 2000.

If you still have questions contact the Coastal Water Planning team to arrange a one-on-one telephone meeting by emailing hunterunreg.wsp@dpie.nsw.gov.au or lowernorthcoast.wsp@dpie.nsw.gov.au


Details on the plans can be viewed at;

https://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water/plans-programs/water-sharing-plans/recently-on-public-exhibition


BUSINESS ASSISTANCE UPDATE


Small business owners and sole traders can now apply for a NSW Government rebate of up to $1,000 to make their workplaces safer with $1 million added to the Small Business Rebate Program.


The rebate has been doubled and the program expanded with a renewed focus on helping businesses ensure they are COVID safe in addition to making workplaces safer.


More information at; https://www.nsw.gov.au/grants-and-funding/1000-safework-small-business-rebate


Meantime, businesses impacted by school COVID safety measures in late-2021 now have access to a grant program to help them get back on track.


The $14 million grant program for eligible businesses and not for profit organisations will provide one-off payments equal to 40 per cent of their decline in Term 4, 2021 turnover compared to previous years, up to $15,000.


Guidelines for the grants will be available soon with businesses expected to lodge applications in April through their Service NSW for Business profile https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/covid-19-help-businesses


FAMILY ASSISTANCE UPDATE


Families can now enjoy $250 worth of vouchers, thanks to the NSW Government’s Parents NSW program.


Eligible families receive five $50 vouchers which can be redeemed at Discover NSW and Stay NSW registered businesses.


Parents NSW vouchers can be combined up to the value of $250 and applied to your accommodation bill or discover experience and even pooled with friends or family for the same booking at registered accommodation providers, big or small.


In addition, the Stay NSW voucher program, providing every adult aged 18 and older with a $50 voucher to spend at registered accommodation providers, will be progressively rolled out from 21 February.


Both programs will be implemented using the existing Dine & Discover NSW infrastructure via your Service NSW app, by calling 13 77 88 or at the Service NSW websitehttps://www.service.nsw.gov.au/parents-nsw-vouchers


C’MON, SPORT!


Sporting organisations are being called upon to step up and serve some ace ideas for delivering mental health and wellbeing activities as part of a $2.8 million Mental Health Sports program.


The NSW Government is looking to sporting clubs to inspire people to make their mental health and wellbeing a top priority this year.


Upper Hunter Electorate clubs have until 6 March to apply for grants of up to $150,000 for activities that provide mental health, resilience and wellbeing benefits to individuals and groups across the local region.


Local sporting groups are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity, so our region can kick goals both on and off the field.


To start your application visit NSW Health / Mental Health Sports Fund Grants - HAC_2022 on the NSW Government’s eTendering website.


LITTER GRANTS


The Upper Hunter Electorate will be cleaner after sharing in the $1.8 million litter prevention program managed by the NSW Environment Protection Authority that aims to tackle local litter hotspots.


Upper Hunter Shire Council receives $6,000 towards installing new signs and upgrading waste facilities at Golden Highway traffic rest areas which are often littered with takeaway food containers.


TAFE Quirindi benefits from a broader project for TAFE NSW to raise awareness of the harmful effects of smoking on individual wellbeing and the environment including correct disposal of cigarettes and other litter.


More information about the NSW Litter Prevention Program, Litter Prevention Grants and other litter initiatives: https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/litter-and-illegal-dumping/epa-work-prevent-litter.


WE WILL REMEMBER THEM


The latest round of the Anzac Community Grants Program will provide $750 to the

Clarence Town ANZAC Committee.


It will allow a public address system to be purchased for use at the community’s Anzac and Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Additional funding has also recently been provided from the NSW Government’s Community War Memorial Fund for two local projects.


Cassilis District Development Group has a $6,287.75 grant for the Cassilis War Memorial Park and Branxton RSL sub-Branch receives $2,500 funding for work on the Branxton RSL Memorial Hall and Honour Rolls.


For more information on these grant programs, visit: www.veterans.nsw.gov.au