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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 14 June 2021

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to my first weekly column outlining matters of State importance and interest.

Since being elected as Member for Upper Hunter I have hit the ground running.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending NSW Parliament for its scheduled Parliamentary sitting week. It is an honour to be part of the NSW Parliamentary team representing the vibrant Upper Hunter electorate.

Please see attached link of my maiden speech that I had the honour of delivering in Parliament last week -

Prior to Parliament, I travelled the Upper Hunter electorate to catch up and meet with many constituents, to hear their concerns and to personally thank individuals for their support. Over the coming weeks I will visit other areas within the electorate so you can have the opportunity to meet and discuss any issues that are of concern.

Update On Mouse Plague

Primary producers within the Upper Hunter electorate experiencing financial hardship due to the mice plague will be able to claim rebates for the purchase of the mouse control chemical zinc phosphide, as part of an extension of the NSW Government’s Mouse Control Program.

This new funding would offer primary producers a rebate of 50 per cent on zinc phosphide purchases, up to $10,000, to provide financial relief, cash flow and confidence to place advance orders on zinc phosphide ahead of spring.

The NSW Government was working with manufacturers to help shore up supplies of zinc phosphide to ensure the State’s farmers were prepared to stamp out a possible spring surge in the mouse population.

The Department of Regional NSW and the Rural Assistance Authority will develop the zinc phosphide rebate framework, including how primary producers will be able to claim the rebate and the eligibility criteria.

The $100 million primary producer zinc phosphide rebate scheme is in addition to the $50 million package designed for households and small businesses announced last month.

Primary producers who live where they work are already able to claim rebates of up to $1,000 for mouse bait, traps and cleaning products used to protect their homes.

Free grain treatment with bromadiolone for perimeter baiting is awaiting approval from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

For more information please visit


The NSW Government’s Dine & Discover initiative will be extended by a month to give people more time to use all of their vouchers eating out or trying a new activity this winter, including in the upcoming school holidays.

The latest data shows more than 4.23 million people in NSW have downloaded the vouchers since they were launched in March spending a combined total of more than $357 million with registered businesses when adding in the additional spend on top of the voucher amount.

Every adult in NSW is eligible for four $25 vouchers worth $100 in total, to spend across the 14,000 participating businesses.

Dining out has been particularly popular, with patrons across the State spending on average $41 for every $25 voucher used.

It’s not too late for businesses to register and customers are encouraged to sign up and spend their vouchers before they expire on July 31, 2021. The vouchers had been due to expire on June 30.

The vouchers can only be used at eligible businesses that have implemented a COVID Safety Plan and are registered as COVID Safe.

To obtain vouchers please visit the Service NSW Website or visit a Service NSW Centre.


Just a reminder that Round four of the Stronger Country Communities Fund is now open – $100 million dollars for projects in regional NSW.

I encourage Councils, non-government organisations, community organisations registered as incorporated associations, and Local Aboriginal Land Councils to apply.

Up to half of the available Round Four funding will be dedicated to delivering projects to improve female participation in sport, including change rooms.

Applications for Stronger Country Communities Fund Round Four opened on 1 May 2021 and closes on 25 June, 2021. For more information, including program guidelines and eligibility criteria, visit:


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