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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 15 April 2024


WHAT A GREAT RESULT for the Upper Hunter’s breeding industry as the world class thoroughbred horse nursery showcased its progeny at the Sydney Easter Yearling Sale.


Long regarded as ‘the best of the best’, the sale lived up to reputation re-writing yearling sale records with the $10 million for the filly sired by the stallion Pierro and racetrack legend, Winx.


Boosted by the whopping result Coolmore Stud, Jerrys Plains topped the sale with 32 horses fetching $27.6 million.


Arrowfield and Widden followed with sales of over $15 million each - Segenhoe and Newgate Farm rounded out the top five sellers.


Eight horses sold for million dollar purchase prices, with seven from the Upper Hunter including four from Scone studs backing the results achieved by Coolmore, Widden and Newgate Farm, Aberdeen.



Clarence Town residents and business owners will have the opportunity later in the month to learn more about the proposed new bridge over the Williams River.


A community information session is to be held on Monday 29 April, 4.30-7pm at Clarence Town School of Arts in Grey Street.


The new Clarence Town Bridge will be a concrete structure built upstream of the existing heritage listed Brig O’Johnston bridge and incorporate two traffic lanes and a pedestrian walkway.


In the next few months, Council will release the tender for companies to submit proposals for the design and construction of the bridge.


Any immediate questions on the project can be directed to Dungog Shire Council's Project Manager, Nicholas Havyatt, via email at



The Dungog and Maitland local government areas are eligible for disaster assistance following heavy rainfall and flooding at the beginning of this month.


The assistance measures are being provided through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.


Support includes grants for eligible residents to undertake essential structural repairs and affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets.


Assistance is available for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations with grants also for sporting and recreation clubs to repair or replace damaged or destroyed property.


For financial assistance contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 or apply for a concessional loan or primary producer grant by contacting the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit



A NSW Parliament Select Committee on the Feasibility of Undergrounding the Transmission Infrastructure for Renewable Energy Projects has now tabled its report.


The findings include the need for EnergyCo and electricity transmission providers such as Transgrid, to improve consultation within communities when performing environmental impact assessments.


Additionally, that more information is needed to adequately explain the options, opportunities and constraints of undergrounding transmission lines versus overhead transmission lines in the broader context of the state government's legislated Net Zero and renewable energy targets.


My Nationals colleague, the Hon Wes Fang MLC, sought an amendment to specifically include social impacts and agricultural impacts as valid justifications for the consideration of undergrounding transmission infrastructure but was narrowly defeated.


The NSW Government has until June 28 to respond to the report entitled 'Feasibility of Undergrounding the Transmission Infrastructure for Renewable Energy Projects' which can be found at:



The NSW Nationals and Liberals have condemned the Minns Labor Government for slashing public school budgets by almost $150 million.


Nationals Shadow Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell has been calling for more than six months now for Education Minister Prue Car to tell us where ‘savings’ would come from.


The Minns Labor Government’s removal of assistant and deputy principals from their existing roles will add to teacher workloads while reducing critical supports.


The roles were created to ease pressure on teachers, helping them to manage discipline in the classroom, support students with additional learning needs and to guide staff at the beginning of their teaching career.


The Minister let the cat out of the bag, saying “our focus is to get costs under control” - an admission that this is really about NSW Labor being unable to pay for its wages deals - now it is clear our kids will be the ones who pay the price.



You turned the clock back at the end of daylight saving but, did you check your smoke alarm?


As we move through autumn into winter, your smoke alarm needs a fresh battery and a test to ensure that it is ready to work on the occasion when it is needed.


Fire and Rescue NSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service warn that its critical for fire prevention over coming months that there is at least one working smoke alarm on each level of homes placed between bedrooms and living areas.


If you are aged over-65, live alone or have limited mobility, hearing or vision impairments then Fire and Rescue and the Rural Fire Service offer Home Safety Visits with more information at: &



NSW Health wants you to share your thoughts on proposed regulation of non-therapeutic nitrous oxide.


The gas has legitimate uses in the food, medical and automotive industries, however, the current consultation is focussed on its recreational use.


There has been an increase in harm associated with recreational nitrous oxide use across NSW involving the use of what’s referred to as 'nangs’.


Proposed reforms aim to reduce the risks and harms associated with recreational nitrous oxide use, encourage responsible retail practices and promote public safety.


Read the consultation paper and share your feedback by taking the survey or make a digital or written submission by 10 May at:


High traffic volumes are expected across the state during the autumn school holidays which are now underway and the upcoming ANZAC Day public holiday.


Motorists are advised to plan their trip or consider using public transport with holiday traffic jams almost impossible to avoid.

Tips for a safer road trip are to stay under the speed limit and further reduce speed at night, early morning and in wet weather conditions and keep a three-second gap from the vehicle in front. 


Drivers are reminded of the importance of taking regular breaks to stop, rest and refresh yourself including using Driver Reviver stops and rest areas along your route.


A suite of planning tools is available to plan your trip, avoid the busiest times and reduce your overall journey time at:



Applications are open until April 30 for Hunter Valley Operations bi-annual community grants program.


Upper Hunter and Lower Hunter local not for profit organisations and projects can make submissions to support small scale projects that develop the communities in which HVO operates.


The grants should target at least one of the focus areas of capacity building, health

environment and local need.


For full eligibility criteria, and to apply for a grant, simply click on the Smarty Grants link and follow the instructions:



NSW Farmers has opened applications for its 2024 Tertiary Scholarships to assist five bright young minds from rural communities.


The scholarships will be awarded to NSW Farmers members or their children to support a university or vocational qualification in a field relevant to regional and rural Australia.


Scholarships are worth $4000 annually and awarded based on academic performance, commitment to agriculture and rural communities, as well as all-round ability including leadership qualities and communication skills.

Applications close on May 5 with more information available from:



The cooler weather might provide you with a good opportunity to do a stocktake and clean-up the chemicals around your home.


Especially with the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s Hunter Region Household Chemical Cleanout being held during June.


Singleton Waste Management and Recycling Facility is the location on Saturday 1 June, Cessnock Council Depot will be the collection point on Sunday 16 June and Maitland’s cleanout is Sunday 23 June at the Cleanaway Depot, Rutherford.


Items being accepted 9am-3.30pm include garden and household chemicals, poisons, batteries, paint, motor oil fluids and fuels, fluoro lights, smoke detectors, gas bottles and fire extinguishers.


More details at the EPA Enviroline 131500 or visit:



The Rotary Club of Singleton is preparing to host a New Life - Buy/Swap/Sell event to raise funds for a future community project in Singleton.


The event’s objectives are to promote sustainability of items so they do not end up in landfill and ensure that items are reasonably priced so the community has the opportunity to purchase.


Club Singleton will be the venue on Sunday 19 May, 11am-2pm, for Rotary’s New Life - Buy/Swap/Sell.


Information for stallholders can be found at with entry for buyers on the day by gold coin donation.


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