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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 17 April 2023


A BIG thank you to the Upper Hunter Electorate for the vote of confidence at the 2023 NSW State Election to elect me as your member for the next four years.

The NSW Electoral Commission finalised counting last Friday and I was declared elected with 22,964 votes or 53.78 per cent of the vote after the distribution of preferences.

I especially appreciate the support of my family, the campaign team, the NSW National Party and, most importantly, our volunteers who distributed ‘how to votes’ at the polling booths on election day.

After the by-election success of 2021, I am now looking forward to my first full term as the elected member for Upper Hunter and delivering for our electorate.


The Upper Hunter Electorate will benefit from the latest graduates of the NSW Ambulance Special Operations rescue paramedic training course.

Over 54 gruelling days the paramedics gained 83 new skills, which included performing rescues in road crashes, on mountain tops, in confined spaces, industrial accidents and much more.

Singleton receives three of the 11 new rescue paramedics with another two heading to Tamworth.

The capabilities of the Special Operations paramedics were required for a major rescue of six bushwalkers last month near the Barrington Tops.

A man among them experienced chest pains had to be winched out by rescue helicopter.

Special Operations paramedics walked into the bush to meet up with the group before a second rescue helicopter was responded to conduct 13 winch operations to evacuate the entire group to safety.


NSW Health is advising us to take influenza seriously this year with priority groups encouraged to book in now for the free influenza vaccine ahead of the ‘flu season.

Priority groups include children aged six months to under 5 years, people aged 65 and over, Aboriginal people from six months of age, pregnant women and those with serious health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, immune disorders, severe asthma, kidney, heart, lung or liver disease.

Influenza vaccines are available through GPs for any age group, as well as pharmacies for everyone aged 5 years and over.

All adults are also encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster if it’s been six months or longer since your last COVID-19 booster or confirmed infection (whichever is most recent) with both COVID-19 and flu vaccines able to be given at the same time.

For more advice on influenza: and COVID-19 booster vaccines:


The need for blood never stops so Australian Red Cross Lifeblood will have its mobile donor centre visiting the Upper Hunter Electorate during coming months.

Lifeblood will be in Gloucester at Billabong Lane on Thursday 1 June and Dungog Memorial Bowling Club on Friday 2 June.

The mobile donor centre visits 94 Kingdon Street Scone, June 14-16 and Muswellbrook PCYC car park, July 4-7.

The Maitland Donor Centre is located at 39 St Andrews Street Maitland.

Anyone wanting to help save lives is encouraged to book in to donate blood by calling 13 14 95 or visit for further information.


The first competitive tender for electricity firming infrastructure under the NSW Government’s Electricity Infrastructure Investment is now open.

The tender released by AEMO Services, which acts as the state’s Consumer Trustee under the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, has an indicative capacity of at least 380 megawatts (MW) of additional firming infrastructure in the Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong sub-region to be available before the end of 2025.

Firming infrastructure acts to smooth electricity supply in response to fluctuations in generation or demand at short notice, for example, using batteries or pumped hydro, or through specialised facilities such as gas generators.

The tender for firming infrastructure is in response to the early closure of Eraring Power station.


The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) is currently building its team from the proactive firefighting ranks through to volunteer support roles.

Applications close on 7 May to join the mitigation team with 39 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander targeted vacancies across the state.

Mitigation crews perform a range of tasks from helping brigades prepare areas for hazard reduction and assisting with firefighting, to working with aircraft and basecamps.

If you’ve ever thought about joining the RFS now is the time with roles for available from firefighting, communications to brigade administration and catering.

For more information and to find a brigade near you, visit:


Carers NSW and TAFE NSW are holding a one-day job readiness workshop at Singleton.

It aims to help carers wanting to re-enter the workforce to build confidence, identify career pathways, be job ready and seek employment.

The free workshop at Singleton Diggers on 4 May, 9am-3pm, will set the groundwork to enter training or employment by preparing and finding career pathways, being job ready and seeking employment.


The NSW Police Force has issued a warning about a re-emerging scam known as the Remote Access Scam.

Scammers, pretending to be from various financial institutions or well-known companies, get in contact often via a telephone call and ask to access the person’s device remotely because of an error message or a virus that they need to ‘fix urgently’.

Once the scammer has control, they can access the financial and personal data and use this to transfer funds out of the person’s account or steal private data.

Prevention strategies police suggest include never giving an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer or device and never give your personal, credit card or online bank account details over the ‘phone to people you don’t know and can’t identify.

For more information visit; or Scamwatch;


Applications are open for the Indigenous Police Recruitment Our Way Delivery Program (IPROWD).

In a boost for Upper Hunter Electorate applicants, Kurri Kurri TAFE is a new IPROWD location providing flexible course delivery between 12 June and 15 December.

The IPROWD program is an initiative designed to assist Indigenous participants throughout NSW to attain academic requirements to join the NSW Police Force or the Australian Federal Police or to gain other ongoing sustainable employment.

To find out more on the program, dates and eligibility criteria, visit; or email;


NSW Health Pathology has commenced a new service two days per week at Murrurundi.

No appointment is needed for general tests such as blood and urine, but tests that may take more time, such as glucose tolerance testing, heart ECGs, Holter monitoring and 24 hour blood pressure monitoring, it is recommended to book ahead.

The collection centre inside Wilson Memorial Hospital operates on Mondays and Thursdays, 8am–12pm.

Health Pathology bulk bills and accept all referrals with enquiries to 6546 9001 or visit:


Fire and Rescue NSW is recommending that now is the time to put all your winter home fire safety knowledge into place so a cold snap does not lead to a mishap.

A quick refresher includes a check of your smoke alarms, keep everything one metre from the heater, test your electric blanket before use, never use external heating equipment inside your home plus ensuring flues and chimneys are clean and a fire screen is in front of open fires.

Having a home escape plan in conjunction with a working smoke alarm will greatly increase your chances of getting out safely.

If there is a fire in your home, do not wait, every second counts, get out and stay out and then call Triple Zero (000).

For a Home Fire Safety checklist got to:


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