• Dave Layzell MP

State Matters - 18 July 2022


COVID-19 UPDATES


NSW HEALTH has revised the COVID-19 reinfection period from 12 weeks down to four weeks.


People who have previously had COVID-19 are required to test for COVID-19 after 28 days since their isolation ended if experiencing symptoms and follow the relevant health advice if they test positive.


NSW Health is urging people who have recently had COVID-19, even if they left isolation in the past four weeks, to test and isolate as required if symptoms develop again.


Free rapid antigen tests (RATs) will be provided to vulnerable communities and the NSW Government will expand its existing program up until 31 October to include those accessing tests through the Federal Government’s Concessional Access Program.


Education NSW advises COVID-smart measures will continue to be developed and updated in close consultation with NSW Health during Term 3 to minimise transmission and keep schools open: https://education.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/advice-for-families


FLOOD RECOVERY ASSISTANCE


Recovery assistance points are operating at Broke and Bulga to support communities following the recent flood event.


The multi-agency hubs at Broke Catholic Church and Bulga Community Centre are designed to help flood-affected individuals, families, farmers and business owners begin the clean-up and recovery process.


Small businesses and not-for-profit (NFP) organisations affected by the flooding can now apply for up to $50,000 in support through Service NSW.


For further information on the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements which include support for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged visit www.recovery.gov.au


People wanting to help flood-affected communities are being reminded to use official donation channels such as: www.givit.org.au/storms-and-flooding or donate to other established appeals via: www.nsw.gov.au/floods/financial-support/donations


ROAD PROJECT MILESTONE


The New England Highway upgrade between Belford and the Golden Highway near Singleton achieved another milestone during night works late last week.


The first of 12 concrete bridge beams were installed for the new overpass bridge across the New England Highway which will replace the existing right turn from the Golden Highway.


Meantime, Transport for NSW has nightwork scheduled this week on the New England Highway, north of Muswellbrook to remove the Heavy Vehicle Average Speed Camera gantry.


The work is part of early enabling work for the New England Highway bypass of Muswellbrook.


BEEKEEPER COMPENSATION


The National Management Group (NMG) for Emergency Plant Pests has endorsed a National Response Plan to eradicate Varroa Mite from NSW.


The NMG comprises Commonwealth and State governments and pollination dependent industries and the honey bee industry.


An $18 million compensation package has been developed for registered beekeepers affected by the varroa mite outbreak.

The NMG also endorsed compensation for licensed recreational beekeepers in recognition of their critical role in the response to the incursion.


For more information visit: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa


BE ‘FMD’ ALERT


Travellers holidaying in Bali are being targeted to prevent the highly contagious Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) from reaching Australia and devastating our livestock industry including cattle, sheep, goats, deer and pigs.


The message to travellers is simple: if you’re heading to Bali or somewhere that may have been affected by FMD for a holiday – or know someone who is – please do the right thing when you return to Australia.


Declare where you have been, making sure any clothes and shoes are clean and free from soil and manure, avoid encounters with livestock on your travels and stay away from farms or anywhere there might be livestock for seven days when you return.


Primary producers are encouraged to engage in detailed contingency planning, to be overly cautious with people who come into contact with livestock and monitor closely for signs of FMD which include blisters in and around the mouth area, drooling and limping.


If livestock exhibit any unusual signs consistent with FMD, report it immediately to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888 - for more information visit: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/animals-and-livestock/beef-cattle/health-and-disease/viral-diseases/fmd


LONG SERVICE REVIEW


The NSW Government is asking for feedback on proposed changes to the Building and Construction Industry Long Service Payments Regulation.


The long service benefit for eligible workers or contractors is paid for by a levy on building and construction work and the proposal aims to improve the long service payments scheme for workers and their employers.


Changes include reducing the levy rate to help save costs for businesses, increasing the value threshold for projects that attract the levy to encourage investment and

introducing penalty infringement notices to improve compliance and enforcement.


To have your say, complete a short survey or upload a written submission by 31 July at:

www.haveyoursay.nsw.gov.au/building-long-service-scheme


EARLY CHILDHOOD SCHOLARSHIPS


More than 400 aspiring early childhood teachers are set to receive a cash boost to complete their studies thanks to NSW Government investment.


A record 439 scholarships are being awarded across the state, to attract and retain staff to support supply in the early childhood education and care sector.


Almost $11 million has been invested from the 2022-23 NSW Budget to deliver scholarships to support educators enter the workforce or to boost their skills as degree qualified early childhood teachers.


Successful applicants will be awarded up to $25,000 under the Early Childhood Education Scholarships Program and Aboriginal Early Childhood Education Scholarships program.


INFRASTRUCTURE GRANTS


Creative cultural infrastructure projects that improve arts and cultural facilities can now secure funding from the NSW Government’s $72 million Creative Capital program.


Local councils, not-for-profit organisations and Local Aboriginal Land Councils are encouraged to apply for grants of between $5,000 to $250,000 from round two of the Minor Works and Equipment grants.


Minor Works and Equipment includes minor capital works projects, master-planning and equipment including systems for recording, broadcast and digitisation.


Applications close on 8 August with guidelines available on the Create NSW website: www.create.nsw.gov.au


WHS EXCELLENCE


Nominations are now open for SafeWork NSW’s inaugural Work Health and Safety Excellence Showcase.


The showcase will acknowledge NSW businesses and industry associations that have come up with innovative solutions to support the safety of their employees.


Entries are open to businesses, unions and industry associations that operate and/or are based in NSW that have implemented WHS solutions between 1 January 2021 and 21 June 2022.


Nominations are open until 14 October at: www.safework.nsw.gov.au/advice-and-resources/campaigns/whs-excellence-showcase


PEDESTRIAN TIPS


NSW Police are encouraging older adult pedestrians to make safe choices when walking and crossing the road.


Safety starts at home, so dress in bright coloured clothing to increase your visibility to motorists.


Always use a footpath when available and be aware of your surroundings by staying alert for sudden change.


Most importantly, cross the road at pedestrian crossings or traffic lights with pedestrian signals, never assume a driver can see or will stop and always wait for vehicles to stop completely before you begin crossing the road.