top of page
  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 19 June 2023


THE PAST WEEK has been one that I, like so many in the Upper Hunter electorate, have found so very confronting as we try to understand and come to terms with the Greta coach crash.

A rollercoaster of emotions from shock and disbelief on learning of the scale of the tragedy to then being humbled by the heartfelt support and care for the Singleton AFL Club, the victims, families and friends of all involved or affected by it.

I urge anyone overwhelmed by recent events, whether it be this week or in the near future, to please make use of the available assistance such as the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 or by visiting the NSW Health website:

Donations can made in various ways, from the Hunter Valley (NSW) Bus Tragedy Fund (RABS) co-managed by the NSW Government and Rotary Australia:

to donating blood to replenish stocks required for the crash response:


Singleton, Dungog and Maitland Councils will host visits by the NSW Local Government Grants Commission this week.

A public meeting will be held at Singleton Civic Centre from 2pm until approximately 3.30pm tomorrow afternoon (June 20) with the community welcome to attend.

Dungog Shire Council’s public meeting is on Wednesday at Council's Administration Office from 9-10.30am with the public able to attend via Zoom.

Maitland City Council hosts the Commission at the Maitland Administration Centre on Thursday, 10-11.30am, with residents also able to view a livestream online.

The purpose of the meetings is for the Grants Commission to explain its operations and the basis of its determination of general purpose grants paid under the provisions of the Commonwealth’s Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995.

The meetings provide the councils with the opportunity to make a presentation to the Commission on its particular circumstances.


A permanent Quiet Hour will be introduced at several Service NSW Centres in the Upper Hunter electorate and at neighbouring locations.

Eight service centres across the state participated in a trial by the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government last year with 97 per cent of people surveyed finding it a positive experience.

During Quiet Hour, the volume of music and ticket announcements is reduced and lighting is dimmed, allowing people who may be sensitive to light or overstimulated by sound to complete transactions in a more comfortable and safe environment.

Quiet Hour will be conducted on Tuesdays at Service NSW Singleton 9.30-10.30am, Raymond Terrace 10-11am and at Muswellbrook 11.30am-12.30pm.

On Wednesdays, Maitland has Quiet Hour 9.30-10.30am and Cessnock 10.30-11.30am.

For more information on Service Centres participating in Quiet Hour, visit:


NSW Department of Planning and Environment has put the state significant development application for the Goulburn River Solar Farm on public exhibition.

The development proposed for Wollara Road, Merriwa includes a 550-megawatt solar farm, battery energy storage and grid connection.

I urge the community to use the exhibition period to have its say on the development proposal.

At the time the DA was put on public exhibition last week, the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces had not directed that a public hearing should be held.

The application, environmental impact statement and accompanying documents are on exhibition until 10 July with the Department encouraging online submissions at:


EnergyCo is undertaking a series of community information sessions in the Upper Hunter covering the New England Renewable Energy Zone.

The sessions are designed to provide specific project information to the community including matters relating to property, environment, community and technical aspects of the project.

Last month, EnergyCo posted 49,000 postcards asking interested residents to register their details to receive regular project updates and information with the residents to also receive notifications about the community information sessions.

Murrurundi CWA Hall in Mayne St hosts the first session on Wednesday 28 June, 11am-2pm and 3-6pm with Scone Motor Inn, Apartments and Conference centre in Kelly Street, the venue on Thursday 29 June, 11am-2pm and 3-6pm.


NSW Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW have jointly put the call out for help to identify locations for water supplies they can draw on during the bushfire season.

Firefighters would like to know in advance where there are dams, pools or water tanks that they can easily tap when fighting flames.

Of interest are water sources with more than 3,000 litres where a specially designed Static Water Supply (SWS) sign can be placed to quickly identify the storage during a fire.

To be part of the program contact your local RFS brigade: or Fire and Rescue:


Eighty new four-wheel drive ambulances have rolled out across the state which will allow paramedics to access patients in challenging terrain.

If paramedics identify that a location cannot be reached due to road conditions or difficult terrain, they can advise the NSW Ambulance Control Centre and a specialist resource such as the 4WDs can be deployed from nearby ambulance stations.

The new Toyota Landcruiser 200 series vehicles replace an aging fleet of Toyota Landcruiser Troop Carriers, which were sturdy work horses but are no longer fit for purpose.

They have upgraded suspension, high visibility emergency lighting, winching capabilities, recovery tracks, Stoke Litters, and 270 degree awnings for protecting patients from the elements.

The 4WDs will not be used in place of standard patient transport ambulances but will complement the standard stretchered ambulance fleet.


Applications are open for up to 12 new members to join the NSW Women’s Advisory Council.

The council will provide expert advice across the priority areas identified in the NSW Women’s Strategy 2023-2026, which cover economic opportunity and advancement,

health and wellbeing, participation and empowerment.

Each member will play a key role in advancing gender equality by advising the NSW Government on issues affecting women and girls, contributing to the implementation of the Strategy and consulting with community organisations.

For full eligibility details, and to apply, visit the Women NSW website before 12 July:


The winter school holiday rapidly approaches and the Parliament of NSW has free family fun for those considering a visit to Sydney.

Activities to do with under-12s will run from July 3-7 with a virtual guided tour of the historic chambers, an exploration of Aboriginal culture and even a special story time from the Parliamentary educators.

There are limited places available for each activity, so book to secure your spot:

Term 2 concludes on Friday 30 June with Term 3 to commence the week of Monday 17 July.


The NSW Police Rural Crime Prevention Team continues to urge firearm owners to regularly check them and ensure compliance with the Firearms Act 1996.

All people possessing firearms must comply with the safe keeping and storage requirements and take all reasonable precautions to ensure the firearm is kept safely, is not lost or stolen and does not come into the possession of an unauthorised person.

Failure to comply with the requirements is a serious offence and could result in a fine of $2200 or 12-months imprisonment, or both.

For further information on firearm storage contact your local police station or visit:

If you have information concerning the theft of firearms please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or go to:


bottom of page