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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 20 June 2022


The concept design for the $45 million third stage of the Muswellbrook Hospital redevelopment has been unveiled providing a first look at the enhanced health facility.

The next stage will deliver a new inpatient unit, operating suite and sterilising services department, and include maternity and birthing services within the main building.

It will also provide eight new overnight rooms for staff providing comfort, convenience and security for staff who require accommodation.

You can discover more about the plans during a Community Information Drop-in Session on Friday 24 June, Noon-2pm, at Muswellbrook Workers Club.


Scone and Quirindi will be among the first in the state to benefit from the NSW Government’s funding boost to ensure more modern and sustainable accommodation units are available for rural and regional healthcare workers.

Each year, local health districts divert funds to offsite accommodation that’s safe and comfortable for visiting specialists and medical staff while they’re providing essential health services to the community.

The savings generated by this initiative will be reinvested into delivering vital health services in rural and regional areas.

The new accommodation units are based on sustainable design principles that maximise year-round comfort and reduce running costs with everything from framing to fitout built with recycled products.


Dungog High School’s Gwen Rumbel is one of the 20 NSW students selected for a study tour of significant historical sites as part of the 2022 Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship.

The tour taking in locations in NSW, the ACT and Darwin will be accompanied by a military historian to teach the students about our nation’s military past and help them understand the importance of commemoration.

In the 80th year since the bombing of Darwin by Japan in 1942, students will visit significant sites associated with the Second World War in and around Darwin.

The Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship gives NSW Year 10 and 11 History students the opportunity to travel on a two-week study tour to develop their knowledge and understanding of the history of Australians at war including the World Wars and other conflicts.


I was honoured to attend the recent Hunter and Central Coast 2022 NSW Training Awards in Newcastle for the region’s most outstanding apprentices, trainees, students and teachers.

And, what an evening for the Upper Hunter Electorate with three award recipients.

East Gresford’s Jill Clayton awarded VET Trainer of the Year for increasing trainee enrolments at Tocal College.

Muswellbrook Shire Council trainee Mellanie Sutton received the Trainee of the Year Award for outstanding work in her role as a trainee environmental health officer.

Tahli Gleeson was named the School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year for her enthusiasm and work ethic in her role at Local Land Services.

Congratulations also to Merriwa Central School’s Sharni Johnston, a trainee at Hunter New England Health’s Merriwa Multi Purpose Service, on being a finalist last Friday in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year category at the New England 2022 NSW Training Awards.


Another 2,500 social housing tenants now have the chance to upgrade their washing machine from as little as $150 after the NSW Government expanded a successful washing machine replacement pilot.

A record response to the new program launched in April has encouraged the government to almost double the number of available machines and rollout the program state-wide.

Eligible tenants must reside in social housing owned or managed by the Department of Communities and Justice, Aboriginal Housing Office, a Community Housing Provider or an Aboriginal Local Land Council and hold a valid Pensioner Concession Card, Health Care Card or Low-income Health Care Card from Centrelink.

The program upgrades washing machine from a top loader to a front loader with eligible households having until 30 September to apply or until the washing machines are all allocated.


NSW State Emergency Service (SES) has an expanded flood rescue capability to help volunteers access hard-to-reach places.

Three state-of-the-art High Clearance Vehicles, known as Unimogs, are now in permanent operation after being handed over to the SES by the Australian Defence Force.

The Unimogs mean the SES now has the most advanced fleet of flood operations vehicles allowing its volunteers to go where they haven’t been able to go before when helping people in floodwaters.

An additional three vehicles are also on the way to further improve the SES’s ability to respond to future flooding emergencies and better protect communities.


The NSW Government is seeking public feedback on proposed amendments to the Game and Feral Animal Control (GFAC) Regulation 2012 which is scheduled to be remade by September.

Under the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 and its Regulation 2012, the Government manages licensing of public land hunters and some private land hunters,

hunter education and training, compliance and enforcement.

The regulation amendments aim to improve public safety, protect agricultural productivity,

reduce administration and the burden on the court system and repeal redundant and clarify confusing sections of the GFAC Regulation.

Consultation will close on Tuesday 12 July at:


The NSW Rural Financial Counselling Service will continue for the next three years after the State Government provided an additional $10 million.

The Upper Hunter Electorate has rural financial counsellors located at Scone, Singleton, Taree, Tamworth, Gunnedah and Mudgee.

They assist primary producers across the Hunter Valley, Liverpool Plains and Gloucester region with advice, help and much needed guidance on what government assistance is available.

Primary producers can contact Rural Financial Counselling Service – Northern NSW on 1800 344 090 or visit to find out more about the support services available.


Harm minimisation is the focus of a new advertising campaign to highlight the potential impacts of risky gambling behaviour on jobs, relationships and children.

The campaign also promotes the NSW Government’s new GambleAware one-stop shop for information, education, support and treatment.

Parents are being encouraged by the campaign to check their children’s video games for any elements that promote gambling.

The GambleAware website has tools and resources to help people check in on their gambling, learn how to gamble safely, support their loved ones or exclude themselves from gambling altogether:


The location and welfare of all greyhounds registered in NSW is now being monitored by a world first, whole of life e-tracking system.

Racing greyhounds will need to have contact with the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission (GWIC) at least every six months, and pre-racing or retired greyhounds every 12 months.

Staff will be able to scan dogs at the track or during kennel inspections with more than 40 locations across the state where greyhounds can be scanned and checked in.

Many of these touch points are greyhound racing clubs, major breeder, trainer or educator properties, and industry veterinarians and rehoming organisations.


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