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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 22 November 2021


CHILDREN and seniors will benefit from the latest NSW Government grant funding for the Upper Hunter electorate.

Aberdeen Pre-School has received $10,000 to provide educational activities that will strengthen the foundations of children's learning in the two years before school.

The grant will go to resources which support access and participation as well as educational resource development that promotes outreach to Aboriginal children and children from low-income families.

Meantime, Hunter Community Legal Centre has received $950 to assist First Nations seniors in Wanaruah (Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter area) to know their consumer rights and achieve equal outcomes from consumer protection systems.

The funding is for events and activities to take place during the NSW Seniors Festival from 25 March−3 April next year.


Australian Rail Track Corporation projects being undertaken this week are impacting both the New England Highway and Golden Highway.

The Muswellbrook Bridges Replacement requires full closure of Bridge Street between 7am Monday and 6am Thursday with northbound and southbound traffic diverted via Bell Street and Market Street.

A single lane southbound road closure of Bridge Street underneath the rail bridges from 6am Thursday to 6am Friday will require all southbound traffic to detour via Bell Street and Market Street. Northbound traffic will continue to use Bridge Street.

The Golden Highway level crossing, Denman adjacent to Mangoola Road, is temporarily closed from 6:30am Monday to 11:00am Thursday.

Light vehicles, including school buses, heading in both directions will use a temporary side-track over the rail corridor.

Restricted Access Heavy Vehicles will detour via Denman and Wybong roads, however, the section of the Golden Highway is closed to all Oversize Overmass (OSOM) vehicles during this time with no local detour available.


Young people are being encouraged to skill-up this summer with 10,000 free training places across more than 800 courses now available to study.

The NSW Government has launched its Summer Skills program, offering free training in critical industries delivered by TAFE NSW and 120 registered training providers.

Summer Skills is open to people aged 16 to 24, who have left school and are living or working in NSW, with registration by 31 December so courses can be completed by 30 April 2022.

Short courses include: Accounting, Agriculture, Animal Studies, Hospitality,

Construction, Process Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics, Shearing and Wool Harvesting, Drone Essentials & Care Roles Skillset.


Families can apply for First Lap vouchers from 1 December through Service NSW.

The NSW Government’s new learn to swim voucher program will be expanded from preschool-aged children to include kindergarten kids who missed out on lessons due to COVID restrictions.

Under the ‘First Lap’ program, eligible children can access a $100 voucher for swimming lessons with an approved provider, with businesses able to register for it from next month.

Active Kids vouchers can be used by school-enrolled children, including those in kindergarten, for sport and recreation activities such as swimming lessons.

More information available at the Office of Sport website


Schools are invited to nominate students who have been hit hard by COVID or natural disasters to have a unique Hamilton experience.

The Department of Education’s Arts Unit will select the students, with schools initially asked to nominate up to four students for the trip to Sydney for the Hamilton experience. Teachers are also invited to apply to accompany the students.

Tickets will go exclusively to performing arts students from regional and remote parts of the state, as well as from the hardest-hit LGAs in Sydney where students spent more than 100 days under the toughest lockdown conditions.

In addition, schools impacted by natural disasters and the pandemic are encouraged to apply for the 2022 Minister’s Arts Recovery Grants with up to $10,000 available.

More information can be found on the Department’s website.


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