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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 23 May 2022


THE Hunter Valley Police District is one of four areas selected to trial the NSW Government’s Drug Supply Prohibition Order targeting criminal networks.

The new laws give NSW Police the power to raid homes, businesses, planes and boats of known drug dealers and even stop them in the street without a warrant.

Police have to apply to a magistrate for a prohibition order to come into effect and only then do they have unlimited powers to search without a warrant.

This is a two year trial at this stage and needs to test a very complex piece of legislation before the powers can be expanded to other areas.


Public submissions can now be made to help shape industry policy to strengthen NSW’s economic performance over the next decade.

The Securing Future Innovation and Global Competitiveness in NSW – Green Paper

aims to simply and clearly integrate the current 10 different industry strategies to best support businesses, while reflecting domestic and global trends we can forecast and effectively respond to.

Responses to the public consultation will inform the release of the first White Paper on Industry Policy for NSW, shaping interventions that will tackle key trends impacting NSW industries to ensure they flourish into the future.

The Green Paper is open for community consultation until Monday 6 June and is available at:


The NSW Government will streamline the process for the state’s most talented teachers to apply for national accreditation.

The Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher accreditation, which attracts additional remuneration, recognises highly effective, innovative and exemplary teaching practice against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

And, there’s a new campaign to change perceptions about maths which is providing new online resources to bring new maths solutions, challenges, games and fun experiences into students’ homes.

Parents and carers are encouraged to visit the Everyday Maths hub and engage with their children to develop the mathematical skills and understanding needed to succeed in life.

For Maths Trains Brains visit:  


Mask use to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 may be less prevalent but continues to be required in some situations.

This includes public transport and public transport waiting areas, on aircraft flying above NSW and in the airport, at a cruise terminal, at a public hospital or private health facility and at a residential care facility or hostel.

If you are over the age of 12 and are a household or close contact of someone who has tested positive to COVID-19, you must also wear a face mask when you are in an indoor setting that is not your own home, including workplaces and education settings.

Masks are strongly encouraged where you cannot physically distance:

For the latest COVID-19 data and statistics check:


The Junction Bridge at Upper Rouchel near Scone is to be brought back to its former glory.

Works starts this week to replace and seal the bridge deck, rebuild the abutments and repaint the timber elements with completion expected in April next year, weather permitting.

The state-significant Harvey Dare truss structure was previously owned by Upper Hunter Shire Council but ownership and maintenance transferred to Transport for NSW in July 2020.

Junction Bridge provides an important link for the local community and rehabilitation is needed to ensure it continues to give safe and reliable service into the future.


Giant Parramatta Grass will be in the spotlight during a community roundtable at Tocal College, Paterson on Wednesday from 5.30pm.

Landholders, government agencies and industry representatives are meeting to discuss the aggressive, invasive weed and the next steps for control in the Lower Hunter.

Giant Parramatta Grass is a declared noxious weed which already has a foothold in the Williams and Paterson Valleys.

Register your interest to attend the meeting at:


Grants of up to $50,000 are available for groups to carry out on-ground projects to restore riverbanks that have been damaged by recent fires, drought and floods.

The Landcare Riparian Restoration Grant program funded through the NSW Government’s Regional Recovery Package will help Landcare and environmental groups in regional NSW.

Local Land Services will work with Landcare groups to administer the grants and support them to deliver the on-ground works.

Formal applications close on Friday 3 June with information available from:


The biggest program of geophysical data acquisition in NSW’s history has commenced which includes locations near the Hunter Valley.

Working closely with Geoscience Australia, four surveys are being conduct by air and land, using a mix of cutting-edge technologies to reveal clues about minerals buried up to several hundred metres beneath the surface.

It’s already know that NSW is rich in critical minerals like cobalt and zirconium and with the help of some of the world’s most advanced geophysical technology, even more of these highly sought-after minerals might be located.

Detailed underground mapping through the new surveys form part of a $16 million NSW Government commitment over 10 years to unlock the potential of the state’s natural resources and attract investment.


Time to celebrate the Upper Hunter Electorate’s most outstanding volunteers with nominations now open for the 2022 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards.

The Centre for Volunteering run event recognises the efforts of our state’s volunteers across a number of different award categories.

Nominations are open for Young Volunteer, Adult Volunteer, Senior Volunteer, Volunteer Team, Club Volunteer, Employee Volunteer, Volunteer Leader and the Not-for-Profit Voluntary Governance Award.

Nominations close on Friday 17 June with finalists invited to the Gala State Ceremony in Sydney to announce the final winners and overall NSW Volunteer of the Year.


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