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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 23 October 2023


HUNTER NEW ENGLAND Local Health District will be the starting point for the NSW Government’s new single digital patient record system.

The Local Health District has been selected because its hospitals are unique in nature having very large hospitals like the John Hunter, medium-sized hospitals like those around Maitland and smaller hospitals in rural communities.

NSW Health is now working on the single streamlined system for patient records to replace and consolidate what is currently available.

The new system will improve the patient experience through reducing unnecessary duplication of care and the need for patients or their carers to recall and repeat health information.

It will also provide clinicians with access to full patient clinical information at any location, support better continuity of care for patients and give clinicians more time at the bedside.


As drought steps-up livestock movements, the NSW Police Rural Crime Prevention Team is continuing Operation Stock Check around the state.

Officers are working alongside partner agencies in relation to stock being transported to saleyards and between properties with a focus on fit to load and fit for sale requirements.

Everyone along the supply chain is encouraged to be vigilant and proactive in relation to animal welfare including farmers and farm workers, truck drivers, agents, saleyard or abattoir staff and anyone else involved in livestock transport.

Information on fit to load and fit for sale obligations is available from Local Land Services:

Concerns regarding fit to load can be raised with Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Specialised business booths are available this week as some Service NSW centres host pop-ups during Small Business Month.

On Thursday and Friday, 26-27 October, the Cessnock, Raymond Terrace, Tuncurry, Newcastle and Tamworth Service Centres have business booths between 10am and 4pm.

Each booth will host a Service NSW Business Concierge, who can identify unique business needs and strengths and connect customers to government services or advice to create a tailored plan.

This includes help applying for licences and permits and accessing mental health support for business owners and employees.

To book an appointment call Service NSW on 13 77 88 or go to:


A webinar on Wednesday morning will assist applicants for the NSW Landcare Enabling Program 2023-2027: Local and Regional Coordinators grants.

The grants form part of the $59 million NSW Landcare Enabling Program 2023-2027, which is being jointly delivered by Local Land Services and Landcare NSW.

Questions about the application process or the program in general will be answered on 25 October from 11am.

Read the program guidelines and apply at: with webinar registrations at:

You can also view a recording of an earlier webinar at:


The Minns Labor Government has issued a Statement of Expectations to the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

For the first time, the regulatory body has been asked to address the teacher shortage, reduce unnecessary workload and ensure the accreditation process for teachers is not overly burdensome.

NESA has also been requested to work on streamlining processes and removing unnecessary barriers for teachers in the areas of greatest need.

In just six months, the government says that more than 16,700 temporary teachers and support staff have accepted a permanent position at their current school.

Under the first tranche of offers, some 10,000 teachers were offered permanent roles with almost 9,000 accepting a permanent position so far, and some 7,700 temporary school support staff also accepted a permanent role.

The NSW Government is now planning another tranche of offers for temporary staff members.


Applications are open until 17 November for the NSW Government’s Crown Reserves Improvement Fund (CRIF).

Funding of $16 million is available to maintain and improve Crown land reserves with $14 million in grants and $2 million in loans.

All Crown land managers are eligible to apply including local councils, community organisations, and user groups licensed to use Crown reserves, as well as commons and showgrounds on freehold land.

CRIF grants and loans support projects that can deliver social, cultural, environmental or economic benefits to local communities.

Grants also support weed and pest management projects to ensure healthy public reserves that help protect native plants and animals from invasive species.

For more information and to apply visit the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund:


The Office of Responsible Gambling will open applications on 27 November for Clubgrants Category 3 Infrastructure Grants.

The objective of the program is to fund the costs of construction, alteration, renovation, completion and fit-out of buildings and community infrastructure.

It aims to deliver outcomes for disadvantaged NSW communities including regional, remote and drought-affected areas, culturally and linguistically diverse, disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and disaster-affected communities.

Infrastructure Grants provide sport and recreation grants of $50,000 to $300,000, community infrastructure grants between $50,000 and $250,000 plus $50,000 to $200,000 forarts and culture as well asdisaster readiness.

Application close on 18 December with more information at:


NSW Health is currently offering health professionals short-term deployments in regional areas of the state.

Temporary, fulltime or casual deployments are available until June next year for nurses, midwives, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, speech pathologists, and clinical psychologists.

The opportunities, for between two and 13 weeks, include coverage of accommodation and travel expenses:

In addition, NSW Health has incentives package worth up to $20,000 for health professionals to work in regional or rural NSW.

The Rural Health Workforce Incentives Scheme is open until 30 June 2026 for health workers taking up new roles with NSW Health:


A new preparedness campaign called Get Ready NSW is helping residents by taking the guess work out of planning for natural disasters.

The single go-to resource will guide communities on how to better protect themselves against bushfires, storms and floods.

Get Ready NSW has been designed in partnership between the NSW Reconstruction Authority and NSW Department of Customer Service, in consultation with emergency services:

Scenarios covered include preparing homes and businesses for bushfire, managing pets and livestock, how to find evacuation centres and finding support if you are impacted by natural disasters.

The Reconstruction Authority will work with local councils and communities to further develop the campaign next year.


The NSW Government will add seatbelt compliance to the work of the existing mobile phone detection camera network.

Legislative changes have been introduced into NSW Parliament for the Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Automated Seatbelt Enforcement) Bill 2023.

More than 10,000 people a year are still fined for not wearing a seatbelt despite five decades of enforcement and public awareness campaigns.

Fines are expected to be issued in the first quarter of 2025 after a public awareness campaign and a nine-month period in which warning letters rather than fines will be issued.

Every dollar raised by enforcing seatbelt compliance will go back into road safety as is currently the case with all fine revenue from speed, red light and mobile phone detection cameras.


The NSW Government’s first feral pig coordinator will roll out a $13 million control program to support farmers.

Over the next eight months, Bec Gray will drive the program to cull at least 87,000 feral pigs with a high focus on three priority landscape control zones in the Riverina, north-west and western NSW.

For more information on how to get involved in the Feral Pig Control Program 2023-24 contact Local Land Services on 1300 795 299 or visit

Meantime, the Biosecurity Amendment (Independent Biosecurity Commissioner) Bill 2023 has been introduction to parliament to amend the Biosecurity Act 2015 and establish NSW’s first independent Biosecurity Commissioner.

The commissioner, supported by the NSW Department of Primary Industries, will oversee the management of pests and weeds by engaging with stakeholders and then providing independent and impartial advice to the state government on the effectiveness of programs.

To further drive accountability, the commissioner will report annually to parliament on their work and the opportunities for improvement in controlling invasive species.


Despite increased mobile telephone ownership - how many of us know who to call in an emergency?

NSW Police and Crime Stoppers are reminding us when seconds count, it is important to know the right number to call.

In Australia, Triple Zero (000) is the main emergency service number for police, fire or ambulance and should be used when someone is seriously injured or in need of urgent medical help, life or property is being threatened or you have just witnessed a serious accident or crime.

The Police Assistance Line - 131 444 - should be used when someone is a victim of a crime, and in circumstances that are not life-threatening or a time-critical emergency.

When someone has seen, heard or knows something about a crime or suspicious activity that is no longer happening, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or go to:


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