• Dave Layzell MP

State Matters - 25 April 2022


COVID RULES UPDATE


THE NSW Government’s lifting of isolation rules for COVID-19 close contacts has been made possible due to strong vaccination rates in the state.


Close contacts of a confirmed case still need to comply with NSW Health guidelines such as not visiting aged care, hospitals, disability and correctional facilities and notifying employers or educational facilities that they are a close contact but are not required to isolate.


There is no change for positive cases with the seven-day isolation requirement for anyone who has recorded a positive RAT or PCR result.


Public health orders requiring key workforces to be vaccinated will be lifted with vaccine requirements to be based on risk assessments under occupational work health and safety.


We continue to be in a pandemic and the basic rules of hand hygiene, wearing a mask when you cannot physically distance and staying at home if you have symptoms still apply. Check the details at: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19


IS YOUR IMMUNISATION CURRENT?


Winter is approaching and NSW Health is urging everyone to be protected against Influenza and COVID-19.


Both ‘flu’ and COVID-19 are circulating in the community, so it is important to protect yourself and your community by getting vaccinated.


Although the symptoms are similar, flu and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses, but their respective vaccines can be given together at the same time.


Some people are eligible for a free flu vaccine because they are more vulnerable including children, pregnant women, people with serious health conditions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people aged 65 years-and-over.


Discover more about the flu vaccine at: www.nsw.gov.au/health-and-wellbeing/influenza


STROUD SHOW GRANT


Congratulations to the Stroud Show Association on being awarded $42,690 from the NSW Government’s Country Shows Support Package.


The support for the three day event held last weekend included grant funding to upgrade undercover horse stalls at Stroud Showground.


The Country Shows Support Package has now delivered almost $208,000 worth of stimulus to six Upper Hunter electorate country shows this year.


Grants from the package aim to provide certainty for show organisers so that they can lock in suppliers, hire equipment and purchase goods for their events.


SINGLETON LIGHTS UP!


A NSW Government Regional Events Acceleration Fund grant of $149,910 will assist Singleton Council stage the Firewalk Spectacular and Firelight event next month.


Firewalk will illuminate the Dunolly Bridge-Cook Park precinct with spectacular displays of laser lights and projections nightly during May 14-22.


On Saturday 21 May, John Street fires-up with flames, food and fun when Firelight takes centre stage in the heart of town.


The events are free but require a ticket to attend which can be obtained from the Singleton Council website: www.singletonfirelightfestival.com.au.


FRONTLINE PROTECTED


The NSW Government is supporting, in full or in principle, all of the recommendations in the NSW Sentencing Council’s report Assaults on Emergency Services Workers.


New offences of assaulting frontline workers will align with existing penalties for assaulting NSW Police officers and other law enforcement officers.


The Government will go further than the recommendations from the report by ensuring that firefighters from the Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue and National Parks and Wildlife Service, and State Emergency Service frontline workers are covered by the new offences.


The NSW Government’s response to the Sentencing Council’s report is available at: www.sentencingcouncil.justice.nsw.gov.au/Pages/Assault-police.aspx


DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR!


Households and businesses experiencing cost of living pressures could have extra money in their pocket by using the NSW Government Savings Finder program.


A new campaign is currently raising awareness of the more than 70 ways household and business budget can receive a boost.


The free Savings Finder tool which has something for everyone can be easily found on either the Service NSW App, or the MyServiceNSW Account on the Service NSW website.


Savings specialists are also available in-person at Service NSW centres or by calling 13 77 88 to provide personalised assistance to find which initiatives are best suited to a family’s needs.


Customers can explore the full range of options available through Savings Finder at:

www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/savings-finder


GET SKILLED AT TAFE


A new fee-free pilot program at TAFE Singleton is equipping Upper Hunter residents with skills needed to enter the region’s dynamic hospitality industry.


The program is a partnership between TAFE NSW and Singleton Diggers Club which will deliver the NSW Government-funded skills program to local jobseekers.

Students have gained hands-on practical skills in bar operation, preparing and serving espresso, and responsible service of alcohol, while also completing work experience in a hospitality venue to support job outcomes.


For more information about studying at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or call 131 601.


NPWS REGIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEES


Applications are now being sought from members of the community for the eight National Parks and Wildlife Service regional advisory committees across New South Wales.


Applications are expected to have strong connections to the national parks and reserves including those covering the Blue Mountains, Hunter Central Coast and Northern Inland administrative regions.


Members are appointed in a voluntary capacity with the committees to meet at least four times a year and also attend field inspections of parks and reserves.


Applications close on Wednesday 4 May with appointments are for up to four years commencing 1 July. For more information: www.environment.nsw.gov.au/about-us/who-we-are/advisory-committees/regional-advisory-committees


KIDS GET TOCAL TRAINING


SafeWork NSW has partnered with Tocal College to deliver free training events as part of Youth Week on quad bikes and side-by-side vehicles in regional and remote NSW schools.


Tragically, since 2011 there have been 168 quad bike deaths in the country, 43 of those in NSW with 15 per cent of fatalities involving children under the age of 16.


The program for participants 16 years and older provides practical skills for young people operating high-risk vehicles on farms and at work.


Find more information on the NSW Government’s Quad Bike Safety Training Program including training for eligible farmers go to: www.safework.nsw.gov.au/hazards-a-z/quad-bikes-and-side-by-side-vehicles