• Dave Layzell MP

State Matters - 25 July 2022


MORE POLICE


TEN additional Rural Crime officer to investigate stock and equipment theft on farms are part of the 550 new positions in the NSW Police Force this financial year.


The High Risk Domestic Violence Team will be boosted by 15 officers to proactively target and investigate domestic violence offenders and there’s an increase in the pool of general duties police officers across regional and rural locations.


The final allocation of positions delivers on the State Government’s $583 million commitment for 1500 extra police positions over four years and represents the biggest increase in police numbers across the state in more than 30 years.


These extra positions will be tasked to undertake more proactive policing, more foot patrols, more visibility of police in high-risk areas, more support for victims and officers will have more time to investigate crime.


DV BEHAVIOUR REFORMS


Coercive control is one step closer to being criminalised with the NSW Government taking the significant step of releasing a draft bill for public comment ahead of its introduction to Parliament.


The public exposure draft bill to outlaw coercive control in intimate partner relationships is part of the ongoing response to the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Coercive Control.


Coercive control is a form of domestic abuse that involves patterns of behaviour which have the cumulative effect of denying victim-survivors their autonomy, independence and can also involve physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse.


Consultation closes on 31 August with submissions via the NSW Government’s ‘Have Your Say’ website; www.nsw.gov.au/have-your-say/coercive-control-exposure-draft-bill


STOCK WATCH ADVICE


NSW Department of Primary Industries and Hunter Local Land Services are asking farmers to check livestock regularly and know what Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) looks like.


Foot and mouth is a highly contagious viral disease that affects pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, deer, alpacas, camels and buffalo.


FMD does not affect humans, horses, or companion animals such as dogs and cats.


All livestock owners should also have stringent biosecurity measures on their property, including accurate livestock movement records.


If you suspect any signs of FMD it must be reported to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline 1800 675 888 or a local veterinarian immediately: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/animals-and-livestock/beef-cattle/health-and-disease/viral-diseases/fmd


FIRE SAFETY REMINDER


Firefighters have renewed their plea for the public to follow safety advice with house fire deaths this winter already more than double last winter’s figure.


The majority of house fire deaths are preventable with a working smoke alarm key to saving your life and the lives of your loved ones.


Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) encourages us to keep anything combustible a metre from the heater including clothing, curtains, couches and furniture, and to turnoff heaters when you go to bed.


Do not use outdoor heating or cooking equipment inside your home, clean the lint filter from your clothes dryer after each use and always use candles under adult supervision never leaving them unattended.


Residents can help keep their homes fire safe by using FRNSW’s Get Ready for Winter checklist or arrange a free home fire safety inspection: www.fire.nsw.gov.au


COVID-19 BOOSTER


People with disability are encouraged to get the latest COVID-19 vaccine booster dose as the new wave of COVID-19 cases continues to increase across the state.


The COVID-19 vaccine is readily available at GPs and pharmacies and can be taken at the same time as the influenza vaccine.


While the free flu vaccination program in NSW ended on 17 July, those considered to be at higher risk of severe illness from influenza remain eligible for a free flu vaccine under the National Immunisation program.


The NSW Government is also providing Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to people with disability and other vulnerable community members with the program recently expanded until 31 October.


To find your nearest vaccination clinic, visit www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19


ED EXPLAINED


If you need to visit a public hospital emergency department (ED), NSW Health has provided the following advice on what to expect when you get there.

People who visit an ED receive care according to how sick or injured they are, rather than in the order that they arrive.


This system is called triage and even though people may come to emergency in an ambulance, it does not mean that they will skip the triage queue.


During very busy times, people with less urgent conditions may have longer wait times.


A nurse or doctor will treat your condition in the ED and prescribe you with medication, if required, should you need further care, staff may admit you and you will be taken to a hospital ward.


For more information visit: www.health.nsw.gov.au/Hospitals/Going_To_hospital/Pages/emergency-departments.aspx


CLASSROOMS ON INFO SUPER HIGHWAY


Students are now benefitting from faster, more reliable internet following a $328 million investment by the NSW Government to connect every regional public school to fibre internet.


The Government has spent hundreds of millions connecting regional schools to high speed internet, upgrading classrooms with new hardware and providing students and staff with new computers.


Improving the internet access in regional schools is not just about faster connectivity, but also about greater access to teaching and learning opportunities for students and staff.


The investment included a further $365.8 million for the Regional Access Gap to close the digital divide by delivering learning devices to students and teachers, smartboards and internet connectivity.


BUSHFIRE TECHNOLOGY


NSW will cement its place as a world leader in bushfire technology commercialisation and position itself for international export of innovative bushfire solutions under a new State Government program.


The Bushfire Commercialisation Fund will help innovators translate cutting-edge research into practical solutions that will improve bushfire detection, preparation and response.


A total of $16 million over three years has been allocated, with the first round of funding offering grants of between $200,000 and $8 million to individuals, companies, research institutions and universities, to help them commercialise their research.


The program is the second initiative being rolled out under the Bushfire Response R&D Mission with preliminary applications to close on 12 September:

www.chiefscientist.nsw.gov.au/rdnsw/bushfire-response-rd-mission/bushfire-commercialisation-fund


TASTY EVENTS


Seafood lovers will get a chance to hook some of the state’s world-class seafood at a series of free events supported by the NSW Government’s Eat More NSW Seafood Grants Program.


Event locations will include Newcastle, Wallis Lakes and Dubbo to help put the state’s seafood industry on regional plates.


The Taste of Seafood Festivals will kick off later this year, with the remaining events to follow in the first half of 2023.


The Eat More NSW Seafood Program is a partnership between the NSW Government and the NSW Seafood Industry Council to promote the consumption of NSW seafood and help foster greater community awareness and support for the industry.


Visit Taste of Seafood Festivals NSW website for more information: https://tasteofseafood.com.au


GROUNDWATER CONSULTATION


The Department of Planning and Environment is currently seeking feedback on the draft NSW Groundwater Strategy.


The draft NSW Groundwater Strategy will deliver on a key priority of NSW Water Strategies by providing an enhanced, state-wide focus on sustainable groundwater management for the next 20 years.


Groundwater resources are becoming increasingly vulnerable requiring a long-term direction – harnessing the latest science available – to make sure groundwater management continues to evolve to tackle critical challenges now and into the future.


You can register for an online public webinar being held Thursday 28 July, 12.30-2.00 pm, then have your say by Sunday 14 August at:

www.nsw.gov.au/have-your-say/draft-nsw-groundwater-strategy