• Dave Layzell MP

State Matters - 27 September 2021


COVID-19 ROADMAP TO RECOVERY

NSW will have a three stage re-opening under the state government’s Roadmap to Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.


From the Monday after double vaccination of 70 per cent of NSW residents aged over 16, fully vaccinated people will lift out of lockdown.


On the Monday after NSW hits the 80 per cent vaccination target, restrictions ease further for the fully vaccinated.


Then from early December additional changes will be introduced including all venues moving to the 2sqm rule and unvaccinated people will have greater freedoms.


Regional travel will not be allowed until the 80 per cent vaccination mark is reached.


For the latest information visit www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19 and Service NSW 13 77 88.


ROADWORK AHEAD

Upper Hunter electorate roads are set for further improvements as a result of recent NSW Government funding announcements.


Liverpool Plains, Upper Hunter, Muswellbrook, Singleton and Dungog councils have secured $6.6 million from the third round of the Fixing Local Roads program for shovel-ready projects to repair, maintain and seal priority roads.


The announcement comes with work starting this week on the Golden Highway, east of Denman, to widen and resurface a two-kilometre section of the highway near Dalswinton Road.


The $6.8 million safety improvements jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments are expected to be completed in six months, weather permitting.


Dungog shire will also be part of the road construction activity with a $16 million bridge building blitz from next month to replace 23 ageing timber bridges under the Fixing Country Bridges program.


I encourage motorists to please slowdown and observe speed limits in roadwork zones.


ROAD CLASSIFICATION REVIEW AND TRANSFER OF REGIONAL ROADS

The NSW Government has now released the Independent Panel’s Interim Report into road classification and the transfer of regional roads to state ownership, including recommendations for the priority round of transfers and reclassifications.


Upper Hunter electorate councils are being invited to submit proposals from this week for reclassifications and transfers in the main round, with submissions to close on Friday 24 December.


Following the full round of submissions, the panel will provide a final report to Government with recommendations for transfers and reclassifications as well as recommendations on areas of road maintenance policy, as per the panel’s terms of reference.


THANKS FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION

I would like to express my appreciation to all who took part in the recent Upper Hunter electorate COVID-19 small business forum.


About 30 participants joined the online event to hear from Minister for Finance and Small Business, the Hon. Damien Tudehope MLC, and NSW Small Business Commissioner Chris Lamont.


Minister Tudehope advised businesses not to self-assess their eligibility for NSW Government COVID-19 assistance but to contact the Service NSW business concierge service https://mybusiness.service.nsw.gov.au/concierge


The Small Business Commissioner encouraged participants to visit his website for financial and other support for small business and subscribe to the agency’s newsletter https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au


CHEERS, SMALL FOREST!

Denman’s Small Forest wines is currently being showcased alongside some of NSW and the Hunter Valley’s best drops in a push to develop the relationship with Japanese consumers.


One of the largest online e-commerce platforms in Japan, Rakuten Ichiba, is being used for the inaugural NSW Wine Campaign during September and October.


Japanese wine lovers have the chance to browse and purchase from 20 NSW producers.


Small Forest winemaker Atsuko Radcliffe already has a presence in the Japanese market and is enthusiastic about the challenge to raise the profile of Hunter Valley wine in the global marketplace.


CREATIVE CAPITAL GRANTS OPEN

Communities across the Upper Hunter electorate can now apply for grants from the NSW Government’s $60 million Creative Capital program.


The new program is for the whole state and will strengthen cultural tourism and local economies by supporting NSW’s vibrant arts and cultural offerings.


It aims to address the demand for cultural infrastructure, support the creative economy and improve access for local communities to quality arts venues.


The Creative Capital fund will be delivered through Create NSW over two years, across two categories:

  • Minor Works and Equipment Projects for grants from $5,000 up to $250,000

  • Medium to Large Projects for grants from $250,000 up to $5,000,000.


Guidelines are now available on the Create NSW website at www.create.nsw.gov.au.