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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 28 March 2022


I HAVE used the opening week of the latest NSW Parliament sittings to speak about the cease to pump provisions in the draft Hunter Unregulated and Alluvial water sharing plan.

In my Private Members’ Statement, I explained the recent feedback from a meeting with Hunter Valley farmers including their robust opinions on the draft plan and what it may mean for their businesses.

During the week I also met with the Minister for Environment, James Griffin, to emphasise the decision we make now, based on data modelling, will be in place for 10 years and that we need to get this right.

There are way too many unanswered questions about the modelling when we compare it to local knowledge – I reiterate that the risk is too great if we get it wrong.


The NSW Government has commissioned an independent expert inquiry into the 2022 catastrophic flood event across the state of NSW.

Professor Mary O’Kane AC and Michael Fuller APM have been engaged to lead the inquiry to examine and report on the causes of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from, the February-March event.

The inquiry is required to report to the Premier on causation, land use planning and management and related matters by 30 June 2022, and on all other matters by 30 September 2022.

Full terms of reference for the inquiry are available at:


Additional Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) will be supplied to students and teachers at every school in NSW as part of the latest measures to be used to manage ongoing COVID-19 cases in local areas.

The adjustments are outlined in updated COVID-smart school guidelines released by the NSW Government in response to increasing COVID-19 cases in the community.

Where a community is experiencing an increase in COVID cases, the Department may direct the local school to adopt additional proportionate measures for a short period of time, such as requiring staff, adult visitors or high school students to wear masks indoors, or moving assemblies or large gatherings outdoors.

Details of the COVID-Smart school settings are available from the NSW Department of Education website:


Motorists are being urged to stay safe behind the wheel by refreshing their understanding of NSW road rules.

The timely reminder to all road users that actions and decisions while behind the wheel affect everyone comes ahead of next month’s Easter break and the Autumn school holiday.

We have a shared responsibility to make our roads safer because every decision we make can have consequences, and sometimes they can be tragic and avoidable.

Refresh your road rules knowledge with the Road User Handbook, the Top 10 Misunderstood Road Rules Handbook, or through the NSW Centre for Road Safety website:


Many will be looking forward this weekend to catching-up on that hour of sleep they lost in October last year.

Daylight saving ends at 3am on Sunday 3 April 2022 when clocks are turned backward one hour.

NSW Fire and Rescue and the NSW Rural Fire Service also remind residents to change both the time on the clock and the battery in smoke alarms so that you are prepared for winter.

For those who appreciate daylight saving it will return on Sunday 2 October at 2am.


This weekend Murrurundi celebrates the 150th anniversary of the opening of the town’s railway station.

Everyone is welcome to attend the free celebrations which will take place on Saturday 2 April 10am-2pm and 4pm-8pm and Sunday 3 April 10am-2pm.

The MurruRail 150 Picnic Train Ride (Maitland to Murrurundi) and MurruRail 150 Steam Train Ride (Murrurundi to Murulla) will operate on the Saturday 2 April with limited seats available.


NSW Ambulance is reminding the public that Triple Zero (000) is for emergencies, not health advice.

If you are seeking non-urgent health advice you should get in touch with your GP, call Healthdirect for free on 1800 022 222 or visit the Healthdirect website

Let’s ensure those who need emergency care can receive it by saving ambulances and emergency departments for saving lives.

For advice on calling an Ambulance including what to do if it is not a life-threatening emergency, visit:


Public consultation is open to parents, carers and educators to have their say on the Department of Education’s Parent and Carers Engagement Framework.

The framework will outline how the education sector can work more closely with parents and carers to improve student outcomes.

The Department of Education will use these insights to develop the framework, which will help parents and carers to better understand their rights, responsibilities, and choices in the education system while accessing information about their child's learning, development and wellbeing.


The NSW Parliamentary Education and Engagement team has an April school holiday program with activities for primary school children and families.

The Parliament of New South Wales School Holidays Colouring-in Competition is calling on all budding young artists, from Kindergarten to Year 6, to enter our school holidays colouring-in competition.

Entry closes Friday 29 April with four lucky winners to receive a Parliament of NSW gift pack.

Visitors, families and friends are also welcome to attend the Festival of Democracy at Parliament House on Friday 22 April, 9am-3pm.

Experience democracy through a range of family-friendly activities which include making a speech in the historic Parliamentary chamber, learn how to vote, visit the historic rooms, chat with Henry Parkes, and much more.


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