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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 29 August 2022


GUIDELINES UPDATED


Revised guidelines to make the assessment of large-scale solar energy projects clearer have been released by the NSW Government.


The updated Large-Scale Solar Energy Guidelines will ensure solar farms are built in the right areas to benefit the community.


It will help deal with emerging concerns and issues, and assist applicants and the community to better understand the planning and engagement process - from choosing a site, to decommissioning a project and rehabilitating the land.


The revised guidelines, which include guidance on key issues such as visual impacts, the use of agricultural land and community benefit sharing can be viewed at; www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Policy-and-Legislation/Renewable-Energy/Solar-energy


BEEKEEPER REIMBURSEMENT


Registered commercial and recreational beekeepers impacted by Varroa mite in the eradication zone can now access reimbursement payments under the agreed National Response Plan.


For commercial beekeepers it includes the estimated market value of the particular hives destroyed and any other costs incurred by the beekeeper as a direct result of the Response Plan.


Recreational beekeepers receive a $550 payment for each hive destroyed, or $200 for those who wish to keep their hive ware, which will cover the cost of the euthanised bees.


A $200 reimbursement will also be given for each single recreational nucleus hive that is euthanised, regardless of whether the hive ware is kept.


You must be a registered beekeeper with NSW DPI to be eligible for reimbursement.


For more on the Varroa mite DPI reimbursements visit; www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/emergencies/biosecurity/current-situation/varroa-mite-emergency-response or phone the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593.


VACCINE RESEARCH


The NSW Government will invest $65 million to fast-track the development of vaccines against Foot and Mouth (FMD) and Lumpy Skin Disease.


In a bid to position the state as a leader in the fight against exotic animal diseases, the goal is to use biosecurity measures and develop mRNA synthetic vaccines for both FMD and Lumpy Skin.


Australia currently enjoys FMD-free status and the development of a synthetic mRNA vaccine could be the key for Australia to apply for FMD-free status without having to destroy vaccinated animals.



AMBULANCE UPGRADES


A state-wide rollout of world-class technology and equipment in NSW ambulances worth more than $55 million will benefit Upper Hunter electorate patients.


The package will equip ambulances with an additional mechanical cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) Lucas devices, state-of-the-art ECG/defibrillation devices, and a new cardiac notification platform that will improve communication between NSW Ambulance and emergency departments.


NSW Ambulance will be the first ambulance service in Australia to have mechanical CPR Lucas devices in every frontline ambulance, ensuring patients can receive life-saving chest compressions throughout their journey to hospital.


The new cardiac notification platform would help streamline the transfer of patients from ambulance into hospital by improving communication between emergency departments and clinicians.


SPORT GRANTS COMING


A ground-breaking female sport facility program that aims to get more women and girls playing sport has attracted $25 million from the NSW Government.


The Community Female Friendly Sport Facilities and Lighting Upgrade Grants Program will see community sports facilities across the state transformed into safer and more inclusive venues.


The program, which opens in late 2022, will deliver female-friendly change rooms, amenities and lighting upgrades at grounds.



WAR WIDOWS DAY


The NSW Government has designated 19 October as a special day for the State to officially recognise war widows and widowers of members of the Australian Defence Force for their contribution and personal sacrifice.


War Widows Day will be an opportunity to acknowledge the contribution and personal sacrifice made by more than 15,000 surviving widows and widowers of servicemen and servicewomen across NSW.


The date acknowledges the birthday of Mrs Jessie Vasey OBE CBE (1897­-1966), founder of the Australian War Widows Guild in 1945.


Australian War Widows NSW is the oldest remaining war widows’ organisation in Australia, now 76 years old, and continues to offer services, support and advocacy for all veterans’ families.


MORE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

Funding has been extended until to the end of the current financial year for NSW residents who want to access fee-free training to get skilled for a first job, a new job or a better job.


The joint NSW-Federal Government funded JobTrainer program, providing training in response to the impact of COVID-19, is due to end in December, but the NSW Government will step in to ensure more people can access training for jobs in priority industries.


The state government’s extension of fee-free courses through to July 2023 will target industries such as community services, including aged care and disability support, hospitality, agriculture and digital technology.


Discover more about fee-free training courses at; https://education.nsw.gov.au/skills-nsw


BUSH FIRE DANGER PERIOD


The NSW Rural Fire Service has declared the start of the Bush Fire Danger Period for the Upper Hunter and Liverpool Plains council areas from 1 September, 2022.

Landholders are advised that any person wanting to light a fire on their property during the Bush Fire Danger Period will require a permit from their local Rural Fire Brigade, RFS Fire Control Centre or Fire and Rescue NSW Station.


The Bush Fire Danger Period will be in force until 31 March, 2023 or otherwise advised.


More information including advice on fire permits is available at; www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/BFDP


PATERSON BRIDGEWORK


Motorists using Paterson Road, Paterson can expect delays over the next few weeks due to work on Paterson Bridge.


Essential work including bridge maintenance and vegetation control is being carried out from Monday 29 August and is expected to be completed in two weeks, weather permitting.


Work will take place Monday to Thursday, 7am-4pm with single lane closures and a 40km/h speed limit in place during work hours.


Motorists should allow up to five minutes extra travel time, keep to speed limits and follow the direction of traffic controllers and signs.


MOBILE SERVICE VISITS


Driver licence, photo card applications and renewals and the Savings Finder program are some of the assistance available when the Service NSW mobile team returns to the Upper Hunter electorate.


Service NSW will be in Stroud, outside the Uniting Church, on Thursday 1 September 10am-3pm with driver testing available by appointment.


Driver testing appointments are also being taken for Service NSW’s visit to the Upper Hunter Shire Council Offices, Scone on 6-7 September 9am-3pm.


The Mobile Service Centre Service NSW returns to Murrurundi’s Visitor Information Centre on 8 September 10am-3pm and to Clarence Town, outside the School of Arts, on 5 October 10am-3pm.


For the full list of services available visit; www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/mobile-service-centres.

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