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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 31 October 2022


SES FORUM


THE NSW State Emergency Service (SES) is currently hosting community flood forums to help enhance its operational response to floods and storms across the Hunter region.


Following significant flooding in February, March, June and July of this year, residents, business owners and organisations are encouraged to provide feedback on how the SES can ensure communities are supported in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from future flooding.


An independent facilitator has been appointed to enable open and constructive feedback between the SES and the community.


The Broke community flood forum is being held at Broke Hall on Saturday 5 November, 12.30pm-3pm.


FREIGHT MEETING


Freight operators are invited to participate in a forum at Singleton Diggers on Thursday 3 November, 9.30am-12.30pm as part of a series of discussions being held across NSW.


Local freight operators can provide input around future planning for freight in the Upper Hunter Electorate and across NSW, current investments in new projects, along with initiatives and upcoming opportunities.


The forums allow the NSW Government to engage with industry and to have important discussions with local freight operators and customers about unique challenges and opportunities.



NEW AG PERMIT


The state government has announced a new Agricultural Commodities Permit to support farmers affected by flooding and needing to transport stock feed.


The government is working with industry to ensure heavy vehicles get the access they need along key transport links.


The new permit means farmers can apply to have heavy vehicle access to all local roads in regional NSW.


Permits can be applied for in the standard way via the NHVR permit portal; www.nhvr.gov.au/about-us/nhvr-portal


POWERLINE PAYMENT


Landowners who host electricity transmission lines are set to benefit from a new Strategic Benefit Payments Scheme designed by the NSW Government to support the rollout of a modern electricity grid.


Under the scheme, private landowners will receive $200,000 per kilometre of new transmission infrastructure hosted on their land, paid out in annual instalments over 20 years, indexed to CPI.


The scheme will apply for new major transmission projects critical to the energy transformation and future security of the energy grid, including the Central-West Orana Transmission Project and the Hunter Transmission Project.

Payments are separate, and in addition to, the one-off upfront compensation paid to landowners for the acquisition of transmission easements in accordance with the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991.

Further information is available on the EnergyCo website; www.energyco.nsw.gov.au/community/strategic-benefit-payments-scheme


SAFEWORK REVIEW


Retired Supreme Court judge the Hon. Robert McDougall KC has been appointed by the state government to carry out a review of SafeWork NSW.


Mr McDougall previously reviewed iCare and SIRA in 2020-21 and now turns his attention to the operations and culture of SafeWork NSW, the state's work health and safety regulator.


NSW Parliament passed legislation in 2015 to abolish WorkCover, and replace it with iCare, SIRA and SafeWork NSW as three separate entities.


SafeWork NSW is the only one of these entities that has not been independently reviewed since the reforms, with the McDougall review separate to the NSW Auditor-General's performance audit in 2023.


NOMINATE HIDDEN TREASURES


Nominations are open for the 2021-22 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll, which publicly pays tribute to the vast number of rural women who have given their time and energy to helping others in our community.


Coordinated by the NSW Rural Women’s Network, nominations are open to girls and women living outside of Sydney, Newcastle or Wollongong.


There are so many amazing women across rural NSW who generously give their time to support individuals and groups within their communities through volunteering in aged care, emergency services, environmental management, health, sport, education and tourism.


Nominations for the Honour Roll, which must address volunteer work undertaken in 2021 or 2022, close on 30 November at: https://www.nsw.gov.au/women-nsw/rural-womens-network/hidden-treasures.


MORE PLASTICS BANNED


More single-use plastics this week join the NSW Government’s ban on single-use items.

Lightweight, single-use plastic bags were banned in June and from 1 November, some of the most commonly littered single-use plastics including cutlery, plates, bowls and polystyrene food ware are also banned.

Among the items on the list are expanded polystyrene cups, plastic straws, chopsticks, cotton buds and rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads.


For more information about the NSW Government’s single use plastic ban, visit the website https://dpe.mysocialpinpoint.com.au/plastics-ban-nsw


EV INFRASTRUCTURE


More than 500 new fast and ultra-fast charging bays are set to be built across NSW to recharge electric vehicles (EVs) in just 15 minutes.


The NSW Government is investing $39.4 million in the first round of Fast Charging Grants to co-fund 86 new fast and ultra-fast EV charging stations, each with four to 15 bays.


The ultra-fast chargers will be able to charge modern EVs from 20 per cent to 80 per cent in around 15 minutes and all stations will be fully powered with renewable energy.


All stations will be built over the next 24 months with a mix of highway and inner-city sites.


This is the first of an expected three funding rounds with the second round forecast to open towards the end of this year with hundreds more stations set to be built over the coming years.


SYLLABUS CONSULTATION


Creating the next generation of leaders in STEM is the focus of the proposed new Science and Technology syllabuses now out for consultation.


The draft Science syllabus for Years 7 to 10 includes new contemporary topics on data science and investigating scientific evidence, as well as a greater focus on environmental sustainability and energy based on the latest evidence.


Additionally, a new draft Technology syllabus for Years 7 to 8 builds on an already strong syllabus with a greater focus on digital literacy, cyber security and online safety.


Public comment can be made on the draft Technology 7–8 syllabus until 21 November and on the Science and Drama 7–10 syllabuses until 5 December at;


SERVICE TO YOU


The Service NSW Mobile Service Centre will be making stops across the Upper Hunter electorate this month.


On Thursday 10 November, Service NSW will be outside Stroud Uniting Church in Cowper Street, 10am-3pm.


The Upper Hunter Shire Council office in Liverpool Street Scone hosts the mobile service on Tuesday and Wednesday, 15 & 16 November, 9am-3pm.


On Thursday, 17 November the Mobile Service Centre returns to the Murrurundi Visitor Information Centre and Community Connect Service in Mayne Street, 10am-3pm.

If you require further information visit; service.nsw.gov.au/msc or call 13 77 88.


LITTLE BENEFITS


Preschools are preparing to be part of the NSW Government's landmark Affordable Preschool Program which will provide cost of living relief from the beginning of next year.

From January, all NSW families will be eligible for up to $4,220 per year in fee relief for 3, 4 and 5-year-olds attending a community or mobile preschool.


For 4 and 5-year-olds attending preschool in a long day care setting fee relief of up to $2,110 per year is available on top of their Child Care Subsidy payment.


Through the introduction of a universal pre-Kindergarten year, the Brighter Beginnings initiatives, a workforce package for early childhood educators and the Affordable Preschools subsidies, the NSW Government is ensuring NSW is the best state to live, work and raise a family.


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