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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 5 June 2023


APPRENTICE & STUDENT CARD


UPPER HUNTER electorate apprentices and students can be assured that I will advocate for the Regional Apprentice and University Student Travel Card to be funded in September’s NSW Budget.

The initiative of the former Liberal and Nationals Government has been instrumental in assisting over 5,000 regional apprentices since its inception earlier this year, including local apprentices, to manage the cost of travel associated with their apprenticeship.

University students, from teenagers through to adults aged up to 66, were to be the next to benefit from the card rollout.

It is disappointing to see the current government’s lack of commitment given the investment the previous Government had made to ease cost of living pressures.

I will continue to put pressure on the NSW Government to stop cutting support in a time of unprecedented cost of living pressures.

FAMILY VIOLENCE FUNDING


Combined NSW and Commonwealth Government funding under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap aims to halve the rate of family violence against First Nations women and children by 2031.

The $20 million is to support Department of Communities and Justice led projects across three primary areas of Self Determination, Prevention and Integrated Services.


Self Determination will focus on long term and generational change, prevention concentrates on early intervention with integrated services to provide wholistic healing with wrap-around support.


Aboriginal service providers will be enabled to co-design culturally responsive initiatives using the funding.


EXTRA DONORS REQUIRED


Australian Red Cross Lifeblood and NSW Health are calling for more O negative and A blood donors right now across the state.

Unfortunately, winter illnesses will result in around 2,000 blood donors a week cancelling and rescheduling appointments due to cold and flu symptoms, and it is expected to get worse in the coming weeks.

Just 6.5 per cent of Australians have type O negative blood but as the only blood type that can be given to everyone in emergencies, it’s always in high demand.

Make an appointment to donate blood in June at the Lifeblood website: https://www.lifeblood.com.au/blood/making-your-donation...

IN OUR BACKYARD!


Further encouraging developments at Aussie Ark in the Barrington Tops with the official opening of new Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby enclosures.

The six new enclosures are a significant addition to the successful breeding program which aims to conserve this endangered species.

Each enclosure will house a breeding pair of brush-tailed rock wallabies with future offspring joining the organisation’s insurance population of endangered marsupials.

The 400 hectare sanctuary is a jewel of the Upper Hunter by providing a vital breeding ground and it allows the many threatened species to roam free of foxes and cats.

For a snapshot of Aussie Arks’ work visit; https://www.facebook.com/AussieArk

FUNDING SUPPORT FINDER


Business now has the same convenience as individuals when trying to find financial help available from the NSW Government.

The NSW Grants and Funding Finder is a one-stop shop for people to locate the financial support they need, when they need it, by bringing together savings, rebates and budget relief from 46 separate government websites into one place.

The tool has been enhanced to allow more than 515,000 businesses with a Service NSW business profile to log in and discover customised support opportunities.

Developed by the Department of Customer Service in partnership with the Department of Regional NSW and Service NSW, you can access the Grants and Funding Finder at: www.nsw.gov.au/grants-and-funding


FISHING FUND GRANTS


Aboriginal businesses and communities are being encouraged to make an application to the current round of the Aboriginal Fishing Trust Fund.

The fund assists Aboriginal commercial fisheries, aquaculture and aquatic tourism-related businesses, as well as fisheries research and cultural education that promotes and protects cultural fishing across the state.

A total of $500,000 is on offer from the new funding round which closes on 25 August.

An overview of the trust fund, guidelines and application forms are available on the DPI Aboriginal Fishing Trust Fund webpage:

PARTNERSHIP REVIEW


Public comment is being taken on the partnership agreement between the NSW Department of Education and the Parents and Citizens Federation of NSW.

Working together to prepare students for rewarding lives is the theme for Education and the Federation to develop the agreement that builds on their strong working relationship.

The ten-year document will define the ongoing partnership to support strong collaboration between schools, P&C Associations and their communities plus help parents and carers engage with and be partners in their child’s education.

Feedback from the NSW public school community, including parents and carers of students, Education staff and local P&C Association members closes on 11 June at: www.haveyoursay.nsw.gov.au/working-together

CONTRACT EXTENSION


Specialist Homelessness Services have been granted a two-year extension of their state government contracts.

The services are focused on reducing the number of people who are homeless or living in insecure accommodation in NSW.

This includes young people, families, natural disaster victims and women and children escaping domestic violence.

Contracts for the Specialist Homelessness Services and the Homeless Youth Assistance Program will now run for five years to expire on 30 June 2026.


RENTAL DIARY REVIEW


The NSW Government will place a 12-month freeze on the requirement for homeless and vulnerable people accessing temporary accommodation to complete rental application diaries.

The Temporary Accommodation Rental Diary or ‘seeker diary’ was introduced more than 10 years ago, however, from 1 July the scheme will be thoroughly reviewed and assessed.

Residents in temporary accommodation will still work with the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) to help resolve their long-term housing needs.

Residents can call the Housing Contact Centre on 1800 422 322.

If you or someone you know is experiencing or at risk of homelessness, help is available 24 hours a day-7 days a week by calling Link2home on 1800 152 152.

RESOURCES ACCESS REGULATOR


I have received some recent enquiries from rural constituents about the role of the Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR).

NRAR enforces NSW water laws so that communities and the environment get their fair share of our state's water resources.

As a regulator, its main activities are helping people comply, monitoring compliance and investigation and enforcement.

Water entitlements in NSW are worth almost $30 billion per year and meters that accurately measure water are the best way to protect this asset on behalf of the people of NSW and the environment.

Find out more about how NRAR ensures the lawful use of water at: www.nrar.nsw.gov.au/how-to-comply/fact-sheets-and-faqs

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