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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 6 December 2021


I BEGIN this week’s column by acknowledging all who have been impacted by the flood event in the Upper Hunter electorate during recent weeks - my thoughts are with you at this challenging time.

Also, I want to thank the volunteers and the emergency service organisations involved in the response to the flood.

The Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Paul Toole, did not hesitate to come and speak with our councils and flood victims when I hosted his visit to Singleton, Muswellbrook and Scone last Tuesday.

Disaster assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) for the Liverpool Plains, Upper Hunter, Muswellbrook, and Singleton council areas.

For personal hardship and distress assistance contact Service NSW on 137788, whilst the NSW Rural Assistance Authority is handling applications for a concessional loan or grant by contacting 1800 678 593 or visit

If you have suffered damage to crops, livestock or infrastructure I encourage you to lodge a report with the DPI:


Two more $25 Dine & Discover NSW vouchers are now available to eligible residents and are valid until 30 June 2022.

Check your Service NSW app with the additional vouchers appearing automatically in the Service NSW app, via SMS or email for existing digital customers

If you don’t have access to the digital vouchers opt-in by calling Service NSW on 137788 and collect the paper vouchers from your nominated service centre.

Dine & Discover is part of the NSW Government’s economic recovery package, and so far, more than 15,000 businesses and 4.8 million customers have registered for the program.


Parents are being urged to take advantage of the Active Kids program with $86 million worth of vouchers still to be redeemed this year.

Every school-enrolled child in NSW is eligible for two $100 Active Kids vouchers per year towards the cost of sport and active recreation fees with around 430,000 children yet to use their 2021 vouchers.

Download a voucher or get more details at

Meantime, Upper Hunter electorate children can participate in the Holiday Break program which has an additional $10 million following the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Applications for funding to deliver events and activities during the upcoming summer school holidays are open until 20 December 2021 for eligible not-for-profits and until 4 February 2022 for eligible regional NSW councils.


Gift givers looking for the perfect present, festive feasts, and tasty treats are being encouraged to support regional NSW businesses in the lead up to Christmas.

More than 800 businesses are listed on the NSW Government’s one-stop-shop Buy Regional webpage including businesses from Gloucester, Dungog, Gresford, Singleton, Jerrys Plains, Denman, Muswellbrook, Scone, Murrurundi and Quirindi.

It has been a challenging few years for small businesses across NSW with bushfires, floods, the mouse plague and COVID-19, so now is the time to show our support to the many regional businesses which have done it tough.

Check out Buy Regional or register your business at


Seniors can better understand their legal rights on issues such as scams, retirement planning, and e-safety which are published in a free 2022 diary from Legal Aid NSW.

There are many legal issues impacting older people including powers of attorney, aged care, housing, consumer rights, and elder abuse, which are all covered in this publication.

The Legal Topics for Older People 2022 diary aims to support NSW residents to age with dignity and part of that is ensuring older people know where to turn if they’re experiencing elder abuse or discrimination.

To request a copy please contact my office by emailing or call 6543 1065.


Modern and inclusive sporting facilities are the focus of a new NSW Government $200 million fund to encourage people to enjoy the benefits of sport, regardless of their age, gender or ability.

Applications are now open for the Multi-Sport Community Facility Fund which will invest in new or upgraded venues across the state with $100 million available in 2021-22 and a further $100 million in 2022-23.

The Multi-Sport Community Facility Fund will provide more modern, inclusive and fit-for-purpose facilities with funding offered through a competitive grants process.

Grants of between $1 million to $5 million are available with applications for the 2021-22 round closing on 25 February 2022.


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