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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 6 November 2023


WELCOME BACK!


AS PROMISED, the Aussie Hay Runners (AHR) will return to the Upper Hunter Electorate later this month.


Applications for assistance open today ahead of the delivery on Friday 24 November when another 34 trucks roll into the Upper Hunter Shire.


Farmers who missed out during the first run in October will be given priority with AHR asking those who have received help recently to please think of others before they apply.


Steve Carter from Denman Lions Club is handling requests on 0408-805221 or via email denmanlions@hotmail.com.


Thank you again to the Lions Club of Aberdeen and Scone as well as everyone who supported them with the generosity shown to the drivers last month, the NSW Rural Assistance Authority for fuel subsidies and the Hay Runners support team.


To keep up to date with AHR check: www.facebook.com/aussiehayrunners


PATERSON CONSULTATION


Community input is currently being called for to guide the social impact assessment on the Paterson River Connection of the Lostock Dam-Glennies Creek Dam Pipeline project.


The Paterson River Connection aims to enhance water security and reliability to Branxton, Cessnock and Maitland.


It will include constructing a river pump station at one of two locations at Paterson.


Hunter Water will use residents’ feedback, along with environmental, technical and financial considerations to determine the preferred site for the river pump station.


The feedback survey closes on 27 November with more information at: www.hunterwater.com.au/paterson


NEW DRAWCARDS COMING


Applications are now open for small to medium regional tourism businesses and councils to install Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.


Destinations could include motels, wineries, cafes, restaurants, natural attractions, visitor information centres, museums, zoos and local council facilities.


Successful Destination Charging Program applicants will receive 75 per cent of the cost of purchasing and installing up-to-four charge points at each site.


Following the rollout of the chargers, a series of EV tourist drives will be developed to promote EV travel across NSW.



PLASTIC RECYCLING


The NSW Government is letting the public have a say on helping to tackle plastic pollution.


Consultation on the ‘NSW Plastics: Next Steps’ discussion paper is open until February next year.


The government is ramping up efforts to reduce plastic litter by 30 per cent by 2025, curb the impact of microplastics and align NSW with other states and territories.


Only 12 per cent of plastic waste is recycled and once thrown away items such as lollipop sticks, cigarette butts, bread tags and heavyweight plastic shopping bags are some of the problematic products.


To participate in the future of plastics, visit the NSW Environment Protection Authority website: www.epa.nsw.gov.au/news/media-releases/2023/epamedia231029-next-steps-to-beat-plastic-pollution-in-nsw


AGREEMENTS IN SPOTLIGHT


The NSW Treasurer is writing to energy companies and ports notifying them of a proposal to

release privatisation agreements.


This includes the commitment deeds for Liddell and Bayswater power stations, electricity networks operated by Ausgrid, Transgrid and Endeavour plus the Port of Newcastle.


Where required, the consent of the relevant authorities has been requested to release the documents.


Subject to that consent being provided the documents will be tabled in parliament.


WATER METER MEETINGS


Online information sessions will be held next week as part of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s review of the non-urban metering rules.


Department staff will present webinars on Monday 13 November and Tuesday 14 November to answer questions and explain the potential options to ease bottlenecks and barriers to implementation. 

The consultation period provides the opportunity for water users, stakeholders and other interested parties to learn more about potential options to address barriers to implementation, to make submissions and comment on the review.


To register to attend a webinar and have your say by 26 November visit: https://water.dpie.nsw.gov.au/nsw-non-urban-water-metering/review-of-the-non-urban-metering-rules


WOMEN’S SAFETY COMMISSIONER


Dr Hannah Tonkin has become the stand-alone NSW Women’s Safety Commissioner in a

first for any state or territory in Australia to prioritise women’s safety.


Previously, the NSW Women’s Safety Commissioner held the dual role of commissioner and executive director, women, family and community safety in the Department of Communities and Justice.


Dr Tonkin will spearhead leadership for a whole-of-government approach to domestic, family and sexual violence.


Domestic violence assaults and sexual assaults are the only two of the 13 major crime categories that showed an upward trend in the last five years, increasing by 13.5 per cent and 29.8 per cent respectively.


In addition, Commissioner Tonkin will be central to the implementation of NSW’s new coercive control laws, which will come into effect in mid-2024.


BRANXTON LIGHTS UP!


Miller Park, Branxton has secured a share of the NSW Football Legacy Fund.


The success of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 continues to leave a legacy for football with the Greta Branxton Football Club allocated $150,000 from Round 2 of the fund for a lighting upgrade.


The NSW Football Legacy Fund is a collaboration between the NSW Office of Sport, Football Australia, Football NSW and Northern NSW Football, with $6.3 million awarded for almost 200 projects across the two rounds.


Miller Park will go from the current lighting of just two main fields to also having coverage for another five small fields, warm-up areas and the carpark.


Adequate lighting across all fields will improve training and night games, plus overall safety for female participants providing well-lit areas between fields, clubhouse and the carpark.


WAR MEMORIAL GRANTS


Communities across the Upper Hunter Electorate will pause this Saturday to mark Remembrance Day, which commemorates the Armistice that ended World War I.


It will also mark the opening of round two applications for the NSW Government’s Community War Memorials Fund.


The fund was established in 2008 to help conserve, repair and protect war memorials across the state.


There are more than 3,700 war memorials around the state, many of which provide a place for people to gather and remember those who have served from their local community.


Previous grants have been provided for condition assessments, honour roll repair, war memorial cleaning and conservation work, security measures for memorials, repairs to war memorial halls and improvements to the accessibility of memorials.



CAST FOR IMPROVEMENTS


Fishing clubs and local Councils can apply for funding of projects to improve and promote recreational fishing in their area from the next round of Recreational Fishing Trust Grants.


Applications must be lodged by 18 December for small projects involving less than $10,000 and large projects valued at more than $10,000.


This year, the program has an additional focus on encouraging applications for projects that help open-up fishing opportunities for people with disabilities, such as fishing platforms in popular fishing spots that don’t have one or that need an upgrade.


Visit Licence Fees at Work for funding guidelines and application forms


MUSWELLBROOK’S HISTORIC MEETING


A historic milestone for the revitalised Muswellbrook Greyhound track recently when the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission’s (GWIC) first all-female steward panel oversaw the meeting.


The three stewards – Louise Warren, Steff Richards and Madi Watson – have combined experience of more than 20 years across greyhound races in NSW but this was the first time they have come together as a panel.


Queensland is the only other state to have had an all-female panel, in August 2022.

GWIC employs 34 stewards, including seven women, who are appointed to ensure racing is conducted fairly in accordance with the Greyhound Racing Act 2017 and the Greyhound Racing Rules.


They are also responsible for safeguarding the welfare of greyhounds and participants, drug testing and imposing penalties for non-compliance.


For more information on the role of stewards, visit the Commission’s website: www.gwic.nsw.gov.au/integrity/stewarding-chief-steward

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