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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 7 August 2023


CLARENCE TOWN’S bridge issues were in the spotlight when the NSW Parliament resumed last week.

I used a Private Members Statement to tell the state government of the exasperation being felt by a town currently divided by the closure of the damaged Brig O’Johnston Bridge.

The need to resolve the funding impasse so construction can begin on Dungog Shire Council’s new crossing of the Williams River was also raised in my speech.

Even though repair work has commenced on Brig O’Johnston, it will be the end of the month, weather permitting, before light vehicles can resume traversing the bridge with restrictions in place for some other road users.


Mining Equipment Technology and Services firms are encouraged to book their place for an

industry roundtable being held next week by Singleton Council and Business Singleton.

Funding from round eight of the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government Resources for Regions program has assisted the Industry and Workforce Development Program to stage the roundtable.

The discussion aims to identify key initiatives so that Singleton Council and Business Singleton can work collaboratively with industry to facilitate economic prosperity in Singleton and ensure a vibrant local industry sector into the future.

To share your perspectives at Singleton Civic Centre on Wednesday 16 August ,10am-12pm, register your expression of interest to attend at;


Fire and Rescue NSW continues to warn the public about the dangers of Lithium batteries.

The cells can pose a risk when they are over-charged and/or damaged.

Rechargeable devices can explode without warning due to overcharging, overheating, damage or malfunctioning.

The fires that follow can be difficult to extinguish and it only takes minutes for a home to be destroyed.​

Never charge lithium-powered devices when you are asleep or if they're unattended and don’t charge batteries and devices on beds, sofas or around highly flammable and insulating materials.

Larger devices such as e-bikes and power tools should be stored outside of bedrooms and living spaces.

To dispose of exhausted or damaged Lithium batteries, don’t put them out in household rubbish but properly dispose of them through an approved recycling centre.

For more on Battery and Charging Safety go to the Home Fire Safety section of the Fire and Rescue website:


It is expected to be mid-April next year before eligible drivers start seeing one demerit point removed from their licence after the NSW Parliament endorsed a safer driving trial.

The Road Transport Amendment (Demerit Point Reduction Trial) Bill 2023 passed both houses last week and benefits drivers who have not incurred any demerits since 17 January and continue that spotless behaviour until 17 January next year.

It normally takes three years for a demerit point to be expunged from a driver’s record.

Learner and provisional licence holders are not included in the trial given they are subject to strict conditions of the NSW Graduated Licensing Scheme.


The grounds of the Singleton Council Administration building will host the Emergency Services Expo on Saturday morning 26 August.

Live demonstrations and simulations, emergency service agency displays and emergency vehicles are among the drawcards for the family-friendly event between 9am and Noon.

The demonstrations will include vertical rescue by NSW Ambulance Rescue specialists plus bushfire and flood simulations of local areas under different conditions using state of the art computing.

Services and organisations attending the expo include the Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Police Force, NSW Ambulance, Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, Coal Services Mines Rescue and Community Get Ready Teams.


The Australian Red Cross Lifeblood mobile donor centre will visit Upper Hunter Electorate communities from later this month.

Raymond Terrace Netball Courts, at the intersection Ports Stephens and William Bailey Streets, will be Lifeblood’s stop from Monday to Wednesday 21-23 August.

On Thursday 31 August, Gloucester hosts the Mobile Donor Centre at Billabong Lane.

Dungog Memorial Bowling Club in Brown Street is the venue on Friday 1 September.

Wednesday to Friday 13-15 September, Scone has the Mobile Donor Centre in Kingdon Street.

Muswellbrook PCYC car park in Carl Street will be Lifeblood’s location Tuesday to Friday 3-6 October.

Check your eligibility to donate at: and make further enquiries by calling 13 14 95 or visit:


Applications are now open as Transport for NSW employs over 100 apprentices and trainees to work on major projects across the state.

Opportunities are available across 11 disciplines including civil construction, heavy diesel mechanics, bridge construction, electrical, painting and blasting, business administration, project management, marketing and communications, finance and safety, environment and quality and metal fabricating.

Last year, 74 percent of apprentices and trainees went on to secure permanent employment with Transport.

Applications for the Transport for NSW Regional and Outer Metropolitan Apprentice and Trainee Programs close on 27 August, so apply at:


Regional councils and eligible not-for-profit organisations can now apply for funding to deliver events and activities for young people under the Holiday Break program during the spring school holiday.

Funding of up to $8,000 will be available to cover the cost of running youth events from Saturday 23 September to Sunday 8 October.

The funding can be used to support a wide range of activities including youth concerts and music events, dances and discos, sport and recreational activities, and art and theatre workshops.

Funding applications for the Holiday Break Program close on Sunday 13 August or when funds are exhausted:


The State Emergency Service is encouraging us to get our emergency kit together especially as the start of the new storm season draws closer.

Having an emergency kit can help save precious time providing you with essential items you might need if you lose power and need to evacuate your home in a hurry.

Include a portable radio with spare batteries, a torch with spare batteries, a first aid kit with supplies necessary for your household, candles and waterproof matches, important papers including emergency contact numbers and a waterproof bag for valuables.

The official storm season runs from October to March each year, however severe weather can strike at any time.

Not sure what to put in your emergency kit? Find out more at:


The unsung community heroes who work in the field of multiculturalism in NSW will be honoured by the 2024 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals.

Nominations for the 12 categories which include business, local government, not-for-profit and a special category to recognise the achievements of an outstanding and innovative language teacher are open until 7 September.

Submissions are also open for the 2024 Multicultural Honour Roll, giving posthumous recognition for significant achievements by members of NSW’s vast and diverse society.

Find further information on the Multicultural NSW website:


Saleyards and processors can now apply for part of the $38 million Sheep and Goat eID Infrastructure Rebate Scheme.

Saleyards receive a 100 per cent rebate for eligible items such as eID readers, auto drafters, structural modifications, connectivity infrastructure, eID hardware, eID software purchase, installation and training as well as project planning and design consultants.

Processors receive a 50 per cent rebate on the cost of eligible items such as eID readers, hardware, connectivity infrastructure and related training and software.

The application window for the NSW Sheep and Goat eID Infrastructure Rebate Scheme for saleyards and processors is 1 August until 31 January 2024, and 3 October until 31 March 2024 for producers and stock and station agents.

For more information on the implementation of eID for sheep and goats in NSW, visit the DPI website and sign up to the NSW sheep and goat eID newsletter:


The 2023 Anzac Memorial Veteran Artist in Residence program has opened applications offering a contemporary veteran or group the opportunity to engage with the Memorial and the broader community through art.

The program recognises the skills associated with artistic practices such as collaboration, self-discipline, innovation and creative thinking, as well as the positive impact on health and wellbeing and connectivity.

It allows a veteran artist, through their chosen medium, to share their experiences and stories with the community, and supports the Memorial’s intent as an active space for veterans and their families.

A grant of $5,000 is attached to the residency to assist a guest veteran artist (or group) to develop their work.

For more information, visit the Anzac Memorial Veteran Artist in Residence website:


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