top of page
  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 8 May 2023


ON BEHALF of the Upper Hunter electorate I want to publicly thank our Rural Fire Service and NSW Fire and Rescue personnel recognised at last week’s St Florian’s Day Awards.

Captain Kathleen Everett received the RFS Commissioner’s Certificate of Commendation for her leadership during and after the July 2022 Broke flood crisis at the Rural Fire Service awards presented in Dubbo.

Broke RFS Brigade was awarded the Commissioner’s Certificate of Commendation for providing an essential service to its community during the flood crisis.

Captain Everett’s brigade includes Kenny Fitzsimons, Robbi Merrick, Paul Myers, Pat Myers, Dane MacDougal, Pete Risby, Mitch Sweetman, Jesse White, Blake Barber, Lisa Barber, Patrick Peters, Steve Myers, Shannon Brown and Aaron McDonnell.

Fire and Rescue, Denman on-call firefighters Gavin Bright and Justin Medcalf have been awarded Commendations for Courageous Action for entering the swollen Hunter River last December to save a teenage girl after reports of three children at risk of drowning.


Events across the Upper Hunter electorate are currently back on track for this year from Paterson to Scone and Singleton.

A record 332 exhibitors attracted almost 25,000 people to Tocal College last weekend for the annual field days which showcased many aspects of agriculture from paddock to plate.

The parade in Kelly Street Scone last Saturday stepped up activities for this year’s Horse Festival with the Scone Cup racing carnival to launch the event into the Mother’s Day weekend program of polo, picnic and fireworks.

Fire is the word this Saturday when Fire and Rescue NSW holding its station open day before Firelight returns to John Street Singleton from 6pm for a sizzling night of fire, food and fun for all ages.

And, a reminder to lock Merriwa into your diary for the June Long Weekend when the red socked flock takes over Bettington Street for Festival of the Fleeces.


There is another opportunity in late-May for landowners along the Hunter Gas Pipeline to engage with Santos on the project.

I continue to urge landowners and interested community members to attend the drop-in information sessions so they can ask any questions they may have about the project.

The next round of engagement sessions are at Tocal and Singleton on Tuesday 30 May then Aberdeen and Murrurundi on Wednesday 31 May.

A detailed list of locations, dates, and times is on the HGP website or call 1300 427 546.


The Cancer Institute NSW is urging people to take action to reduce their skin cancer risk.

Outdoor workers are exposed to three times more UV radiation than indoor workers with

agricultural, construction and road workers at greater risk of developing skin cancer.

The Institute’s new hard-hitting ‘Change Your Routine’ video campaign warns of the dangers with resources for workers and employers that model how, when and where to protect their skin at work.  

Daily UV index levels can be monitored on the MyUV site with more information on the Change Your Routine campaign at


Victim-survivors of domestic violence are being urged to call a 24-hour support line so that they can get the help they need.

Last year, there were 33,410 reports of domestic violence related assault in NSW alone – with a total of 207 women and children murdered in the state over the past decade.

It is also estimated that around one in four Australian women have experienced some form of violence committed by an intimate partner since the age of 15.

If you or someone you know is affected by domestic, family or sexual violence call 1800RESPECT - 1800 737 732.


The NSW Government is writing to the principals of about 250 public schools to let them know they will have more permanent teachers.

The scheme, to be rolled out in stages, will transition around 1,400 temporary teachers to permanent roles with their first day of permanent duty expected to be when Term 3 commences in July.

Meantime, the NSW Education Standards Authority will redevelop and publish a full timeline for the NSW Curriculum Reform.

Extending the delivery timeline will also provide teachers more time to ensure the new Maths and English curriculum across years 3 to 10 are ready for full implementation next year.

The shift in timeframes means all new syllabuses will be delivered to teachers by 2027 – in line with the intent of the Masters Curriculum Review, that outlined a 10-year delivery timeframe.


Higher School Certificate students now have their timetable for written exams which start on 11 October.

This year’s written exams for more than 75,000 students are being held across 18 days involving 124 exams at 785 exam centres.

The written exams will start on Wednesday 11 October with English Paper 1 and finish on Friday 3 November with Food Technology.

Students are invited to visit one of the HSC and Careers Expo’s being held through until November with dates and venue locations on the NSW Education Standards Authority website;


Data released during Privacy Week reveals over 50,000 physical documents were replaced in 2022 alone with assistance from ID Support NSW, due to cyber incidents and natural disasters.

ID Support makes it easier for people to access help if their NSW Government proof of identity credentials are stolen or fraudulently used.

Trials have begun on NSW Digital ID (Beta) in an effort to help stop the oversharing of personal data by putting people in control of how and when their information is shared.

People will only need to verify their identity once to set up their NSW Digital ID, which gives them control over what information is passed on to other government agencies and private businesses, such as proof of age without sharing a date of birth, street address or other personal information which would be on a physical driver licence.

For more information on online protection visit ID Support NSW;


Applications for the 2023 Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards are now open.

The Healing Hearts Award recognises a nurse or midwife who consistently provides extraordinary, safe, quality and compassionate care.

Community members and colleagues are strongly encouraged to nominate an outstanding nurse or midwife by the close of nominations on Friday 23 June.

There will be a total of nine awards including two distinct leadership awards; the Judith Meppem Lifetime Achievement Award and the Nursing and Midwifery Leadership Award.

More information is available at the NSW Health website;


Muswellbrook’s return to the greyhound racing circuit has coincided with the NSW Government calling Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for appointment as a director of the Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) Board.

Multiple positions are available with suitable candidates to be appointed for terms commencing in July or September.

The process is open to persons eligible as independent directors or as industry participant directors.

EOIs are to be emailed to by Monday 29 May with the subject as “Greyhound Racing NSW Director Appointments”.


bottom of page