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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 9 August 2021

I would like to take this opportunity to outline the current COVID restrictions that are currently in place in our Upper Hunter electorate.

To protect the people of NSW from the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, new restrictions were introduced for the Muswellbrook Shire, the Singleton Shire and the Dungog Shire areas from 5.00pm Thursday 5 August until 12.01am Friday 13 August 2021.

This lockdown does not currently extend to the Upper Hunter Shire, the Liverpool Plains Shire or the MidCoast Shire.

However, my office has had several calls in relation to essential workers who reside in neighbouring electorates and work within the affected Shires in lockdown.

Currently essential workers can travel to these LGA’s and return home; but they need to follow the rules of the LGA’s that are locked down.

Again everyone in the affected areas must stay at home unless it is for an essential reason.

The reasons you may leave your home include:

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services;

  • Medical care or compassionate needs (people can leave home to have a COVID-19 vaccination unless you have been identified as a close contact);

  • Exercise outdoors in groups of 2 or fewer (unless members of the same household);

  • Work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home.

  • To attend a funeral, although funerals will be limited to ten people.

  • Masks must be worn indoors (not including the home) and in outdoor settings where you cannot socially distance from others (e.g. while queuing for takeaway).

The government and health experts will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide updated information and advice.

I understand this is a difficult time for the community and appreciate their ongoing patience.

It is vital people continue to come forward for testing to help us find any COVID-19 cases in the community.

For more information visit the NSW Government website or visit:

As this lockdown is similar to the Greater Sydney lockdown, please visit the following link for further information regarding retail closures:

I encourage everyone to learn the rules that are part of the health orders, and to use their common sense at this time.

For more information visit the NSW Government website or visit:

Funding Available to be part of the 2022 Seniors Festival

The call is out for our Upper Hunter organisations to apply for grant funding for activities that support the delivery of the 2022 NSW Seniors Festival.

The $200,000 NSW Seniors Festival Grants Program supports initiatives that encourage people aged 60 or over to stay healthy, engaged and active.

This is an opportunity to celebrate or build on the diverse skills and interests of seniors in our community in areas like art, sport, health or technology.

The 2021 NSW Seniors Festival included e-safety sessions, drumming circles, movie nights and gardening workshops, and I’d like to see local groups come up with more creative and fun activities for the 2022 festival.

Local councils, community groups and not-for-profit organisations are among those who can apply for grants of up to $10,000.

There’s a focus on COVID-safe activities and programs.

Let’s create opportunities for all seniors in our community to be active, connected and social - no matter their location, language or ability level.

Social isolation is a growing concern for our ageing population, so programs which unite people and stave off loneliness are really positive for mental health.

The NSW Seniors Festival is the largest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and has been running for more than 63 years.

The Seniors Festival will be run from 25 March to 3 April 2022.Applications for grants are open from 2 August to 30 August 2021. Apply here:


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