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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP

State Matters - 9 October 2023


I BEGIN THIS WEEK, with a warm welcome and a big thank you for the Aussie Hay Runners (AHR) who, later this week, are due to head to the Upper Hunter for the first time.

AHR will deliver hay donations from Victoria and southern NSW, with 34 trucks carrying 1,200 bales of premium hay valued at $114,000 to meet at Marulan on Thursday then head for Merriwa to arrive early Friday afternoon.

Denman Lions Club will provide Friday dinner and Saturday breakfast before Saturday is spent delivering to drop-off locations.

All hay has been allocated with AHR advising those requiring assistance to like and follow their Facebook page

And, after a week of bushfire and flood, AHR now also needs donations of hay and animal fodder to assist Victorian farmers affected by these latest natural disasters – maybe some Upper Hunter generosity would be a timely way to show our appreciation.


Congratulations to Upper Hunter Shire Council’s Jenna Dowell on her success at the Ministers’ Awards for Women in Local Government.

Jenna, a trainee engineer in works delivery, was presented with the Regional/Rural Young Achiever’s Award during the event last week at NSW Parliament House.

Rachael Abberton, the senior water and sewer planning engineer at MidCoast Council was also recognised winning the Regional/Rural Alternative Pathways Award.

These prestigious awards recognise the tireless efforts of women who make invaluable contributions at the grassroots level of local government.


I want to acknowledge the business chambers and chambers of commerce of the Upper Hunter Electorate with plenty happening during October to mark Small Business Month.

Business Singleton and Singleton Council are collaborating using NSW Government grants, including Resources for Regions, to hold free workshops.

The Small Business Resilience Workshop is at Quest Singleton on Tuesday 17 October and Singleton Public Library will host Increase your success with Grant Applications on Thursday 19 October.

Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry covers Assessing Risk and Cyber Readiness and Customer Satisfaction and Relationships during workshops at Muswellbrook RSL Auditorium on Wednesday 25 October.

And, Scone Chamber of Commerce and Industry will get a smorgasbord of business intel, expertise, tips and strategies during Retail Conversations with Marguerite Bell, chief executive and founder of Retail Life, on Thursday 26 October.


Applicants for Community Building Partnership projects will have to provide additional information this year to support their application.

Development Application (DA) approval must be provided at the time of application, if an organisation applies to build, upgrade or repair facilities, where a DA approval is required.

Quotes to verify project expenditure must be provided with the application for projects requesting more than $30,000.

A detailed and itemised project budget must be provided for every application and organisations must nominate a partial funding amount if they wish to be considered for partial funding.

Application requests of between $5,000 and $150,000 close Friday 27 October at:


The NSW Government is taking submissions until Friday 20 October on a review of Anzac Day retail trading laws.

Traders, such as supermarkets and fashion retailers, are currently required to stay closed until 1pm on Anzac Day under the Retail Trading Act 2008.

Certain businesses including pharmacies, petrol stations, markets, cafes and takeaway restaurants are automatically exempt.

Currently, restrictions differ across Australian jurisdictions, with retail outlets open from early afternoon in some states, including NSW, closed all day in other states while no restrictions are enforced in both territories.

People and groups can upload a written submission on whether retail stores should remain closed for more of the public holiday through the NSW Government Have Your Say website:


The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has reminded property owners that it does have a responsibility to check farms and properties for pesticide compliance.

EPA officers can check spray records, pesticide practices, and pesticide storage areas with fines for deliberate mis-use being $120,000 for individuals and $250,000 for a company per offence.

The authority is working to make sure the environment is safe and that landholders do the right thing by neighbours to reduce the risks of spray drift.

Spray drift is the movement of pesticide spray droplets outside of the intended application site, during or shortly after application.


Singleton Council and the NSW Government have funded improvements at Lake St Clair on the north-eastern foreshore of Glennies Creek Dam.

The former Nationals and Liberals Government contributed $525,000 from Resources for Regions Round Eight in 2021 towards the project at the popular boating, camping and fishing hot spot near Singleton.

An all-new custom playground has been constructed between the camp kitchen and kiosk at the northern end of the park, accompanied by two new picnic shelters with another two shelters built closer to the waterfront.

Council has made many improvements since adopting the Lake St Clair Plan of Management for the site in 2018, with the focus on improving the amenity of the park while preserving its unique primitive recreational appeal.

Book your visit online at:


A two-year trial to give extra mass zero emission heavy vehicles access to the state road network is a first step towards a new net zero emissions policy for heavy road and rail freight.

The NSW Government’s Towards Net Zero Emissions Freight Policy focuses on reducing the carbon footprint with freight accounting for 25 per cent of total transport greenhouse gases in the state, with demand projected to rise by 2061.

An online comparison tool has also been developed to support the transition providing a free resource for the freight industry to source accurate information on the cost and environmental benefits of low and zero emission vehicles.

The Towards Net Zero Emissions Freight Policy will also see the state government work to remove barriers to accelerate uptake, while balancing the freight sector’s challenging operating environment.


Submissions are to be lodged by Tuesday 31 October for the NSW Invasive Species Management Review being conducted by the Natural Resources Commission.

Invasive species cause over $25 billion damage to agriculture and biodiversity each year nationally, of which NSW bears a large proportion.

Managing the impacts of invasive species requires a coordinated effort across public and private land, which is guided by the objectives and responsibilities set out in the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015 and supported by a range of state and regional programs and plans.

The Premier has tasked the Natural Resources Commission to review the risks and impacts of invasive species in NSW, including the effectiveness of current management strategies.

Due to tight timeframes, late submissions cannot be accommodated, learn more at:


The 2023-24 trout season commenced over the October long weekend with streams now open until Tuesday 11 June, 2024.

Anglers are reminded to check they have a current and valid NSW Recreational Fishing Licence and do a refresher on the fishing rules, to ensure the trout fishery remains viable into the future.

A summary of fishing rules and regulations is available via the FishSmart App or by accessing the NSW Recreational Freshwater Fishing Guide available online:

Meantime, local councils, community groups and government agencies are invited to apply for the latest round of the Flagship Grants program worth up to $400,000 per project to see local coastal waterways flourish.

Applications close 15 November with more information at the Department of Primary Industries website:


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