COVID-19 RECOVERY PLAN
AS the state reopens from recent COVID-19 restrictions, the NSW Government has a $200 million Regional Recovery Package to support the creation of new jobs and tourism.
It includes a new $25 million Community Events Package to assist local councils stage events such as festivals and picnics, which will help towns reconnect and celebrate being together once again.
Round Two of the Regional Job Creation Fund has the aim of creating 1,500 new jobs and will help businesses create jobs and give tourists even more reason to visit the bush.
The Regional Recovery Package is focussed in building on the foundations laid by the $2 billion Regional Growth Fund and the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund.
EDUCATION SUPPORT EXTENDED
To help students catch up on any learning loss experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and learning from home, the NSW Government will extend the COVID Intensive Learning Support Program.
An additional $383 million has been committed to continue support of students next year through the targeted, small-group tuition program.
The program was introduced in Term 1 this year to help students who had fallen behind after last year's disruptions to improve their core knowledge and skills.
More information on the program's extension will be provided to schools during the current school term.
More than 4,500 NSW public servants are now eligible for five days' special leave to assist the state's farmers ahead of a record harvest season.
This is the first time leave of this kind has been offered to Department of Regional NSW staff so they can volunteer to help out with any harvest, anywhere in the state.
Staff can use local contacts or the Help Harvest NSW website to help find suitable opportunities to assist in this year's harvest.
There is no cost to farmers getting help from departmental volunteers, as staff will be paid at their standard leave rate by the Department with leave managed to ensure there's no impact on service provision.
Regional Arts Development Organisations will receive a funding boost from the NSW Government with the increased investment to help stimulate employment and increase access to arts and culture for audiences in regional areas.
Create NSW will invest over $3.4 million in the Regional Arts Network in 2021-22 with $200,000 per annum for each Regional Arts Development Organisation (RADO), which is an increase from $168,000 in core operational funds last financial year.
The funding boost will enable more employment opportunities on the ground for artists and practitioners as well as the delivery of exciting arts and cultural experiences for regional audiences.
NSW GRANDPARENTS DAY
NSW Grandparents Day on Sunday, October 31 is a time to celebrate the contributions of grandparents, grand-friends, kin, and those who take on the role of a grandparent in their family or community.
Whether you are together physically or not, there are ways to celebrate with family and friends, like sharing morning tea in person or over a video call!
Find more suggestions at www.nsw.gov.au/grandparents-day
AT STROUD'S SERVICE
The Service NSW Mobile Service Centre returns to Stroud on Tuesday, November 9 from 9am to 4pm, outside the Uniting Church in Liverpool Street.
Transactions available include processing NSW Fitness to Drive Medical Assessments and Mobility Parking Applications, processing of RSA and RCG cards, cost of living appointments, Dine and Discover voucher applications and Regional Seniors Travel Card applications.
The Mobile Service Centre is a cashless facility and will accept payment by credit/debit cards or cheques.
Learn more at www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/mobile-service-centres
NOMINATE NOW FOR REGIONAL YOUTH TASKFORCE
I would like to encourage young people of the Upper Hunter electorate looking to make a difference in their community to apply to be a part of next year's Regional Youth Taskforce.
The taskforce, which is a Ministerial advisory group, provides young people aged 12- 24 with a unique opportunity to meet with government and inform decision making that will have flow-on benefits for the community.
Membership of the group includes two members representing each of NSW's nine regions, and will meet four times throughout the year either online or in person.
Travel costs and accommodation are covered for members travelling across NSW to attend meetings.
Applications are open until Friday, November 19 at www.nsw.gov.au/regional-nsw/regional-youth-taskforce/regional-youth-taskforce-recruitment-2022.
Dave Layzell is the Member for the Upper Hunter