NSW Government Weekly Update – 15 October 2021

For the latest COVID-19 advice & information please visit www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19

NSW FLYING TOWARDS 80 PER CENT DOUBLE DOSE TARGET

  • The State’s rapid rate of second dose vaccinations means that next Monday, 18 October is firming as the day that the Reopening NSW Roadmap’s 80 per cent settings will come into effect for those who are fully vaccinated.
  • Community sport will resume, more friends and family will be reunited, and there will no longer be a cap on guests at weddings and funerals. Masks will also no longer be required in offices, and drinking while standing and dancing will be permitted indoors and outdoors at hospitality venues.
  • From 1 November, bookings for hospitality venues will no longer be capped.
  • Also from 1 November, the NSW Government will remove quarantine requirements and caps for overseas arrivals who the Commonwealth Government recognises as fully vaccinated with a TGA-approved vaccine, helping Australians stranded abroad get home before the end of the year.
  • Travel between Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast) and Regional NSW will also be permitted from 1 November, to allow people in the regions more time to receive their second vaccine.
  • To support regional businesses likely to be impacted by this change the NSW Government will defer the second taper of the JobSaver program until October 31. Eligible regional businesses will receive 30 per cent of weekly payroll, before tapering payments to the scheduled 15 per cent from November 1.
  • If you are not booked in for a COVID-19 vaccine, please book an appointment as soon possible.

 

REGIONAL RECOVERY PACKAGE TO KICKSTART ECONOMY AND CREATE NEW JOBS

  • The NSW Government has unveiled a $200 million recovery package for regional NSW that will create new jobs and support events, shows and festivals to boost tourism and help young people reclaim the best years of their lives.
  • The Regional Recovery Package includes a $50 million Regional Events Package, $30 million Regional Job Creation Fund and $40 million for priority infrastructure projects across Regional NSW. Further announcements will be made with respect to the remaining $80 million.
  • The $200 million Regional package builds upon the NSW Government’s record investment in regional NSW through the $2 billion Regional Growth Fund and the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund and 30 per cent of the Restart NSW Fund.

 

DOUBLING DOWN ON DINE & DISCOVER

  • Customers will have more reasons to celebrate catching up with friends and family this summer with two additional Dine & Discover vouchers up for grabs for NSW residents.
  • The expanded program will support residents across the State and encourage economic activity as part of the government’s economic recovery strategy.
  • To date, almost 4.8 million people have taken advantage of the voucher program since its launch in March, giving businesses a $430 million boost.
  • NSW residents aged 18 years and over who are yet to apply will be able to do so until the program ends and will receive all six $25 vouchers.
  • Participating businesses do not need to reapply. Those who want to join the program are encouraged to register, download the scanner app and get ready to redeem.
  • More information will be made available in the coming weeks on the nsw.gov.au website.

 

INTEGRATED VACCINATION CERTIFICATE OPENS TO ALL ON SERVICE NSW APP

  • Residents across NSW will be able to integrate the COVID-19 digital vaccination certificate into their Service NSW app, with the program now rolling out State-wide.
  • As the vaccine data sits in the Federal Australian Immunisation Register to integrate the COVID-19 digital certificate into the Service NSW app you will need to:
    • Ensure your Federal MyGov account is linked to Medicare
    • Download the Express Plus Medicare app and sign in with your MyGov account details
    • Select ‘Proof of vaccinations’ and then ‘View history’
    • Select ‘Share with check in app’ and then ‘Service NSW’
  • The Service NSW app will include a number of security measures to help compliance officers and businesses with checking and validating a customer’s vaccination status, including a NSW Waratah logo hologram and rotating QR codes, similar to the Digital Driver Licence.
  • For more information, please visit nsw.gov.au or call 13 77 88.

 

NSW HYDROGEN STRATEGY TO DRIVE INVESTMENT, CREATE JOBS AND POWER PROSPERITY

  • NSW is set to attract more than $80 billion of investment, drive deep decarbonisation and establish itself as an energy and economic superpower with the launch of the NSW Hydrogen Strategy.
  • The Strategy will provide up to $3 billion in incentives, set the State up as a global hydrogen leader and increase the size of the NSW economy by more than $600 million by 2030.
  • In addition to delivering an already committed $70 million to develop the State’s hydrogen hubs in the Illawarra and the Hunter, the strategy includes:
    1. Exemptions for green hydrogen production from government charges;
    2. A 90% exemption from electricity network charges for green hydrogen producers who connect to parts of the network with spare capacity;
    3. Incentives for green hydrogen production; and
    4. A hydrogen refuelling station network to be rolled out across the State.

 

NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR TEACHING PROFESSION

  • The NSW Government is implementing a raft of new initiatives to improve how it recruits, trains, and places high quality teachers where they are most needed.
  • The $125 million NSW Teacher Supply Strategy will enable the NSW Government to create new opportunities and pathways to attract great people to one of the most rewarding professions.
  • The strategy consists of three main pillars:
    • Grow overall supply of teachers
    • Encourage more teachers to upskill
    • Provide targeted support in areas of need
  • The strategy will immediately invest $14 million in an overseas and interstate recruitment drive, $15 million in a mid-career transition program and $44 million in a variety of scholarships.
  • More than 3,400 teachers have already been recruited as part of the NSW Government’s 2019 commitment to add 4,600 teachers to the workforce. The Teacher Supply Strategy will add another approximately 3,700 teachers to the public education system in NSW.

 

LOCAL SPORT SCORES $4.6 MILLION FUNDING BOOST

  • Initiatives which focus on increasing participation in sport through events, development programs and facilities are the focus of the latest round of the NSW Government’s Local Sport Grant Program.
  • More than $4.6 million is available to local sporting clubs to make their ideas to boost participation a reality, as COVID restrictions ease.
  • The NSW Government funded more than 930 projects across the State through the last round of the Local Sport Grant Program.
  • Successful clubs can receive funding of up to $20,000, with up to $50,000 available for each electorate throughout NSW. Applications close on Friday, 19 November.
  • For more information visit: www.sport.nsw.gov.au/local-sport-grant-program.

 

PUBLIC SERVANTS TO HIT THE PADDOCKS FOR HARVEST

  • More than 4,500 staff from the Department of Regional NSW, including Local Land Services and the NSW Department of Primary Industries, will be able to access five days’ special leave to assist farmers for an expected bumper harvest season in 2021.
  • The unprecedented move is another example of the good work this government is doing to help farmers source the workforce they need for another record harvest.
  • The NSW Government has implemented a range of measures to overcome the agriculture workforce shortage, including subsidies for quarantine costs of 2,500 overseas agricultural workers, the Ag Workers’ Code and the ‘Help Harvest NSW’ website to connect agriculture employers with out of work Australians.

 

CLOSING THE GAP FOR ABORIGINAL PEOPLE IN CUSTODY

  • Reducing the number of Aboriginal people in prison and improving the health and safety of people in custody are the focus of a renewed commitment by the NSW Government.
  • The Government response recognises that systemic changes and increased accountability are required to close the gap, including:
    • Releasing the NSW Implementation Plan, setting out the first roadmap for closing the gap;
    • Commencing a Thematic Review of Aboriginal Deaths in Custody to review and improve processes related to deaths in custody in Corrective Services NSW;
    • Boosting funding and support for the Coronial Jurisdiction, including a new full-time coroner;
    • Expanding court services and programs, including the NSW Drug Court;
    • Investments to remove hanging points in correctional facilities;
    • Reviewing health services in correctional facilities, and improving support for mental health and people with disabilities; and
    • Improving support for people leaving custody.

 

KEEPING SENIORS CONNECTED AS COVID RESTRICTIONS LIFT

  • Seniors facing social isolation are the focus of a fast-tracked $600,000 funding boost by the NSW Government, as COVID restrictions ease.
  • Round Two of the Reducing Social Isolation for Seniors Grant Program will fund community groups to provide activities which keep older people active and engaged.
  • Grants of up to $60,000 will go towards new and existing programs that promote seniors’ social inclusion. Projects must have a COVID-safe plan and run until December 2022.
  • Social inclusion is a key priority of the Ageing Well in NSW: Seniors Strategy 2021-2031.
  • Applications for the Reducing Social Isolation for Seniors Grant Program close on Monday, 15 November.

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