eSmart Libraries logo

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s National eSmart Week will be held from 4-8 September 2017. Denman and Muswellbrook branches of the Upper Hunter Library Network, along with thousands of communities across NSW, will be demonstrating their commitment to cyber safety, wellbeing and digital inclusion.

Throughout the week Denman and Muswellbrook libraries are inviting you to visit your local library to add to their cyber safety wall with the tips and tricks you use to stay safe online.

The Muswellbrook library will be hosting a guest speaker from Legal Aid NSW on Monday, 4 September from 11:00am to present a talk on Cyber Safety for Older People which will outline common on-line scams, how to identify them and provides ideas about how to avoid being scammed.  It also covers how to report scams to authorities.

Both libraries will have activities for children and young adults during the week, including a colouring-in station featuring cyber safety and activity sheets to assist in learning about safe online behaviours.

Visit the Upper Hunter Regional Library website for details.

National eSmart Week is an initiative developed by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, in partnership with the Telstra Foundation.

Muswellbrook Shire’s new Community Recycling Centre for Household Problem Wastes is almost ready! Are you?

You may have received the Community Recycle Centre (CRC) information brochure in your most recent rates notice – this brochure gives you details of all the items you will soon be able to drop off for FREE at the CRC.

The facility will be operational and ready to accept your Household Problem Wastes within the next few weeks, however we have still some time before we are able to celebrate an official opening.

This project was supported by the Environmental Trust as part of the NSW EPA’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.

Timeline

  • Construction complete – 20 July 2017
  • Signage installed – 24 July 2017
  • Receptacles delivered – 04 August 2017
  • Start accepting materials – mid August 2017
  • Formal Opening – TBA 2017

You didn't get a brochure?

Download the brochure here.

Please take our quick online survey

Please take this 5 minute survey about recycling attitudes within Muswellbrook Shire

BEGIN SURVEY

Logan Hartmann meeting Working Dog for the first time

Working dogs have long been an important part of the Muswellbrook Shire’s history – and the latest incarnation has found a permanent home at Campbell’s Corner.

The design was submitted as a possible successor to replace the Blue Heeler statue opposite Loxton House – the original landmark, a source of local pride and sometime shenanigans, was deemed to be at the end of its life and in need of replacing.

While Newcastle-based artist Tanya Bartlett’s design was not chosen to replace the ailing “Hunter’ it gained many admirers – and was subsequently acquired by Council.

General Manager Steve McDonald said that while it wasn’t the submission chosen as a replacement, the sculpture was so captivating that Council wanted to find a permanent home for it.

“Council feels it will make an excellent addition to that space” he said.

The Australian cattle dog, commonly called the Blue Heeler, was bred by Thomas Hall at Dartmoor, a large property about 12km north of Muswellbrook, in the 1840’s. Seeking a hardy dog capable of coping with the harsh conditions of the Australian bush he crossed a dingo with a Northumberland Blue Merle and was instrumental in the development of this iconic breed.

The original statue was erected in recognition of the cattle dog’s contribution to Australian rural life and the development of our Blue Heeler in the Hunter.

In its new home at Campbell’s Corner this latest “Bluey” continues the legend.

Find out more about the history of Blue Heelers

Image: Logan Hartmann meeting Working Dog for the first time
Footpath closed sign

Council advises of the upcoming construction works to reconstruct the footpath and associated streetscape works in Brook St, Muswellbrook (Bridge St to Sowerby St). Contractors PS and KE Wear have been engaged to undertake the construction work.

The work is scheduled to start on 19 June 2017 with construction commencing in the area of the central median of Brook St and progressing east from Bridge St to the sandstone steps.

Proposed work plans

Streetscape design

Streetscape design

The above plans may also be viewed at the Council Administration Centre, 157 Maitland Rd Muswellbrook.

It is expected that the construction work will cause some inconvenience to the businesses and users of this precinct. Council and the Contractor will make it a priority to minimise any anticipated disruption and keep those directly affected informed with regular communication throughout the construction phase. Those businesses directly affected will be contacted in person in the near future to discuss any site specific matters. You patience will be appreciated while these improvement works take place.

If you have any concerns or questions regarding this project please contact the Project Manager Kellie Scholes on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 02 6549 3756.

Muswellbrook Shire Council has exchanged contracts to purchase the Muswellbrook Marketplace.

Council’s acquisition of the Marketplace will provide a wide range of opportunities to improve the connection between the Marketplace and Muswellbrook’s Main Street, which has been a long standing community priority of the Town Centre Masterplan.

Councillor spokesperson for Finance, Scott Bailey said: “This significant purchase represents a game changer for Muswellbrook’s town centre.

Additionally, Council, in consultation with the Muswellbrook and Denman Business Chambers, will appoint an independent Future Fund Board to provide advice and strategic guidance about the Future Fund’s business and education holdings, including the Marketplace, and to ensure that key day to day commercial decision-making is rigorous, of high quality, and fully compliant with our obligations to competitive neutrality.

“Council expects the Marketplace to return around 6.7% of its capital value each year, and we will work on improvements to the building to attract new and diverse retail opportunities and customers to the town centre.

“Council is committed to being a best practice landlord and will immediately commence engaging with tenants with a view to undertaking a significant but staged renovation of the building.”

The acquisition of Muswellbrook Marketplace for a total purchase price of $34.25M aligns closely with the strategic objectives of the Muswellbrook Town Centre Strategy and Council’s Future Fund.  

Muswellbrook Marketplace will be held as part of Council’s Future Fund and will be funded principally by debt with some equity.  The contract includes a 90 day settlement period.

Loxton House rear exterior artist's impression

Muswellbrook Shire Council is excited to share an artist’s impression of the soon to be renovated Loxton House. Loxton House is now the home of the Upper Hunter Innovation Hub.

Council’s Manager Property and Building Services, Matthew Lysaught said:

“This is the next stage of Council’s plans for the Upper Hunter Innovation Hub following the launch in December last year and an official opening planned for later this year once renovations are complete.”

 

Working in collaboration with the University of Newcastle, Loxton House will be one of the University’s I2N network of innovation hubs across the Hunter Valley.

The Hub will feature office pods, shared meeting facilities and the latest technology in audio-visual services to support innovative businesses in the Shire.

Current tenants include local business Final Form Regen and Conservation Volunteers Australia.

“Council is making every effort to foster economic diversity in the region and we’re keen to hear from local start-ups or existing businesses that are interested in occupying a space in the Hub”, said Mr Lysaught.

For further information, please contact Matthew Lysaught on 6549 3730.

Muswellbrook Shire Council has concluded its formal community consultation process for its Community Strategic Plan including the optional projects and associated Special Rate Variation.

Muswellbrook Recycle Water Treatment Works The 3D model

We encourage tenderers for the new Recycle Water Treatment Works (RWTW) to develop and promote business and industry within the Muswellbrook Local Government area.  To enable this Council seeks to give consideration to the procurement of goods and services that may be supplied by local suppliers.   Tenderers are required to demonstrate commitment to this goal by contracting part of the works to local subcontractors and procuring materials required for the contract from local suppliers.

Woman at cafe checking her email on a tablet

From 25 July 2016 you can register to receive your rates and water notices by email. All you have to do is submit the below form.

model of the RWTW

19 September 2016 update:

Muswellbrook Shire Council has finalised the detailed design for the proposed (RWTW).  

The process for the engagement of Contractors to construct the new RWTW commenced via an Early Tender Involvement process in Mid 2016. Council has approved of 5 shortlisted Contractors who have been provided with tender documentation and specifications to provide tender responses before the end of October 2016. 

Quality garden mulch for only $30 per tonne

Quality assured pasteurised garden mulch is now for sale at Muswellbrook Waste Management Facility.

There's no need to pollute our landfill with used household batteries any longer.

Blue Heeler Film Festival logo

 ALL of the short film submissions are in and judges now have the tough task of wading through an unprecedented number of entries and selecting the winners.

The 5th annual Blue Heeler Film Festival is just around the corner and there are five awards, and a host of great prizes, up for grabs at the event.

Opening Night - Friday 08 September

Highbrook Park Muswellbrook, from 5:30pm
Screening of finalists' entries
FREE entry

The evening begins with family friendly screenings of finalists' film entries rated G, then finalists' entries rated PG. There will be a 20 minute interval before finalists' entries rated M are screened.

Voting for the People's Choice Award is easy

The opening night audience at Highbrook Park will vote for the winner of the People’s Choice Award. Voting will close at the end of the screening session and the winner announced on Saturday night. Visit the Blue Heeler Film Festival Facebook page on the night and “like” or leave a comment on the post of your favourite film.

Red Carpet Awards Night - Saturday 09 September

Two Rivers Wines, Denman, from 5:30pm
Awards ceremony and screenings
Turn up and vote for the People's Choice Awards.
FREE entry

The Junior, Senior and Open categories, and the coveted Bluey Award, will be selected by the judging panel and will also be announced at the Red Carpet Awards Night at Two Rivers Winery on Saturday night.

All winning entries will be screened and awards and prizes presented to the successful entrants.

Great prizes will be won!

The selected winner from each category will win the following prize:

  • HP Laptop for the winner of the Bluey Awars
  • NikonD3400 (Open) Drone with Camera (Senior)
  • Samsung Tablet (Junior)
  • GoPro for the winner of the People’s Choice Award.

Popcorn!

Hot food, coffee, soft drinks and – of course – popcorn will be for sale at both events and Two Rivers Winery will have wine for sale on Awards Night for those 18 years and over.

All children under 15 years must be accompanied by an adult at both events.

 

Supported by Bengalla, Regional Australia Bank, Harvey Norman, Two Rivers, Screen Hunter, Muswellbrook Shire Council

lane closed sign in front of pool

Limited indoor pool lanes are available between 5:45 and 7:00pm on the below dates due to Muswellbrook Amateur RSL Youth Swimming Club training and events:

  • 03 April 2017
  • 01 May 2017
  • 05 June 2017
  • 03 July 2017
  • 07 August 2017
  • 04 September 2017

On the 14th May 2017 Muswellbrook Aquatic Centre will be closed between 10am and 12pm for the Muswellbrook Amateur RSL Youth Swimming Club to host the state-wide Winter Sprint Series championships. The pool will re-open to the public from 12pm to 4pm.
To find out more about Muswellbrook Amateur RSL Youth Swimming Club find them on Facebook or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The ‘Active Over 50’ program is designed to help people aged 50 and over to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.

The activities at Muswellbrook and Denman Aquatic Centres that carry the Staying Active logo have been developed specially for people aged 50 and over and are low-cost exercise options provided by trained fitness instructors. The options at our centres include:

• Gentle exercise in our gym every Monday at 9:30am.

Aqua Aerobics

Pilates/Aqua Step 

And lap swimming.

Group Fitness Timetable

If you’re interested in learning more and staying fit, join others at the pool for sessions listed above.

Please complete our fitness survey before you start and let your doctor know that you are starting a new exercise routine.

Adult Pre-exercise Screening Tool

Don’t forget that we offer discounts to pensioners!

Bus zones relocated temporarily

While footpath improvements take place along Brook Street in Muswellbrook, Council seeks road users’ cooperation to use alternate parking locations.  Temporary No Stopping signs have been put in place.   
Street parking is expected to be restored at the completion of the current construction works, towards the end of October 2017.

 

Bus Zone and No Parking parking signs

There is no stopping or parking in Bus Zones

You cannot park within 20 metres before a Bus Stop unless there are signs that permit parking, this is for the safety of bus passengers. You must not stop on a length of road to which a No Stopping sign applies, this is for the safety of other vehicles. Noncompliance may incur a penalty of $236.

If you have any questions call the Project Manager, Kellie Scholes 6549 3756.

The Draft Discussion Paper on the Muswellbrook Local Environmental Plan 2009 (LEP) Review outlines major changes to land use planning in Muswellbrook Shire and seeks to address the existing land use conflict between the mining, thoroughbred horses, viticulture, agribusiness and tourism industries.

The Draft Discussion Paper identifies strategic land use directions and actions to enable the Shire to transition from its major focus on mining to a more diversified economic base over coming decades.

The Draft Discussion Paper is currently on public exhibition until 22 September 2017

Draft Discussion Paper

Copies of this draft discussion paper are also available to read at Council’s Administration Centre, Muswellbrook Library or Denman Library.

Community Information Session

Find out what the LEP review discussion paper means to you.

Muswellbrook
Tuesday 15 August 2017
5.30pm-6.30pm
Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music (Campbell's Corner, First Floor)

Denman
Thursday 17 August 2017
5.30pm-6.30pm
Denman RSL

Have your say

Submit your comments by below:

Comment

Alternatively, email or post your comment:
Email:    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Post:    The General Manager
Muswellbrook Shire Council
PO Box 122
Muswellbrook NSW 2333
For more information contact Council on 6549 3700.

From 25 July 2016 you can register to receive your rates and water notices by email. All you have to do is submit the below form.

The Waste Wranglers characters, Max, Reece and Gene

Keep a look out for the Waste Wranglers! They are here to help you get your rubbish SORTED.

These characters will be appearing, as stickers, on random wheelie bins throughout Muswellbrook in coming weeks and have an important story to tell.

The characters will be launched during Keep Australia Beautiful week (21-27 August) and have been created to help educate the community about what rubbish goes into what bin.

“Max the Minimiser” “Reece the Recycler” and “Gene the Gardener” will be used to deliver important messages about reducing the waste that goes to landfill.

Mick Brady, Council’s Sustainability Officer – Waste said

“We hope the Waste Wranglers will be a popular way of getting the message across about sorting waste and the benefits to the community of not sending waste to landfill. To kick off our War on Waste campaign we will be putting Max, Reece or Gene on bins along with a message about what goes in the different bins”.

Council will use the Waste Wranglers as part of their ongoing War on Waste program.

The Waste Wrangler characters

infographic explaining that 60% of fine particle pollution comes from wood heaters in winter, which causes lung disease, asthma and heart problems.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have launched "Reducing wood smoke emissions" resources on their website. Go to www.epa.nsw.gov.au/woodsmoke to find out why and how you should reduce smoke from your wood heater.

 

Visit the EPS website for information on wood smoke emissions and how to use your wood heater

Ask us about the free tailored activities the SUSTAINABLE SCHOOLS SUPPORT PROGRAM offers to your school. The program can include presentations, workshops, demonstrations, audits, special events, tours and more!

Local solar contractors, electrical contractors and plumbing contractors with Council’s Sustainability Team at the Muswellbrook Indoor Sports Centre

Muswellbrook Shire Council’s 40% renewable energy target is another step closer with the implementation of a carbon neutral pilot project at the Muswellbrook Indoor Sports Centre.

After assessing the centre as suitable for a “Carbon Neutral” pilot project, Council’s Sustainability Unit began looking at ways to reduce the energy consumption. As a result the Centre has had a major technology upgrade.

This upgrade included the installation of new LED lighting to replace high energy use fixtures in the centre resulting in cutting electricity usage in half.

Council is also installing a 10 KW solar and battery storage system at the centre to generate and store its own energy, to potentially take the facility completely off the grid and not be reliant on external power.

Mark Scandrett (Councils Sustainability Coordinator said

“As the centre is used mostly at night, three Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries are being installed to store solar power generated during the day so that the centre can run during the night without drawing any power from the grid.”

Council will run a twelve month trial of the system to be sure that the solar and battery system provide enough power before disconnecting the facility from electricity grid which save Council hundreds of dollars each year in network charges.

As extra environmental benefits and to make the building completely Carbon Neutral, underground rain water storage tanks have been installed to supply water to the bathrooms and landscaping undertaken using low water use plants.

The Sustainability Unit hopes to roll out further carbon neutral projects on other Council owned properties in the near future.

Volunteers pulling out weeds along Muscle Creek

After a period of dormancy Muscle Creek Landcare group is again up and running, fighting against weed infestation and helping native ecosystems in the heart of Muswellbrook.

Muscle Creek Landcare was first formed in the mid 90’s by long-time member Stephen Thatcher, who has confirmed he will be on hand to work with the group. The Landcare group have, historically, secured funding and worked on a wide range of projects, including weed removal, native plantings and bank stabilisation works.

Council’s Sustainability Officer for Landcare Nicholas Alexander said: “It’s great to get this group active again. They did so much for the creek, and continued involvement by the community will ensure it has a healthy future”.

Denman local Rebecca Sowter is the new group supervisor and has high hopes for a restored Landcare group. “I am really excited to be part of the group and show the community what Landcare has to offer”.

The Muswellbrook Shire Council has been instrumental in the revitalisation of the group and has supplied equipment for their activities.

Muscle Creek Landcare meet at Fitzgerald Park at 10:00am on the first Saturday of every month.

For more information or to be involved in future Landcare projects contact Nicholas Alexander, Councils Sustainability Officer for Conservation and Landcare on 6549 3708.

A conservation volunteer helping to plant along Muscle Creek

Monday 5 June is World Environment Day aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of the environment to society and the economy. Muswellbrook Shire Council is taking the opportunity to urge the local community to be aware of the actions they can take that will not only help their local environment but will also help their hip pocket. The council is also working on reducing the environmental impact of council’s operations.

Some of council’s initiatives include increasing the amount of solar power council uses, implementing water efficiency programs, completing large scale revegetation of Muscle Creek and launching a renewed war on waste program.

Muswellbrook Shire Council Sustainability Coordinator Mark Scandrett said “We are hoping the community will support our programs as they will help reduce costs in the long term and make this a better place to live”.

If you are interested in any of these programs please contact Muswellbrook Shire Council on 6549 3700 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Muswellbrook Shire Council's new Waste Sustainability Officer Mick Brady

On 16 May ABC TV will air a three part series on the enormous and increasing problem of waste in Australia. At the same time Muswellbrook Shire Council Sustainability Unit will launch its own War on Waste with a renewed focus on tackling a range of waste issues.

A new Sustainability Officer has been employed at Council to focus on a range of waste reduction projects. Muswellbrook Shire Council Sustainability Officer – Waste, Mick Brady said:

“Waste is an increasing problem in Australia. By reducing our waste we can save a lot of money. The average Australian household throws out over $3000 per year of food products. On average up to 40% of a household bin is food.”

Council’s War on Waste program will investigate all aspects of the waste stream from all sections of the community. This involved looking at where our waste comes from and what can be done to reduce it.

Council is interested in undertake a range of local projects as part of the war on waste, such as; Introducing public area recycling in town, implementing and supporting community gardens, conducting a waste education program for schools and undertaking a food waste reduction program”.

If you are interested in any of these programs please contact Muswellbrook Shire Council’s Sustainability Officer for Waste, Mick Brady team on 02 6549 3794.

Singleton Council and Muswellbrook Shire Council have received joint funding of $84,000 from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to undertake a 2017 wood smoke reduction campaign commencing this month.  

The announcement comes after the councils conducted a successful joint program last year.

The funding will enable both councils to provide further education to the community about the health impacts of wood smoke and correct operation of wood heaters, and to encourage the replacement of older wood heaters not compliant with today’s standards.

The EPA recognises that wood smoke is a major contributor to poor air quality in the region during the winter months.

Muswellbrook Shire Council Sustainability Coordinator Mark Scandrett said:

“The EPA recognises that wood smoke is a major contributor to poor air quality in the region during the winter months.

“Fine particulates in wood smoke are a concern because they pass through the throat and nose and into the lungs where they can cause respiratory and circulatory problems, especially for the young and elderly, or people with existing medical conditions such as asthma.”

To improve air quality in the upcoming winter months, Singleton and Muswellbrook councils have rebate programs in place for both flue cleaning and wood heater replacement.

Singleton Council Director Planning & Infrastructure Mark Ihlein said:

“Now is the time to take action to reduce the amount of smoke generated by your wood heater.

“For a limited time, Singleton and Muswellbrook councils are offering a $50 rebate when you get your flue cleaned professionally, as a clean flue allows your wood heater to burn more efficiently, producing more heat with less smoke.

“Both councils are also offering a $1500 rebate to replace your wood heater with a less smoky form of heating, such as air conditioning.”

Are you curious about the flying foxes you may be seeing in Muswellbrook Shire? Download this brochure to gain a better understanding of the flying-fox.

Are you interested in caring for the land?
Protecting native habitats?
Learning about native plants and animals?
Keeping your local area beautiful?

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