MUSWELLBROOK SHIRE COUNCIL

Heading: Notice of Proposed Development Application

DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION NO.

30/2019

APPLICANT:

Repinski Pty Ltd

C/- Casson Planning & Development Services

5 Standstead Close

SCONE  NSW  2337

CONSENT AUTHORITY:

Muswellbrook Shire Council

 

PROPOSED SITE:

LOT 2 DP 6758 & LOT 100 DP 1193814

26 & 28-32 Maitland Street MUSWELLBROOK

PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT:

Demolition of Existing Dwelling and Sheds, Construction of Additional Motel Units, Extension of Restaurant and Consolidation of Titles

INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT STATUS:

The proposed development is integrated development under the provisions of Section 4.46(1) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 requiring approval from the NSW Department of Industry - Natural Resources Access Regulator

Council has received the above development application which is on public exhibition between 17 April 2019 and 17 May 2019. During this public exhibition period, the documentation accompanying this application may be viewed on Council’s website or at Council’s Administration Centre, 157 Maitland Street, Muswellbrook between 9.00am and 4.30pm weekdays.

Any person wishing to make a submission regarding the proposed development should do so in writing addressed to the General Manager, Muswellbrook Shire Council, to reach Council before the close of business on 17 May 2019.  Any submissions by way of an objection should be supported by the grounds for that objection.

All submissions, including personal information, will be made available for public inspection and may be included in full in any reports to Council, Government Agencies or other relevant bodies in the determination of the application.  All reports are published in the Council Business Paper which is also available to the public.

For further information please contact Council’s Senior Development Planner, Mr Hamish McTaggart on 02 6549 3860.

Details of the proposed development are available on Council’s Website: www.muswellbrook.nsw.gov.au

DA 2019-030 Demolition of Existing Dwelling and Sheds, Construction of Additional Motel Units, Extension of Restaurant and Consolidation of Titles

DA 2019-030 Proposed Extension Drawings

DA 2019-030 Proposed Lot Layout


The Bush Fire Danger Period has been extended by the Rural Fire Service to 30 April 2019.

As a result Fire Permits will be required to light a fire in the Muswellbrook local government area until 30 April 2019.

Fire permits are free and available from your local fire station or NSW RFS Fire Control Centre. For more information visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or telephone 1800 679 737.

Please report any attended fires you seeto 000 immediately.

2019 Easter Family Fun Day Information Poster

Art Prize Finalists 2019

Vote for your favourite artwork in the 2019 Muswellbrook Art Prize.
Voting closes 1pm Sunday 5 May 2019.
The winner of the $1,000 People's Choice Prize will be announced at the close of the exhibition, Sunday 5 May 2019.
Voters are allowed one vote across all sections of the Prize, so make it count! Follow this link.

https://entries.muswellbrookartprize.com.au/entry/vote/eknzoykV

 

Winner - Painting CategoryPola s

Sacha POLA, Having Reached Utopia, It Was Then Time


2018 │acrylic and conté crayon on
canvas, 135 x 165cm.
This work merges the Classicism and Neo-Classicism (Romanticism) of Western Europe with
Asian visual traditions, invoking notions of the Divine that are as fundamental as they are vague.
It employs a visual language and philosophy that I have been cultivating over the course of my
career, and aims at re-energising the narrative tradition. The image conflates contemporary and
classical iconography and reflects a pop-digital age in which excess is standard, and both the
natural world, and human civilisation, await renewal.

 

Winner - Works on Paper Category

King s

Martin KING, Recess 

2018, graphite on drafting film, watercolour and pigment on paper, 144.5 x 189cm.
Recess I is part of a series of work that fuses aspects and representations of Australian
landscape. Images from early colonial depictions of fauna, 19th century paintings of landscape
including William Strutt and Eugene Von Guerard reappear as contemporary visions of a mixed
up world.

 

Winner - Ceramics Category

Esson s

Merran ESSON, Trees of the Monaro

2018, stoneware, copper glaze, 39 x 70 x 55cm.
Many journeys have informed this work; influences from road trips through the Monaro area in
NSW, time spent in Cézanne’s Provence in Southern France, and the cactus of Mexico. These
realise an abstract simplification that triggers one’s own sensations. They are the thoughts that
keep the traveller awake through the miles traversed to get there, and they are the passing
images that become familiar and permeate the creative processes that inform this art. They are
voluptuous forms that speak of passion and longing, but are pierced with signs of loss.

 Natalie Wilson edited 1

Natalie Wilson is Curator of Australian & Pacific art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, where she has worked since 1998. Research and writing include essays for AGNSW publications Australian Art in the Art Gallery of New South Wales (2000) and Parallel Visions (2002). Since 2006 she has curated many collection-based exhibitions at the AGNSW, and she was a researcher and catalogue compiler for the 2007 Sidney Nolan retrospective. In 2010, Natalie co-curated the retrospective Justin O’Brien: the sacred music of colour. She was awarded the 2011 Art Gallery Society of NSW Staff Development Scholarship to conduct research in PNG, spending 5 weeks travelling in the Highlands and along the Sepik River. She was also awarded the 2012 AGNSW Moya Dyring Studio Residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and spent 2 months in 2013 researching Pacific art in museum collections across Europe and developing the exhibition Plumes and pearlshells: art of the New Guinea highlands, which opened in May 2014 at the AGNSW. Natalie curated the 2013 retrospective exhibition All fired up: Peter Rushforth, potter for the SH Ervin Gallery, where she is a member of the Art Advisory Committee. In 2015, she curated the touring exhibition Painter in Paradise: William Dobell in New Guinea, which travelled to Lake Macquarie, Brisbane and Cairns, in collaboration with the SH Ervin Gallery. More recently, Natalie curated the 2016 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes exhibition for the AGNSW.

Congratulations to all finalists!

 To view finalists follow this link!

Works on Paper

Kate

Briscoe

Rockfall Emma Gorge

Mark

Dober

Edge of the Forest

Kate

Dorrough

The Waters Edge

Christine

Druitt-Preston

There could be fairies in this garden - Gulgamree, Mudgee

Garry

Foye

Grawin Construction

Rew

Hanks

Gone Fishing East of Faskrudsfjordur

Amber-Rose

Hulme

Breath

Hanna

Kay

Aspects

Martin

King

Recess I

David

Kurzydlo

Icarus (Before the Flight)

Kellie

O'Dempsey

Butoh Cry

Lyn

Raymer

Roundabout

Wendy

Sharpe

The Alchemy of Things

Craig

Waddell

Narura Ferox

Jodie

Zutt

Bend

Painting

Min-Woo

Bang

Moment of Tranquility

John

Bokor

The Red Velvet Lounge

Melissa

Boughey

Cross Country (taking the steep path backwards)

Geoffrey

Breen

Riverwalk

Kate

Briscoe

Close Up Rockface Split - Geikie Gorge

Byron

Copland

Alan's Pumpkin

David

Darcy

Ken & Tiger (During the Drought)

Bridget

Dolan

The Unseen

Blak

Douglas

Sting Dynasty

Philip

Drummond

Between Seasons

Nicolette

Eisdell

Majestic Interior

Rocco

Fazzari

Coastal Walk

Peter

Gardiner

36.7169°S 141.8783°E (somewhere, somehow)

Mike

Green

Early Morning, Ormiston Gorge

Craig

Handley

Funny Ha Hahs and Bloody Galahs

Jude

Hotchkiss

In The End

Sacha

Jeffrey

Having Reached Utopia, It Was Then Time

Gabrielle

Jones

Soft Landing (Birds of a Feather)

Hanna

Kay

Shibboleth R

Maree

Kelly

Evanesce

Ben

Kenning

What's Sense in Non-Sense (Gray Matter)

Kiata

Mason

Night Table

Cathryn

McEwen

Woven Coastline

Annemarie

Murland

Sheep Pens Dreaming

Vanessa

Newell

Afternoon on the Back Verandah

Rodney

Pople

Goulburn War Memorial at 3:00 am

Lucy

Roleff

Silver Dollars

Wendy

Sharpe

Self Portrait with Ghosts

Mike

Staniford

Inferno

Stef

Tarasov

The Splendour

Craig

Waddell

From Where We are to Who We Will Become

Works Ceramics

Ros

Auld

Presence

Mollie

Bosworth

Quandong Blues

Johanna

De Maine

Chiisai Sakura

Tracy

Dickason

Becoming

Natalie

Duncan

Dungog Memory Jug

Merran

Esson

Trees of the Monaro

Barry

Jackson

Dark Earth 2

Caroline

Kerr

Layer by Layer

Jeff

Mincham

For Robert

Anne

Mossman

Seams of Uncertainty

Sassy

Park

Indian Myna

Simon

Reece

Feeling Blue

Ebony

Russell

Piped Dream - Blue Drip

Alexandra

Standen

My Mind is Full of Thoughts of You

Geoff

Thomas

Anagama Fired Jar

The NSW Government introduced the Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) framework with the purpose of encouraging and assisting councils to better communicate and consult with their communities to reflect their vision. Council has prepared a suite of documents aligned to the IP&R framework that capture the aspirations of our Shire’s communities and provide the strategic plans and resourcing strategies required to implement the priorities confirmed by the community. Council’s Annual Report provides the community with an update on Council’s yearly progress and activities.

Further information on the IP&R framework can be found at: https://www.olg.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/Intergrated-Planning-and-Reporting-Guidelines-March-2013.pdf

 

 

 Community Strategic Plan

 2017-2021 Delivery Program

 2018-2019 Operational Plan

 2019-2029 Long Term Financial Plan

 Strategic Asset Management Plan

 2013-2017 Workforce Management Plan

 2017-2018 Annual Report

The Aboriginal Oral History Project is moving into its final stage of gathering stories of our Aboriginal Community Members.

2 Rivers Pty Ltd Production Team spent 2 weeks filming the stories of 14 Elders, cultural leaders and community members utilising the Muswellbrook Conservatorium of Music venue. People’s stories recorded ranged from stories of removal and dispossession to remembering when land rights came to Muswellbrook and hope for the future through our young leaders. The Project has an remaining 6 stories to interview before the stories are collated and made available for everyone through online digital resources as well as the production of a booklet of people stories. The Aboriginal Oral History Project has been a long time in the making the original concept was developed in the Aboriginal Community after the production of the Wannin Thanbarran a History of Aboriginal and European Contact in the Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter Valley and the www.workingwithindigenousaustralians.info Project.

The Aboriginal Oral History Project is a joint project between Muswellbrook Shire Council Aboriginal Reconciliation Committee and MACH Energy Australia Aboriginal Community Development Fund.

 

42383562 2035293419834640 3935848072310947840 n

Top Left, Uncle Glen Morris, Top Right Uncle Garry Wright with interviewer Lorrayne Riggs from 2 Rivers Pty Ltd and Aunty Jean Hands, Bottom Left

 

Voluntary Level 1 Water Restrictions Now in Place.

While Muswellbrook Shire Council does not have an imminent water shortage it is conscious of, and sensitive to, ongoing drought conditions and possibly an extended bushfire season and wishes to encourage the community to use water effectively and sustainably. In addition, neighbouring rural areas are facing potable water shortages and Council, in partnership with local Lions Clubs, is supplying free water to be carted to farming families to top up domestic water tanks. In order to support these measures Voluntary Level 1 Water Restrictions have been adopted. It is estimated that water use can be reduced by approximately 5 percent when Voluntary Level 1 Water Restrictions are in place.

Intro level 1 restrictions 01

Intro level 1 restrictions 02

Intro level 1 restrictions 04

 

Background

Muswellbrook Shire Council adopted the Denman Town Centre Master Plan on 8 November 2016 following an extensive and extended consultation process including community consultation, meetings with key stakeholders and individual businesses. Key elements of the plan were to identify a main civic node, consider traffic flow, safety and improve connectivity. In the 2018-2019 budget Council allocated $2.5 million to begin the upgrade and dedicated $1.94 million to reconstruction of Memorial Hall.

Project Overview

Works will not be conducted on the public holidays over the Easter weekend or Anzac Day.

Ogilvie Street will be reconstructed providing for new road pavement and kerb and gutter; widening of footpaths; implementation of a one-way flow of traffic (Palace to Paxton Street). The project includes construction of a two way service road with carpark at the southern side of the town centre; improvement of stormwater drainage; replacement of old water mains; construction of parking bay for long vehicles in Paxton Street and the redevelopment of Memorial Park.

Redevelopment of Memorial Park will include an event lawn, paved plaza area, space for public art, enhancement of the existing memorial; new amenities and a new play area for children.

Reconstruction of the Memorial Hall, whilst maintaining the heritage value, will be built to a modern standard, be fully air-conditioned and include the addition of a bar, back of house, retractable tiered seating and cinema projection facilities.

Project Benefits

The renewal of the streetscape and provision of off street parking will have a positive impact on the Community due to improved parking availability, accessibility and amenity of public spaces.

Reconstruction of the Memorial Hall will re-establish an important venue for community, social and entertainment events whilst enhancing the use of the building with modern design which do not detract from the heritage values. Involving the Community and Stakeholders Council will continue to keep the community informed.

The renewal of the streetscape and provision of off street parking will have a positive impact on the Community due to improved parking availability, accessibility and amenity of public spaces.

Reconstruction of the Memorial Hall will re-establish an important venue for community, social and entertainment events whilst enhancing the use of the building with modern design which do not detract from the heritage values. Involving the Community and Stakeholders Council will continue to keep the community informed.

Watch the Vision For Denman Town Centre Revitalisation 

For more information regarding this video contact: Abdullah Mahmud,Investigation & Design Engineer, Community Infrastructure Muswellbrook Shire CouncilDEnman CBD Snapshot 4

Video Fly-By Vision for the Future

 

 

Denman Town Centre Upgrade

Project Manager

Kellie Scholes Phone 6549 3756

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Denman Memorial Hall

Project Manager

Dennis Fernandes Phone 6549 3743

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Project Updates

 

APRIL 2019 UPDATES:

    • Businesses are open, footpath construction works are continuing.

    • Work activities for the week commencing 15th April focus on the construction of the southern footpath in Ogilvie Street from Paxton Street to Sheryn's Beauty Spot.

 

MARCH 2019 UPDATES:

    • Starting 19th March weather pending work will commence on the footpath in Paxton St, from the car park to Ogilvie St and then work on the corner at Edward Higgins Parkinson.
    • Work activities for the week commencing 25th March focus on the construction of the southern footpath in Ogilvie Street, from Paxton Street to the Post Office.
    • This includes construction of the driveways at JJJ’s and the Post Office.

 

February 2019 updates:

    • Denman Town Centre Upgrade - Changed Traffic Conditions to Ogilvie Street, Denman:

      One way traffic flow will take effect as of Monday 18 February, 2019 from Palace Street to Paxton Street.  Businesses are open as usual.

      Construction activities this week are:

        • Kerb and Gutter Construction Northern Side and;
        • Kerb and Gutter Construction Southern Side
        • To commence Thursday 21 February, 2019, weather permitting.
        • Footpaths in Ogilvie Street are accessible
        • Southern carpark is open for use
    • Weather permitting Muswellbrook Shire Council will be carrying out Stage 2 of Denman Town Centre Revitalisation Works which includes Ogilvie Street between Palace Street and Paxton Street. Work will commence at 7am on Tuesday, 5 February 2019 and then commence in an afternoon shift the next day Wednesday 6 February and continue until completion of road excavation, approximately two weeks. >Afternoon shift work will start at 2pm and finish at 10.00pm approximately for this period of time. Due to the nature of the works it will be necessary for the partial closure and on limited occasions, a full closure of sections of Ogilvie Street during work hours for through traffic. Council apologises for any inconvenience and appreciates your patience during this time. If you have any questions regarding this work please contact Muswellbrook Shire Council Project Manager, Russell Fitzgerald on 0418 110 010.

December 2018 updates:

    • The following works commence December 17th
    • Completion of concrete footpath at Palace Street end of the new car park
    • Reinstatement of disturbed sections of road and temporary sealing and tidy up
    • Connection of water services to properties and removal of temporary water mains
    • Stormwater drainage construction at the eastern end of Ogilvie St (between Paxton and Palace St)
    • Street cleaning
    • Works will recommence in the street in early February with the construction of the road.

       

November 2018 updates:

            • 5 November drilling commenced under road
            • 10-11 November under boring near the levee
            • 12-13 November – Detailed Excavation
            • 14 November – Detailed Excavation & Inground Services
            • 15 November – Detailed Excavation & Mezzanine Construction
            • 16 November – Mezzanine Construction
            • 19 November – Preparation for Concreting & Inground Services
            • 20 November – Concreting Works
            • 21-23 November – Concreting Works & Timber Framing

October 2018 updates:

              • 24-26 October carpark sealing
              • 22-26 October continuation of demolition and propping of Denman Memorial Hall
              • 22 October commencement of temporary water main installation and preparation works for new water main construction Ogilvie Street
              • 8 October the demolition works start at the rear of the Denman Memorial Hall to enable reconstruction to commence as per publicly exhibited plans

Water Mains Renewal Ogilvie Street Updates

September 2018 update:

                • 8 October the demolition works start at the rear of the Denman Memorial Hall to enable reconstruction to commence as per publicly exhibited plans.
                • 27/9 removal of trees in Ogilvie Street (between Paxton and Palace Streets) in preparation for future water main construction
                • Carpark earthworks for pavement construction
                • Project update information session – 9am Friday 21 September
                • NOTICE OF WORKS IN DENMAN – Wednesday 19th September – Carrying out investigation for underground pipes and drainage
                • Carpark construction underway with piped drainage and pits within adjoining properties
                • Project update information session – 9am Friday 14 September
                • Project update information session – 9am Friday 7 September

August 2018 update:

                  • Project update information session - 9am Friday 31 August
                  • Carpark drainage construction commenced
                  • Denman Memorial Hall Design and Construct Tender has been awarded to contractor, project is progressing and works will be starting soon. Further communications will be published when program of works and commencement date is confirmed
                  • Work is commencing 21 August on Stage 1 - Carpark

July 2018 update:

                  • Commencing soon will be the construction of service road and carpark at southern end and upgrade the water mains.
                  • Works have begun to remove the steel pergola from the front of the façade at the Memorial Hall. The structure will be relocated into storage before being reconstructed at a new location in Denman.

The Denman Town Centre Landscape Concept, Civil Concept and Long Vehicle Parking Paxton Street Concepts are available at the following links. 

Denman Town Centre Landscape Concept

Denman Town Centre Civil Concept

Denman Town Centre Paxton St Long Vehicle Parking Concept

Environment Protection Licences

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) issues environment protection licences to the owners or operators of various industrial premises under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act). Licence conditions relate to pollution prevention and monitoring, and cleaner production through recycling and reuse and the implementation of best practice.

Muswellbrook Shire Council’s sewage treatment facilities, water treatment facilities and waste facility are subject to NSW government legislation that requires approval for their sustainable operation.

Below are quick links to the latest EPA Licences monitoring results.

 

Water Monitoring

Click here to view the latest results for the 2018-2019 Muswellbrook Waste Water Monitoring Results 1593

Click here to view the latest results for the 2018-2019 Denman Waste Water Monitoring Results 5059

 

Waste Monitoring

Click here to see the latest results for the 2018-2019 Muswellbrook Waste Leachate Report 5980

 

EPA Environmental Protection Authority link

Click here to visit the Enviromental Protection Authority

 

For further information please contact Council on 02 6549 3700.

Muswellbrook Shire Council has welcomed the announcement of $4.5 million for community projects for the Muswellbrook Shire in the second round of grants from the Ridgelands Community Fund.

Established last year as a condition of the 2013 mining exploration licence granted to Ridgelands Coal Resources, the $5 million fund aims to invest in the development of communities in which the company operates.

Last week, Ridgelands Coal Resources amended its deed poll establishing the Community Fund Investment Committee to remove the company’s right of veto of decisions of the Committee. Council commends Ridgelands on this decision, which has allowed the remaining funds to be released for 27 community projects.

Council, together with Ridgelands and the Community Fund Investment Committee community members met on Monday this week to allocate the remaining funds and Council is delighted with the funding outcomes.

Mayor of Muswellbrook Martin Rush said: “Some of the recipients have been fundraising for years and years to get their projects off the ground. To know that these allocations today will make it possible to progress those projects to completion is simply fantastic.

“This is a great range of social, cultural, economic and environmental projects, which will greatly improve the liveability of our Shire, particularly in the Wybong, Denman, Sandy Hollow, and Ridgelands areas.

“Council congratulates Ridgelands on resolving this matter and disbursing the remaining $4.5 million.”

The Ridgelands Community Fund Investment Committee approved the following projects:

  1. Muswellbrook Aquatic Centre Learn to Swim Pool ($700,000);
  2. Muswellbrook Black Box ($500,000);
  3. Denman Childcare Centre ($470,000);
  4. Denman Memorial Hall ($400,000);
  5. Denman Main Street Masterplan ($400,000);
  6. Wybong Community Hall ($350,000);
  7. Denman Pony Club Canteen Complex ($341,000);
  8. University of Newcastle Upper Hunter Campus – Stage II ($300,000);
  9. Denman Hospital – staff accommodation ($216,000);
  10. Sandy Hollow Hall ($158,000);
  11. Denman and District Heritage Village – Expansion ($155,331);
  12. Family Action Centre – Stage I Polyclinic ($120,000);
  13. Upper Hunter Community Services Toy Box Mobile Outreach Service ($65,871);
  14. Upper Hunter Riding for the Disabled – Arena completion ($50,000);
  15. Denman District and Development Association – Denman News ($40,114);
  16. Where There Is A Will – teacher training ($40,000);
  17. Wybong Hall Committee – Community Workshops ($33,450);
  18. Muswellbrook High School P&C – Canteen upgrade ($30,000);
  19. Wyong Rural Fire Service – mobile telephone tower feasibility ($25,000);
  20. Zone 7 Pony Club Incorporated – camp ($15,000);
  21. Sandy Hollow Progress Association – Masterplan of Honey Lane block ($10,000);
  22. Sandy Hollow Progress Association – Cattle Initiative ($10,000);
  23. Hunter Region Landcare Network – Sandy Hollow outdoor classroom ($7,518);
  24. Muswellbrook RSL Amateur Swimming Club – Dolphin Swimming System ($7,500);
  25. Muswellbrook Girl Guides – Glenalla Revegetation Project Stage II ($5,000);
  26. Transcare Hunter Limited – Muswellbrook Seniors Expo ($1,744); and
  27. Muswellbrook Little Athletics – Discus cage ($1,100).

Ridgelands Resources medium

 Today, Mr Michael Johnsen MP announced $24,420 for a new fence for Denman Memorial Park.

Mr Johnsen was approached to fund the project by Mr Paul Freeman, the former President of the Denman Business Chamber. Mr Johnsen further claimed that: “local government was not able to assist”.

Council spoke with Mr Freeman in October last year and wrote to the Denman Business Chamber in January this year noting that:

“Mr Freeman’s request for a white and maroon fence was unlikely to be approved as it was inconsistent with the Public Domain Manual Style Guide for Denman but that the fence would be replaced (consistently with the Style Guide), in any event, as part of the Denman Master Plan at some stage.”

The Denman Masterplan works will commence on 1 July 2018. The Denman Memorial Park works and wider Denman Masterplan will create a fantastic new streetscape in Denman and provide much desired improvements to the Town’s War Memorial.

Council has already committed $2.5M to the works and the State Government has shortlisted a further $2.5M of funding from Resources for Regions to the project.

Council was aware that Mr Freeman had contacted Mr Johnsen as the State Member but did not receive any correspondence from Mr Johnsen prior to him issuing his release.

Michael Johnsen is to be congratulated for finding $24,420 and Council will continue to work with the Community to realise the Denman Town Centre upgrades, including refurbishment of Memorial Park.

 

Fiona Plesman

Acting General Manager

 

Denman

Muswellbrook Shire Council’s strategy for the future was under the microscope when the Community Panel met for the second time. The panel convened with councillors and senior staff members to discuss, in particular, Council’s application for a special rate variation.

Council canvassed panel members about their participation in the meeting

 

Tania Dart of  Wybong
Tania Dart of Wybong

What have you learned by participating on the Community Panel?

“I’ve been learning about the vision that the Council has for the town. They’re working on the viability of our town.”

What have you enjoyed most about your experience so far?

“I enjoyed meeting the Councillors outside an election period. They were happy to answer questions and interact with the panel.”

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

“People need to give the Council a bit more credit for what they’re doing and they’re vision. If people as a whole had the information that we have now, they’d have a more positive perception of the Council. I think the Community Panel is a really good concept.”

 

Phillip Minter of Muswellbrook
Phillip Minter of Muswellbrook

What would you like to tell people about your experience on the Community Panel so far?

“I’ve learned a lot about all of the work that Council’s doing. I didn’t know about it before.”

What have you enjoyed most about participating on the panel?

“It was good to meet the Councillors in person and have a say.”

 

Pete Carmichael of South Muswellbrook
Pete Carmichael of South Muswellbrook

What have you learned by participating on the Community Panel?

“Muswellbrook is in for an exciting time – an exciting future.”

What have you enjoyed most about participating on the panel?

“Learning about what’s going on behind the scenes. It will revamp the town.”

What did you think about meeting the Councillors?

“I worked with a couple of the Councillors at Mt Arthur and they share the same concerns for the town that I do. We need to ensure Muswellbrook continues to grow and prosper.”

 

Sue O’Neill of Muswellbrook
Sue O’Neill of Muswellbrook

How would you describe your experience on the Community Panel?

“I’m getting to know what our Council does, what they’re planning to do and about their vision for our Shire. I’m getting involved with our Council.”

What have you enjoyed about participating on the panel?

“I’m enjoying the information and the interaction with real people, who are our Council.”

What did you think about meeting the Councillors?

“I’ve enjoyed being able to ask questions and make suggestions. I think we have a really exciting Council, with exciting plans for our Shire.”

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

“We didn’t plan to stay here [in Muswellbrook] forever, but it looks like we will now. It’s the people who make Muswellbrook.”

NSW highway patrol vwhicle

The NSW Police Force is currently undertaking a review of the State's regional policing command structure. Among the proposals under consideration is the splitting of the Hunter Valley command in two, with Scone and surrounds to be absorbed by the Tamworth-based Oxley command. The other half would be taken in by the Maitland-based Central Hunter.

Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook Shire Councils today called upon the NSW Government to retain the Hunter Valley Local Area Command (LAC) and its headquarters in Muswellbrook.

Mayor of Upper Hunter Wayne Bedggood said:

"The communities of the Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook shires are very closely connected. We share common natural boundaries and a well-integrated road network". "Splitting the command will fragment these commonalities and put at risk issues such as response time to emergencies and emergency management in general" he said

The two councils share resources in times of emergency and the NSW Police have an absolutely critical role in emergency management during those times.

Mayor of Muswellbrook Martin Rush said: "We have had a close and enormously beneficial working relationship with the Hunter Valley Local Area Command over a long period of time.We have been involved in joint initiatives to combat a range of anti-social behavior and crime."

Those initiatives have included a range of rural specific issues such as stock theft, search and rescue in National Parks, graffiti management and alcohol management – through an Upper Hunter Liquor Accord (across the whole Upper Hunter). The two councils coordinate, as an Upper Hunter Region, with the LAC and other Upper Hunter State agencies, issues around health, family violence and social inclusion – taking a whole-of-government approach to dealing with these issues in the Upper Hunter.

Mayor Wayne Beddgood said:

"I am reassured by the comments of the Police Minister who has indicated that it is "very highly unlikely that such a move will take place."

The Police Minister Troy Grant said on radio 2NM today with respect to the amalgamation of the Hunter Valley LAC with Central Hunter LAC that 'no decision has been made' and that he is yet to be presented with a formal proposal.

The Minister confirmed it was 'highly unlikely' that the Hunter Valley LAC would be merged with Central Hunter LAC based in Maitland:

CENATIEMPO: Can you categorically rule out that Hunter Valley will become part of Central Hunter?

GRANT: It's highly unlikely. I can't rule anything in or out as I haven't been presented with anything... until I get something presented to me with an argument for or against anything... I can't rule anything in or out cause I don't know what potential it will look like ... it's just very highly unlikely.

"Whilst the review of regional command structures for the NSW Police continues, it does not remove the fact that police numbers in the Hunter Valley command are still at least ten officers short", Mayor Bedggood said.

"Any review of policing in the Upper Hunter must reaffirm the need for additional police numbers to ensure that our communities meet the benchmark set for regional policing across New South Wales. For instance, the Hunter Valley LAC remains the only non-coastal regional command without a Rural Crime Investigator", Mayor Rush said.

Both councils urged their communities to report instances of criminal activity to ensure that crime statistics properly reflect the situation on the ground and which will support the need for additional police resources for the region.

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 – 18 January 2018

You didn't get a brochure?

Download the brochure here.

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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

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.

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.

Pouring the concrete slab

 

RWTW Construction Aerial Progress to April 2018

01 April 2018 Update:

Construction at the Muswellbrook Recycle Water Treatment Works (RWTW) continues to progress, with expectations for the commissioning of the new treatment facility in the second half of this year.  Decommissioning and demolition of the old facility will continue into early 2019.  Current construction is within budget - while meeting design, quality and safety expectations.

Following the construction of the walls of the process reactor (IDEA tanks) witnessed in the video above, water tightness testing is progressing, with much of the mechanical infrastructure beginning to be delivered to site. Assembly of the electrical switchgear and testing has occurred and testing of the control systems is underway. The 3 Megalitre final reuse water reservoir has been constructed with testing to be performed in the near future.

All attempts are being made to utilise local suppliers and contractors from the Shire to enhance local economic development. Construction is progressing well and in accordance with design approvals given by the NSW Department of Primary Industries, requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Authority.

The Recycle Water Treatment Works is mainly funded by MSC, with a portion of funding provided by the NSW Government Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund (HIFF).

Funding for the new RWTW will be sourced from Council funds, with a significant portion provided by the NSW Government Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund (HIFF). 

 

03 November 2017:

Aerial footage of construction of the Recycle Water Treatment Works at Muswellbrook between August and October 2017.

Construction of Muswellbrook's RWTW between August and October 2017

04 October 2017 Update:

Muswellbrook Shire Council is progressing well with the Construction of the new RWTW. The project is on schedule and cost, whilst satisfying quality, safety and other expectations.

In September, the significant milestone of pouring the post tensioned single pour slab of the main process reactor (IDEA tanks) was undertaken. This innovative construction technique proceeded as planned and with all risks mitigated.
Mark Tildsley – Downer’s Project Manager explained “The concrete base pour marks a significant project milestone in the construction of the Muswellbrook Recycle Water Treatment Works (RWTW), a world-leading recycled water treatment solution that will see long term economic and sustainable benefits for the local community. Local suppliers delivered more than 800 cubic meters of concrete and in close partnership with Muswellbrook Shire Council and the Downer team on the ground. The day ran smoothly with no incidents or injuries.”

Timelapse: Pouring 800 cubic metres of concrete for the new Muswellbrook Recycle Water Treatment Pl

The pouring of the slab was the largest single concrete slab pour ever performed for Council, utilising 116 deliveries of concrete from a fleet of 20 trucks, and 2 crews of over 40 workers. All adjacent residents were advised of the increased truck movements and the early start on 5 September 2017 at 03H00. Work continued through the day and was completed by 18h30.

This construction activity was a great success largely due to extensive planning and good communication with all Stakeholders i.e. concrete suppliers, Highway Patrol and RMS regarding other traffic movements on road for the day.
Fatigue management of the crews was managed by ‘job rotation’, ensuring there were sufficient employees on the job at all times to keep the pour ‘live’, but still ensuring the crew got appropriate breaks.

The RWTW is mainly funded by MSC, with a portion of funding provided by the NSW Government Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund (HIIF).

Funding for the new RWTW will be sourced from Council funds, with a significant portion provided by the NSW Government Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund (HIFF).

 

25 August 2017 update:

Good news; Muswellbrook Shire Council is progressing well with the Construction of the new RWTW.

Downer Utilities Australia was awarded the contract in May 2017 and has to date established on site and completed the majority of the bulk earthworks activities. Initial concrete pours commenced in early August and steel reinforcement has been placed for the Intermittent decanting extended aeration (IDEA) process tank structures.

The big single slab pour is planned for early September 2017, where the post tensioned slab will be constructed. To enable this continuous single concrete pour, which is envisaged to take 10hrs, planning has been performed including traffic routes for the delivery of concrete to the works site, at the corner of Skellatar Stock Route and Denman Rd.

Weather permitting, it is planned that Concrete trucks will be hauling concrete to site via Thomas Mitchel Drive and Denman Rd on 05 September 2017 between 3:00am and 12:30pm.

It is not expected that the delivery of concrete will cause challenged to motorists, nevertheless, motorists are advised to use caution when traveling in the vicinity of the Thomas Mitchel Drive, Denman Rd and Skellatar Stock route. Traffic control will be available and truck movements will be monitored on the day.

Site being prepared for concrete foundation pouring

Funding for the new RWTW will be sourced from Council funds, with a significant portion provided by the NSW Government Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund (HIFF).

 

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.

Lesson in progress at Muswellbrook Indoor Pool

Muswellbrook Shire Council can now process Active Kids Vouchers for Learn to Swim

For further information contact the Aquatic Centre

Call us 02 6541 2999

or drop by, Wilkinson Avenue in Muswellbrook

Lesson in progress at Muswellbrook Indoor Pool

If your child wants to fast-track their swimming level, or simply loves to swim, then sign them up for a Summer Holiday Learn To Swim Intensives program. You can sign up for 1 week, or for every week!

Muswellbrook Aquatic Centre

    • Week 1... 15th April - 18th April 2019 - 3 day program. Call for bookings and pricing.
    • Week 2... 23th, 24th and 26th April 2019- 3 day program. Call for bookings and pricing.

Term 2 for Learn to Swim will start 29th April 2019&nbsp booking being taken now.

Call us on (02) 6549 3786

 

Call Muswellbrook Aquatic Centre on 6541 2999 for more details or to book.

* These lessons will be held in the outdoor pools as the indoor pool will be unergoing maintenance throughout January.

Lesson in progress at Muswellbrook Indoor Pool

Swimming Club competitions will be held on the first Monday of each month from 5.30pm

Limited space will be available for members of the public on the following dates

Muswellbrook Shire Council is pleased to present a concept design for the proposed restoration of the Denman Memorial Hall.

The historic Denman Memorial Hall suffered significant damage from a fire on 28 December 2015. The interior of the building was extensively damaged by the fire while the heritage exterior has been confirmed as being structurally sound. The design sees the restoration of the hall into a multi-purpose centre.

The building in Ogilvie Street, in the heart of Denman's central business district, commemorates those who died in service or were killed in action in World War One and is a heritage-listed feature of the town.

Denman Memorial Hall - Old Hall vs New Hall

Denman Memorial Hall - Furniture Layout

Muscle Creek Shaping Up!

Muswellbrook Shire Council with the support of local community groups and volunteers is returning the much-abused Muscle Creek to its former glory. The aim of the work is to improve the environmental and recreational values of this important waterway.

Muscle Creek, named for the freshwater mussels that were once abundant, is a meandering waterway that runs through Muswellbrook. Over the years of urbanisation, weeds and litter had taken over to the point where the creek had become underutilised and its beauty forgotten.  

Council’s Sustainability Coordinator, Mark Scandrett said “There is momentum building amongst the community and they are encouraged by what they are seeing. The Club to Club project is definitely having an impact, and we can now see what a Muscle Creek without weeds and litter will look like. We see the great potential to use Muscle Creek as a showcase for revegetation and sustainability. With community support the creek can become a real community asset and a place where people meet and learn about living sustainably.”


Work to date at Muscle Creek


Muswellbrook Urban Riparian Landcare Masterplan

Council recently adopted the Muswellbrook Urban Riparian Landcare Masterplan. This plan will guide future works around Muswellbrook, including Muscle Creek.


Regeneration

Over five hectares of weeds have been removed from the creek and more than 10,000 native plants have replaced them. Large non-native weed trees such as willows, pepper and pine trees have been removed. This work improves instream and creek bank habitat, allows easier access for recreation, filters pollutants and helps reduce erosion.


Community involvement

Without the support of the community the works undertaken along the creek would not have been possible. See contact details below for how you can be involved.


Muscle Creek Landcare

The Muscle Creek Landcare group and other dedicated volunteers have invested many years into the area, planting numerous native plants and removing weeds. Their close involvement and interest in the waterway has seen the vegetation progressively improve.

The group undertakes activities such as revegetation, clean ups and nursery work.

 

Club To Club

The Club to Club project, started in 2016, A New South Wales Environmental Trust Restoration and Rehabilitation Grant using the project title “Club to Club” aims at rehabilitating the urban riparian zone between the Muswellbrook Golf Club and the Muswellbrook Workers Club. It relies on a mixture of contractor works and volunteer working bees.

This work has improved habitat and connectivity for threatened and endangered species as well as engaged the community and improved their understanding of the importance of the health of riparian ecosystems.

 

Nature Trails – The two ‘Muscle Creek Nature Trails’ were constructed by multiple contractors and the NSW Soil Conservation Service. These stepping stone creek crossings, which allow users to cross the creek without blocking fish passage, were assisted by grant funding from the NSW DPI Fisheries’ Recreational Fishing Trust’s “Habitat Action Grant Program”.  This project is the first stage of plans to bring the community back into contact with Muscle Creek.

A number of other sections of the Muscle Creek Nature Trail are planned that will integrate with and support proposed works at Olympic Park and the Muswellbrook Aquatic Centre. With picnic areas, informative signage and exercise areas, we are hoping to see a lot more people using Muscle Creek in a responsible manner.



Mick Brady, Sustainability Officer – Waste, putting a waste education sticker on a bin

A large part of Council’s Sustainable Futures Program is The Sustainability Hub. The Hub, located on Wilkinson Ave, is set to be a hive of activity throughout 2018. A number of community groups are planning a variety of events at the Hub. Muswellbrook Shire Council’s Sustainability Unit manage the Hub but rely heavily on community support.

Throughout the year The Muswellbrook Penguin Garden Club, Muscle Creek Landcare, Goodstart Learning Centre, Warrior Disability Services, Endeavour Group Australia (EGA) and Muswellbrook Girl Guides will be involved in activities based around sustainability. Muswellbrook Shire Council will also host a variety of workshops on practical sustainable living.

The Muswellbrook Penguin Garden Club, meet monthly, and are planning workshops and working bees on pallet wall gardens, worm farms, composting, healthy food gardens, healthy eating and lots more. The Penguin Garden Club, auspiced by Council, grows local food for local charities and has a composting and worm farm system. The group is featured on the cover of the local 2018 Yellow Pages in recognition of the work they do and received Council’s environmental award at the 2018 Australia Day Awards. The group has established 15 garden beds and has successfully gained grants and other donations to support daily operations. In partnership with Red Door Kitchen, Warrior Disability Services collect food scraps for composting and the food grown in the garden is donated back to the kitchen. Another local disability services group EGA runs the worm farm for the garden club.

Muscle Creek Landcare, meet the first Saturday of each month and will continue to plant and maintain native plants along the creek, collect litter and hold nursery activities. Goodstart Early Learning Centre and Muswellbrook Girl Guides will help by sowing seeds and growing and looking after plants.

Other groups involved in the Sustainable Futures Program at the Sustainability Hub are:

  • Hunter Valley Aboriginal Corporation (HVAC)

“Its where people with interest in gardening get together and learn from each other, we all have differing knowledge and skills and we all share a similar passion. We all care about our community and giving back in some small way, too. We run workshops on various subjects to learn and teach each other and to share knowledge, it’s a great experience”. Ross Pahuru, General Manager, Hunter Valley Aboriginal Corporation.

  • Penguin Garden Club

    “Teaming up with the Sustainability Hub has provided the Girl Guides with easily accessible, hands-on experience to explore sustainability in their day to day lives. Assisting in our aim to “empower girls and young women to grow into confident, self-respecting and responsible community members” Sally Jackson Unit Leader – 2A Muswellbrook Guides. - Muswellbrook Girl Guides

    “Having moved from North Queensland, for me, spending time at the gardens has enabled me to learn about composting, saving and planting seeds and growing plants in a cold climate. Working with others in the community has enabled me to meet some great people and make new friends”. Muriel Green, Penguin Garden Club member.

  • Goodstart Learning Centre

    "As the need for greater sustainability becomes more apparent globally, so does the importance of embedding sustainability in our children's programs. Through these hands-on experiences, we are able to involve our children in opportunities such as this to explore and learn about their local environments. Practicing sustainability empowers children to construct knowledge, explore values and develop an appreciation of the environment and its relationship to their worlds. This lays the foundations for an environmentally responsible adulthood." Stacey Goodall, Preschool Teacher, Goodstart Early Learning Centre.

  • Muswellbrook Out of School Hours Care
  • Muswellbrook Pre School
  • Ability Links
  • Warrior Disability Services
  • Brookside Christian School

For more information about the Sustainability Hub contact the Sustainability Unit on 6549 3700 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hoses and Ladders board game to create awareness of water conservation

 

Hoses and Ladder Waterwise board game
Download the Hoses and Ladder Waterwise board game template here

 

To celebrate Water Week 2017, Council's Sustainability team have released their version of snakes and ladders. The game is actually 'Hoses and Ladders' and illustrates water saving habits in a fun and interactive way!

Print the file in A3 and use a dice, and tokens of your choice. And don't forget, be waterwise! :-)

Mick Brady, Sustainability Officer – Waste, putting a waste education sticker on a bin

Muswellbrook residents may have noticed some colourful characters appearing on their wheelie bins.

They are the “Waste Wranglers” introduced as part of Muswellbrook Shire Council’s waste education program.

Max the Minimiser, Reece the Recycler and Gene the Gardener are delivering important messages a reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill.

All recyclable material collected from households in Muswellbrook is taken to the Material Recovery Facility at Gateshead. Here, the recyclables are sorted and separated and then sold to a variety of markets.

The State Government imposes a waste levy on Council, so any material put into landfill attracts a cost and avoiding landfill is a high priority.

There are also many other benefits of recycling. Putting recyclable material into landfill also means using more raw materials which wastes a lot of natural resources such as energy and water.

“The Council puts a lot of effort into recycling because it makes economic and environmental sense. We want to give honest feedback to the community that recycling is important and help them make the right choices” Mick Brady, council’s sustainability officer for waste, said.

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

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

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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