Council hands down a balanced budget that supports economic diversification, jobs growth and major capital projects, while continuing to meet the State Government’s Fit for the Future benchmarks.


Budget Overview

  • First balanced operating budget, surpluses for all forward estimates.
  • No increase in rates (in real terms)
  • Future Fund will yield a $1m dividend – up from $800,000
  • No new General Fund borrowings
  • $570,287 of debt retired

Graph depicting the General Fund Operating Budget. After showing a depreciation between the financial years 2007/08 and 2013/14 of up to over -$5 million the depreciation value gradually decreased and finally reached surplus from 2014/15. This graph shows a predicted growth of approx $100,000 per financial year between 2017/18 and 20019/20.


Graph depicting average residential rate increases, comparing surrounding local government areas between 2009/10 to 2019/20. Muswellbrook Shire have the lowest average increase for this time period with these comparitive Councils of Mid-Western Regional Council, Singletom Council and Upper Hunter Shire Council.

New Operational Initiatives

  • New Sustainability Team
  • New Integrated Planning and Reporting Unit
  • $106,000 extra for rural roads maintenance
  • $100,000 a year for ‘Graffiti buster’ resource
  • $50,000 a year for improving the Shire’s tourism product
  • New capital initiatives
  • $1 million for Muswellbrook CBD Stage 6.
  • $700,000 for the first stage of Denman Village Centre Concept Master Plan.
  • $710,000 allocation for the Olympic Park Masterplan and construction of a new car park.
  • Road heavy patching program from $150,000 to $480,500.
  • $360,000 for Stage 2 energy efficiency program.
  • $250,000 for major landcare projects within the Shire and additional resources to monitor mine land rehabilitation outcomes in partnership with the State Government.
  • $200,000 for heritage works at Loxton House and Weidmann Cottage.
  • $100,000 for matched dollar for dollar heritage works.
  • $40,000 for the Sandy Hollow Village Master Plan.

Supporting Jobs and Economic Growth and Diversification

  • $500,00 to support jobs growth and encourage business expansion.
  • Reinvestment of the Future Fund’s $1m dividend to continue Council’s strategy to aggressively grow the fund and seed education project grants.
  • New resources for economic research and strategic communications to enhance Council’s capacity to secure external capital grant funding.
  • Establishment of a hub for start up and innovative businesses, including research activity in partnership with the University of Newcastle.
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