EXHIBITION OF PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS

The following development application has been received by Council.  The applications are on public exhibition until 27 April 2020. Any submissions regarding these applications will be received by Council until the close of business on 27 April 2020.

APPLICATION NO.

DESCRIPTION OF LAND

WORK PROPOSED

DA 2020/28

PT 39 Alt A & B DP 561037
39-40 Market Street
MUSWELLBROOK

Alterations and additions to two (2) existing dwellings and their strata subdivision

DA 2020-28 BASIX Certificate

DA 2020-28 Plans to Accompany Development Application

DA 2020-28 Site Plan and Elevations

DA 2020-28 Statement of Environmental Effects

DA 2020-28 Statement of Heritage Impact

 

For further information please contact Council’s Planning & Regulatory Service Department on 6549 3745.

Submissions to Council: Should an objector consider that the disclosure of their name and address would result in detriment to themselves, “OBJECTION IN CONFIDENCE“ must be prominently written at the top of their submission. However, Council may still be obliged not to release the full details of the submission, including name and address, under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

 

 

From Monday, 30 March 2020, Council will be carrying out odour control improvement works to the sewer pumping station located adjacent to the corner of Bell Street and Maitland Street, Muswellbrook.

The works will include replacement of the pumping station’s odour control unit. Once installed, the new odour control unit will eliminate future odour from the site.

During the period of construction works, approximately from Wednesday, 1 April 2020 to Wednesday, 8 April 2020, some odour may be evident at the site.

Council will endeavour to ensure this period of increased odour is minimised as much as possible.

Tuesday 31st March 2020 Update: HOUSEHOLD WASTE DISPOSAL AT MUSWELLBROOK WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY SUSPENDED

Council has temporarily suspended household waste disposal services at Muswellbrook Waste and Recycling Centre and Denman Transfer Station from 1 April, 2020 until further notice. The suspension of public access will be reviewed on a two weekly cycle.

The facility is being temporarily closed as a precautionary measure to reduce physical contact between people, including Council staff. A public health order issued by the NSW Government is now in place to enforce social distancing rules and minimise situations for people to gather.

Kerbside collections will continue as usual and Council encourages the community to use the bins to dispose of garbage, recycling and garden organics as normal. For the upcoming Easter period kerbside collection will be deferred by ONE DAY to accommodate the Easter Monday public holiday. Therefore Monday’s collection area will be serviced on Tuesday and so on, with normal service resuming on Monday 20 April, 2020.

For those in the community who do not have access to a kerbside waste collection service, a number of options are being considered. Information relating to this will be provided over the coming days.

The re-use shop at the Muswellbrook waste management facility is also closed until further notice.

 

COVID-19: UPDATES AND IMPACTS ON COUNCIL SERVICES

Muswellbrook Shire Council is taking action in the interest of the health and wellbeing of the community in response to the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Council has a duty of care to the community and staff and we are committed to taking whatever action we can to prevent the spread of the virus in our region.

Slowing down of the infection rate is a priority and the most effective approach is through ‘social distancing’ which includes avoiding crowds, meetings and gatherings, staying home if you are sick, working from home, giving people ‘space’ and most importantly practising good personal hygiene.

Council is taking preventative measures within its operations to safeguard staff and the general public. Non-essential meetings will be cancelled or held online or by phone and staff are being told that they should not attend work if they have symptoms of cold or flu.

CANCELATIONS AND CLOSURES

Muswellbrook Shire Council is temporarily closing all playgrounds and a number of its sites and facilities as a precautionary measure in the interests of public health. We are taking measures to reduce the risk of contact with COVID-19 and to promote social distancing. This includes limiting physical contact between people including Council staff. Many Council services will still be available online or over the telephone.

ALL PLAYGROUNDS TEMPORARILY CLOSED

From 27 March 2020, Council will close all playgrounds and erect notices of the closure. Council regrets the impact of this important precautionary measure, however it is necessary to protect the community’s children and their parents. Shared pathways, cycleways and open green space will remain open, with social distancing in place.

ADMINISTRATION CENTRE TEMPORARILY CLOSED

Muswellbrook Shire Council’s Administration Centre will be closed from 4.30pm on Friday, 27 March until further notice. Staff will still be available to assist you by telephone or email during normal working hours - 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. An out-of-hours answering service for urgent Council matters is available on 6549 3700.

Customers are asked to call Council by telephone on 6549 3700, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.muswellbrook.nsw.gov.au to access the Online Service Portal. Bill payments can also be made over the phone, through the Online Service Portal or by using BPay.

If there are issues that cannot be resolved remotely, please contact Council to make an appointment to make other arrangements.

Council is currently working on plans to provide flexible services, including library outreach and deliveries.

CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE:

  • Libraries – Muswellbrook and Denman. Visit www.uhrl.nsw.gov.au to access eBooks and more online or call Muswellbrook Library on 6543 1913 for assistance.
  • Muswellbrook Aquatic and Fitness Centre
  • Denman Memorial Pool
  • Visitor Information Centres (VICs) – Muswellbrook and Denman
  • Muswellbrook Indoor Sports Centre
  • Denman Indoor Sports Centre
  • Denman Memorial Hall
  • Stan Thiess Centre
  • Sporting venues for group and organised activities. You can still take the dog for a walk or kick a ball around with your kids, just keep up the social distancing and hand washing.
  • Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre
  • Senior Citizens Centre
  • Karoola Off-Leash Dog Park
  • All Council Departments: Access will be by appointment only and will be assessed on a case by case basis.

CURRENTLY OPEN with restrictions:

  • Muswellbrook Animal Shelter will remain open with strict adherence to social distancing. Residents must contact the Animal Shelter Co-ordinator on 6549 3777 to make an appointment to view, adopt, surrender or collect any animals to ensure safety for the general public and Shelter staff. All animal related payments can be made at Council’s Administration Centre by appointment only, to make an appointment please call Council’s Administration Centre on 6549 3700.

PUBLIC TOILETS REMAIN OPEN

  • Council’s public toilets will remain open at this stage. Council will increase the frequency of cleaning of these facilities. Users are urged to bring toilet paper, as Council cannot guarantee that the toilet paper provided will not be stolen.

Upper Hunter Regional Library

Please be advised that under State Library NSW guidance, and to slow the spread of COVID-19 we have decided to cancel all public events at the Muswellbrook and Denman Libraries including story time sessions, brain training, lego club and crafty hour effective from 19th March 2020 until further notice.

Muswellbrook Shire Council understands that the uncertainty of the current situation is unsettling and will endeavour to provide information as it is made available.

Muswellbrook Shire Council encourages the community continue to visit the Library Network website where the community has to access electronic resources from home including eBooks, digital audio books and digital magazines.

If you are isolated and are having difficulty accessing these services or wish to renew your loans please call the Muswellbrook Library on 6543-1913 and we will assist you over the phone. 

Cancellations

Easter Family Fun Day has been cancelled.  Council will no longer make the Denman Memorial Hall or Stan Thiess Centre available for hire and Seasonal and Organised Sporting Activites and Event Hire have been suspended at all Sporting Facilities and Grounds until further notice.

No cash payments will be accepted at any Council facilities (payment by card or cheque only) including at the Waste Management Facilities and Administration Centre.

Council is currently working on a range of strategies to deliver services remotely or to vulnerable people and those in self-isolation.

Council is continually assessing the situation and will advise of any change in services as soon as possible.

Further information about NSW and Australia-wide arrangements can be found here:

https://preview.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-updates

https://www.australia.gov.au/

For health advice on COVID-19 go to: www.health.gov.au/covid19-resources

The safety of our community, customers and employees is our top priority. We take advice on all public health matters from the State and Federal health departments.

Follow this link to access further information on coronavirus: 

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

Notice of Exhibition Muswellbrook DCP 2009 Amendments

and Muswellbrook Shire Council Rivers and Drainage Channels Policy

Council is proposing to make changes to Muswellbrook Development Control Plan 2009.  The changes involve:

Deleting Section 4 – Notification. With changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and the recent adoption of the Muswellbrook Shire Community Participation Plan, this section of the DCP is now redundant.

Amending Section 25 – Storm Water Management.    The proposed changes involve:

  • Include references to the Muswellbrook Urban Riparian Landcare Master Plan and the Muswellbrook Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan 2018;
  • Detail on when easements in favour of Muswellbrook Council will be required for developments sites adjoining the urban stormwater system;
  • Identifying when Council may reimburse landholders for costs associated with creation of easements;
  • Correct formatting errors;
  • Provide clarification on certain matters regarding piping of open drainage channels and requirements for pollution reduction devices; and
  • Updating references to legislation, plans and policies that are relevant to planning for storm water management.

Council is also proposing to update the Rivers and Drainage Channels Policy to support the changes to the DCP.

The amended Section 25 - Storm Water Management, and the revised Rivers and Drainage Channels Policy documents are on public exhibition during business hours at the Council Offices at 157 Maitland Street, Muswellbrook or via the Council Website (www.council.muswellbrook.nsw.gov.au) for the period Friday, 13 March 2020 until Monday, 20 April 2020.

Written submissions concerning the proposed changes to the DCP and Rivers and Drainage Channels Policy may be made to Council during the exhibition period. Submissions should be in writing and can be posted, or emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The last day for the receipt of submissions is close of business Monday, 6 April 2020.

Please note, confidentiality is not available to respondents. The details of any submissions may be included in a Council report or forwarded to the proponent.  Submissions are balanced with Council’s statutory obligations, the rights of the proponent and the public interest. Council will consider any submissions made before it decides whether to proceed with the proposed amendments

Where relevant, a Political Donation and Gift Disclosure Statement must accompany any submission lodged with Council. Under Section 110.4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 any person who makes a submission to Council is required to disclose any political donation or gift.

If you have any enquiries please contact Council on 6549 3700.  Written submissions should be addressed to:

The General Manager

Muswellbrook Shire Council

PO Box 122

Muswellbrook NSW 2333

 

 

Draft Rivers and Drainage Channels Policy - March 2020

DCP Amendments Section 25 Water Management

Closure of Wybong Road at the Overton Road intersection and at the Wybong Road entrance to Mt Pleasant Mine.

Bengalla Mining Company has advised Muswellbrook Shire Council that a geotechnical investigation is underway at Bengalla Mine that requires the ongoing closure of Wybong Road, until further notification. Bengalla Mine will liaise with Muswellbrook Shire Council on the outcome of the geotechnical investigation. A decision will then be made by Council on a timeframe for the reopening of Wybong Road. All mine workers should use Denman Road and Bengalla link Road to access Mt Pleasant as an alternative route.

For further information contact Council Administration on 6549 3700.

Web banner Title Header
 

From March 2nd 2020, Muswellbrook Shire will be on LEVEL 2 Water Restrictions.

Mandatory Level 2 Water Restrictions have been implemented from 2 March to encourage responsible water usage in the community and respond to ongoing drought conditions in the Upper Hunter. Despite recent rainfall Muswellbrook’s water source, Glenbawn Dam is still at only 40% capacity.

A moratorium on the enforcement of Mandatory Level 2 Water Restrictions will be in place until 6 April, 2020. After 6 April non-compliance with Mandatory Level 2 Water Restrictions may result in enforcement action.

Exemptions

For special cases you may apply to Muswellbrook Shire Council for an exemption from the restriction.
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Watering using the Odds and Evens system applies

  • If your street number is odd, you can water in accordance with the restrictions 
  • on odd days.
  • If your street number is even, you can water in accordance with the restrictions on even days.
  • If your street number is a range, then the first number in the range determines whether you water on odd or even days. E.g. If your property is 12-15 Smith Street, you can water on even days in accordance with the restrictions.
  • If your property has no street number, treat it as even, you can water in accordance with the restrictions on even days.

TARGET MAXIMUM RESIDENTIAL WATER USAGE –240 litres per person per day

Watering lawns

Water your lawn from
*OCTOBER TO APRIL (during daylight savings)
Permitted every second day using odds and evens system
during these times:
between 6:00am - 9:00am
between 6:00pm - 9:00pm

*APRIL TO OCTOBER
Permitted every second day using odds and evens
system during these times:
between 7:00am - 10:00am
between 4:00pm - 7:00pm

 

Watering residential gardens

Water your garden from
*October to April
Permitted every second day using odds and evens system during these times:
between 6:00am - 9:00am
between 6:00pm - 9:00pm

*April to October
Permitted every second day using odds and evens system during these times:
between 7:00am - 10:00am
between 4:00pm - 7:00pm

 

Top up or fill garden water features

Permitted
 

Irrigation of new turf

Permitted for one week after laying, after which level 2 restrictions on watering lawns applies (see above)
 

Wash down walls, paved surfaces or windows

Not permitted
 

Top up swimming pools/spa

Permitted during these times:
between 7:00am - 9:00am
between 6:00pm - 8:00pm
 

First fill of private swimming pool

Permitted during these times:
between 7:00am - 9:00am
between 6:00pm - 8:00pm
 

Wash vehicles and boats at home

Permitted using a bucket and rinsing with a trigger hose, on the lawn, between 9:00am - 12:00pm
 

Baths and showers

Permitted
 

Wash Clothes

Permitted
 

Use evaporative air conditioners

Permitted
 

Use inflatable or temporary pool

Permitted. First fill then top up during these times:
between 7:00am - 9:00am
between 6:00pm - 8:00pm

 

 

Download Level 2 Water Restrictions Fact Sheet

For further information call the Council Administration 02 65493700

The Visitor Information Centre (VIC) has now been relocated from the Library to the former cafe at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre (MRAC), Corner Bridge and William Streets, Muswellbrook NSW 2333.

The move is designed to make it easier for visitors to find the VIC, drop into the MRAC with better parking for caravans and large vehicles as well as being close to the SImpson Park playground.

For further information contact the Visitor Centre on (02) 6549 3891

 The Muswellbrook Aquatic Centre's Indoor and outdoor pools are open.

1-2 FEBRUARY, 2020 - TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF MUSWELLBROOK AQUATIC AND FITNESS CENTRE

Council advises that to facilitate further demolition works as part of the Early Works Program the Muswellbrook Aquatic and Fitness Centre will be closed on Saturday, February 1 and Sunday, February 2.

The work includes the removal of bonded asbestos pipe encased in concrete. All work will be completed in accordance with the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017.

Council has engaged a licenced demolition and asbestos removalist to undertake the work including the engagement of an experienced occupational hygienist to ensure safe operations at all times.

Major construction works for the Aquatic and Fitness Centre upgrade are scheduled to take place during the 2020 Winter season. The Early Works Program currently underway includes the demolition of the outdoor Learn to Swim and toddler pools, investigation of leaking, relocation of services and pressure testing

Significant features of the upgrade are the construction of a state of the art indoor area featuring a new water activity park, Learn to Swim and Therapy pool, new entrance and foyer, kiosk, and dry play party room.

 

 

29 JANUARY, 2020 - TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF MUSWELLBROOK AQUATIC AND FITNESS CENTRE

Muswellbrook Shire Council advise that to facilitate further demolition works as part of the Early Works Program the Muswellbrook Aquatic and Fitness Centre will be closed on Saturday February 1 and Sunday February 2. 



2 DECEMBER, 2019 – EARLY WORKS PROGRAM

The Muswellbrook Aquatic and Fitness Centre Masterplan, adopted by Muswellbrook Shire Council earlier this year following extensive community consultation, is an ambitious and exciting upgrade of one of the town’s most popular facilities.

Significant features of the upgrade are the construction of a state of the art indoor area featuring a new water activity park, Learn to Swim and Therapy pool, new entrance and foyer, kiosk, dry play party room and viewing deck.

Major construction works on the Aquatic Centre upgrade will take place during the 2020 winter season. However,  an Early Works Program, including  investigation of  leakage in the 50m outdoor pool and the demolition of the outdoor Learn to Swim and Toddler pools, relocation of services and pressure testing, will get underway in January.

The outdoor 50m pool, indoor pool and fitness centre will remain open during the Early Works Program although access to some areas of the facility will be restricted. Learn to Swim classes will be held in the outdoor pool over eight weeks of the first term next year. The upgrade of the fitness centre to allow 24/7 access will be completed as part of the major works program.

Successful grant funding applications support the redevelopment with $1 million granted towards the water activity park from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities fund and $900,000 towards the Learn to Swim and Therapy pool from the Ridgeland’s Community Fund.

 

Queries to:

Matt Lysaught 
Manager Property and Building Services

or

Paul Chandler, Project Manager

Property and Building Services

(02) 6549 3700

Muswellbrook Shire Council is committed to working closely with the community to deliver this vital infrastructure project and we want to keep you informed. To maintain our water and wastewater services we will be upgrading sections of the water main network around Muswellbrook.

This is a very important initiative for residents and businesses of Muswellbrook as it will ensure the local community continues to receive a reliable water service.

We understand there will be some short term disturbance, but rest assured in the long term your area will benefit from improved water quality and reliability.

Muswellbrook Shire Council has partnered with H L Mullane & Son Pty ltd to undertake the construction of these new water mains. The works will begin in January 2020 and is expected to be completed by May 2020. The table below details the sections of water main that will be renewed;

Project

Project Start Location

Project End Location

Hill Street Railway Crossing Water Main

Bridge Street

Hunter Terrace

William Street Water Main

Market Street

Sowerby Street

Hill Street Water Main

Bridge Street

Sowerby Street

Brook Street Water Main- Upper Section

Sowerby Street

King Street

Brook Street Water Main- Lower Section

Scott Street

Hunter Terrace

Scott Street Water Main

Hill Street

End of Scott Street

Throughout this project we will provide you with regular updates and will work hard to minimise the inconvenience and impacts. We thank you in advance for your patience during these essential works.

 

PROJECT UPDATE

Brook Street Water Main-Upper Section: Construction works are to commence from Monday 13th January 2020 with an estimated completion of early March 2020. Affected residents/businesses will be notified by letter drop and verbal door to door notification before the commencement of works. Construction activities will take place along Hill Street between Sowerby Street to King Street with minor traffic restrictions in place during works.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the Muswellbrook Water Main Renewal Program?

The Muswellbrook Water Main Renewal Program is the replacement of the existing water mains throughout Muswellbrook that have reached the end of their useful life.

The works involve:

  • Construction of water mains along road reserves and nature strips
  • Construction of water mains under railway line using trenchless construction techniques
  • Construction of water services up to residents and businesses water meters
  • Removal of redundant water main fittings in roads and nature strips

Why do we need this project?

These works are critical to replacing aged pipes in the water network and to ensure the ongoing integrity and reliability of the water network. They will also help us more effectively manage and minimise water main breaks, leaks and shutdowns.

When will this project start and finish?

Works will commence in Mid-January 2020 and is expected to conclude May 2020 (weather permitting).

Notification letters will be provided to all affected residents and businesses 1 week prior to the works being undertaken.

What are the construction hours?

The majority of works are scheduled to take place during normal hours- 7am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and on occasions 8am to 1pm on Saturdays (weather permitting)

How will I be impacted during construction?

Local residents may notice:

  • An increase in trucks on local roads
  • Periods of noise when heavy machinery is being used
  • Road closures and traffic impacts around the work area
  • Restrictions to driveway access during construction hours
  • Temporary storage/ site set up in selected locations near work areas
  • Temporary water main shutdown (council will advise of shutdown time at least 48 hours in advance)

How will the water mains be constructed?

We will use a mixture of trenchless technology and open cut construction methods. We will try to minimise our impact on the community where possible.

Will my driveway be affected?

There will be some instance where we will need to block, and even open cut , residents driveways to lay the pipe. We will try to utilise trenchless technology wherever possible to undertaken driveway crossings however in the instance where a driveway is cut, we will restore it to its previous condition. Residents in these areas will experience short disruptions to their driveway access.

If we do need to block a residents driveway we will notify the resident individually and where possible provide at least 24 hours’ notice so alternative parking arrangements can be made.

Will there be a visual impact?

During construction, adjacent residents will see the work area set up, including equipment and materials and some sections of the ground will be excavated. Upon completion of the works any disturbed areas will be reinstated as close as possible to their original condition.

Will there be traffic Management?

Traffic management, including lane closures and speed restrictions, will be in place around the work area to ensure the safety of workers and the community. Signage will be in place to guide road users.

Will my water or sewerage be affected during these works?

Affected residents and businesses will experience a water main shutdown near the working area in order to connect your water meter to the new water main. This shutdown will typically be for 1-2 hours in duration, in which residents and businesses won’t have access to water. Council and the contractor will work with all residents and businesses in order to arrange for appropriate times to switch over your water service in order to minimise the disruption. Council will advise residents at least 48 hours in advance when a shutdown is expected.

Who do I contact if I have any questions, issues of concerns?

If would like further information regarding Muswellbrook Water Main Renewal Program, please contact the Muswellbrook Shire Council Water and Waste

on: Phone: 02 6549 3840

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

Please also visit www.muswellbrook.nsw.gov.au for regular updates of the Muswellbrook Water Main Renewals Program.

 

 

 2019-2020 Resealing Programme

Weather permitting, during December 2019, resealing works will be carried out over a number of Muswellbrook Shire urban, rural and state road sites. Prior to the carrying out of the work, affected residents will be notified by letter drop.

Resurfacing sealed roads in the Muswellbrook Shire is an important way to protect our local road infrastructure and extend its useful life by preventing the deterioration of the bitumen surface, and very valuable subsurface pavement and drainage.

Details of the proposed re-sealing program follow.

 

Muswellbook Urban

Street

From

To

HILLVIEW AVE

CARL ST

CULDESAC

KING ST

CLENDINNING ST

UPPER WILLIAM ST

SEMILLON ST

SHIRAZ ST

COOK ST

ST JAMES CR

ADAMS ST

THOMPSON ST

THOMPSON ST

ADAMS ST

DONALDSON ST

Denman Urban

Street

From

To

MARTINDALE ST

PAXTON ST

PALACE ST

MERTON ST

VIRGINIA ST

PAXTON ST

ROSEMOUNT RD, DMN

VIRGINIA ST

SURVEYOR GEN DR

 

Rural Roads

Street

Chainage From

From

To

BAERAMI CREEK RD

Bylong Valley Way

5.00 KM

6.91 KM

GIANTS CREEK RD

Golden Highway

13.72 KM

14.95 KM

MANGOOLA RD

Golden Highway

12.00 KM

13.00 KM

ROSEMOUNT RD

Surveyor General Drive

5.00 KM

6.00 KM

WIDDEN VALLEY RD

Bylong Valley Way

10.00 KM

13.58 KM

WYBONG RD

Kayuga Road

14.31 KM

16.80 KM

 

Resealing work also will be carried out on a number of sections of Denman Road and Golden Highway during this period.

The Local Sport Defibrillator Program 2019-2020 is now open, offering up to $1 million in grants to grass roots sporting clubs and councils towards the purchase of defibrillators.

With more and more people of all ages participating in amateur sport, it’s vital clubs and councils are equipped to respond to life-threating emergencies.

Sporting clubs across the state are encouraged to apply for grants for this potentially life-saving equipment.

 

The Local Sport Defibrillator Grant Program is a four-year $4 million NSW Government program delivered by the NSW Office of Sport.

More than 1,160 grants have been awarded to sporting clubs and councils across NSW since the launch of the program with almost $1 million in grants awarded during 2018/19.

Grants are available for up to 50% of the package.

 

You can make an application up until the close date  5pm 8 April 2020.

 

More information is available at https://sport.nsw.gov.au/clubs/grants/defibrillator

 

 

Rethink Water in the home and garden. Every drop counts since Mandatory Level 1 Water Restrictions have been implemented in the Muswellbrook Shire.

We are encouraging responsible water usage in the community and proactively responding to ongoing drought conditions in the Upper Hunter.

Download all or any of the 8 brochures on tips for saving water below!

 

20 MBK Council Rethink Water Garden20 MBK Council Rethink Water HOME

 

 

Level 1 Water Restriction List

Download useful tips for RETHINKING WATER - All 8 pamphlets

RETHINK Water in the Garden

RETHINK Water in the Home

RETHINK Water About your water meter

RETHINK Water Grey Water

RETHINK Water in the Pool

RETHINK Waste Water System (OSSM)

RETHINK Water Pollution

RETHINK Water Bottled VS Tap

The Pesticide Use Notification Plan (PNUP) has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Pesticides Regulation 2017 (the Regulation). The plan sets out how Muswellbrook Shire Council will notify members of the community of pesticide applications it makes or allows to be made to public places that it owns or manages.

Anyone wishing to contact Muswellbrook Shire Council to discuss the Pesticide Use Notification Plan or to obtain details of pesticide applications in public places should contact:

Muswellbrook Shire Council, Works Coordinator – Parks on 02 6549 3818

2019-2020 Pesticide Use Notification Plan

Feral cats threaten the survival of over 100 native species throughout Australia and have caused the extinction of some ground-dwelling birds and small mammals.

Numbers are on the rise in the Muswellbrook Shire.

In an effort to stem this predation by feral cats Muswellbrook Shire Council will no longer charge a fee for the loan of a cage trap, for a 12 month trial period from 1 July 2019.

The trapping of feral cats by using cage traps is an effective tool in urban and residential areas where domestic cats are also present and individual wild cats need to be targeted.

Non-target animals can be released unharmed and trapped feral cats can be taken to Council animal care facility or local vet clinics for disposal.

Council previously charged a deposit, refundable on return of the cage trap, and a fee for the use of a cage trap but will now just require identification.

Feral cats are the same species as domestic cats but live and reproduce in the wild and survive by hunting or scavenging and can carry infectious diseases which can be transmitted to native animals, domestic livestock and humans.

The cats are predominantly solitary and nocturnal, spending most of the day in the safety of a shelter such as a rabbit burrow, log or rock pile. They are carnivores, generally eating small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects and mostly feed at night.

Predation by feral cats is listed as a key threatening process under section 188 of Australia’s national environment law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), which was updated in 2008.

Many native animals are struggling to survive so reducing the number killed by this introduced predator will help their populations to grow.

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.

Blasting Licence

Click here to view the latest Blasting Notices

 

Water Monitoring

Click here to view the latest results for the 2019-2020 Muswellbrook Waste Water Monitoring Results 1593

Click here to view the latest results for the 2019-2020 Denman Waste Water Monitoring Results 5059

Waste Monitoring

Click here to see the latest results for the 2019-2020 Muswellbrook Waste Leachate Report 5980

 

EPA Environmental Protection Authority link

Click here to visit the Environmental Protection Authority

 

For further information please contact Muswellbrook Council on 02 6549 3700.

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

 2019-2020 Operational Plan

 2019-2029 Long Term Financial Plan

 Strategic Asset Management Plan

 2013-2017 Workforce Management Plan

 2017-2018 Annual Report

 2018-2019 Annual Report

 2019 Community Satisfaction Survey report

 2019/2020 Fees and Charges

 Community Participation Plan

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.

 

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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

 

 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.

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

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 will be no Learn to Swim or Aqua Aerobics classes from Monday 23rd March until further notice.

The Muswellbrook Aquatic and Fitness Centre will not be taking any re-enrolments for the School Holiday Intensives and Term 2 2020 until further notice.

Look for updates on the Muswellbrook Shire Council Website.

Thank you,

Muswellbrook Aquatic and Fitness Centre Staff

If you would like to know What's On at the Pool before you come to swim - please check the Calendars for Muswellbrook and Denman. We are a community pool and sometimes have events like Swimming Classes and School Swimming Carnivals.

Aquatic Centre Muswellbrook Pool Activity Calendar

Aquatic Centre Denman Calendar

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 at the pool  (02) 6549 3786

or drop by, Wilkinson Avenue in Muswellbrook

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

Download the Muswellbrook Flying Fox Camp Management Plan using the link below:

 

Muswellbrook Flying Fox Camp Management Plan

Rethink Water in the home and garden. Every drop counts since Mandatory Level 1 Water Restrictions have been implemented in the Muswellbrook Shire. We are encouraging responsible water usage in the community and proactively responding to ongoing drought conditions in the Upper Hunter.

 

Download useful tips for RETHINKING WATER - All 8 pamphlets

RETHINK Water in the Garden

RETHINK Water in the Home

RETHINK Water About your water meter

RETHINK Water Grey Water

RETHINK Water in the Pool

RETHINK Waste Water System (OSSM)

RETHINK Water Pollution

RETHINK Water Bottled VS Tap

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.

Muswellbrook Urban Riparian Master Plan 2018

 


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.

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