The Denman Town Centre Upgrade Concepts, are on Public Exhibition.

To view the proposed concepts visit Council’s website at or at Council’s Administration Centre, Denman or Muswellbrook libraries.

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

This plan creates opportunities for improved retail, commercial and public activities, improve parking and access in and around the town centre, address stormwater issues and create high quality public spaces.

Key features of the concepts include creating improved public spaces in Ogilvie Street, enhancement of the heritage character of the town centre and construction of off street parking. Memorial Park, the site of town’s Anzac memorial, is critical to the concept. Upgrades planned for the park include improved green space for events, a new children’s playground, picnic facilities, landscaping and new public amenities.

Council allocated $2.5 million to the town centre upgrade in the 2018-2019 budget and have dedicated $1.94 million to the reconstruction of Denman Memorial Hall. Construction is expected to start in the near future.

Denman is recognised as the fast-developing centre of the Upper Hunter’s tourism industry. Council believes that everybody in the Denman community will benefit from the projects and will work towards timely completion of its masterplan for Denman.

For further information please contact Council on 02 6549 3700.

DA 54/2018 Public Exhibition 5/07/18 - 6/08/2018


DA 2018-054 Development Application Access Report

DA 2018-054 Noise Impact Assessment

DA 2018-054 Statement of Environmental Effects

DA 2018-054 Statement of Heritage Impact

DA 2018-054 Traffic and Parking Report May 2018

For further information please contact Council’s Project Planner, Ms Alisa Evans on 02 6549 3745.

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.


2018-2019 Muswellbrook EPA Sewerage Licence 1593

2017-2018 Denman EPA Sewerage Licence 5059

2018-Muswellbrook EPA Waste Monitoring Licence 5980

For further information please contact Council on 02 6549 3700.

Council is delighted to announce that Fiona Plesman has been appointed as Council’s General Manager for a term of four years commencing on 1 July 2018. The resolution appointing Ms Plesman was carried by Councillors unanimously last night. Ms Plesman will be Council’s fourth General Manager since the presently constituted Council was formed in 1979.

Fiona is currently Council’s Director of Planning, Corporate and Community Services having come to Council from a senior management role at the City of Penrith. Fiona has held previous senior roles in the university and vocational education sectors and holds a Masters of Organisational Development and a range of other post graduate qualifications.

The appointment comes after a rigorous search for a new General Manager and Fiona was selected from a field of seventeen candidates. Fiona’s enthusiasm and suitability for the role shone through at every stage of the recruitment process.

In relation to the appointment, Martin Rush, Mayor of Muswellbrook said:

“What really impressed councillors was Fiona’s dedication to the Upper Hunter region and ability to bring together multidisciplinary teams to work together to achieve solutions to complex problems. Fiona’s leadership style is focused on outcomes, on building up the capacity of the Council organisation, on staff and community welfare and on a whole-of-community approach to strategic planning.”

“The elected arm of Council welcomes Fiona to her new role as the leader of Council’s executive arm. We are confident that the appointment will be welcomed by staff across the organisation where Fiona is already extremely well regarded for her inclusive but firm approach to decision-making.”

The Muswellbrook Shire Council and Singleton Council are continuing the fight to reduce harmful emissions from smoky chimneys in the area.

Web button 8

A smoky chimney can be the result of a number of things and usually simple actions such as opening the damper when using a wood heater and regular cleaning of chimney flues will reduce smoke emissions.

Both Councils are offering cash rebates for residents engaging professional chimney cleaning services.

Council staff members are available on request to inspect, monitor and educate home owners with an ongoing smoky chimney issue.

For more information contact the Muswellbrook Shire Council’s Sustainability Unit on 6549 3700 and follow the tips on how to reduce smoke emission on Council’s Facebook page.

A revitalised town centre for Denman and extensive works on the Shire’s mine affected roads will now proceed following the success of two of Council’s funding applications to the NSW Resources for Regions initiative.

Mayor of Muswellbrook Martin Rush has welcomed the announcement of $2.5 million in funding to progress an exciting new streetscape in Denman and $7.7 million for traffic safety improvements, road renewals and upgrades on the region’s local road network.

“This funding will allow the delivery of these two projects and complements both the vision of the Denman Town Centre Masterplan and Council’s determination to improve the amenity of the region through an improved and well maintained road network.

“I congratulate the Acting General Manager and Council’s Grants team on the quality of the funding applications.”

The Denman revitalisation project includes a new main street streetscape, parking and new facilities for Recreation Vehicles, improvements Memorial Park, including the installation of a playground and the construction of a viewing platform and plaza near the Hunter River levee bank.

The projects all form part of the Denman Town Centre Masterplan, designed to enhance the heritage aspect of Ogilvie Street and other public areas within the town as it builds on existing boutique tourism offerings and develops as a significant regional tourist centre.

The mining affected road network in the Muswellbrook Shire is accessed entirely by the local road network. Council does not have the financial capacity to adequately address the mining impacts on the local road network to an acceptable level of safety and maintenance without the assistance of programs such as Resources for Regions.

The Resources for Regions funding will enable significant improvements to the mining affected road network, improve road safety outcomes and reduce Council’s maintenance costs over the long term.

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

In 2017, Muswellbrook Shire Council identified a significant Pumped Hydro Energy Storage (PHES) opportunity within the Muswellbrook local government area. Council has announced it will shortly call for Expressions of Interest to develop the site for future energy storage.

Muswellbrook Shire Council played a key role in the identification and development of the proposed site and welcomes investment from industry partners to further the feasibility and planning of the project. The potential site has been the subject of ongoing research by Muswellbrook Shire Council and the University of Newcastle.

In August 2017 Council engaged with experts at the Australian National University and the University of Newcastle to investigate the potential for pumped hydro as an economic development initiative.

In these discussions several existing mine voids were identified as having the potential to be used as lower reservoirs. Council then commissioned the University of Newcastle to prepare a study to explore the opportunity further for a site close to Muswellbrook. A report was delivered in October 2017 that identified the proposed site as a “viable option deserving of serious consideration, given the strategic value of its location, scale and relatively low cost of construction.”

Council then acquired an option for the land in order to explore further the opportunity for development. This initiative highlights Council’s role in the economic diversification of the region by supporting projects aimed at unlocking investment opportunities and delivering future jobs. Investigating projects like this is central to Council’s strategy to encourage investment from a broad range of industries from mining to energy and agribusiness. It highlights the collaborative role of the mining sector to diversify their markets and embrace the opportunities inherent in long-term industrial transition.

“When Council consults with community, there is a repeated and consistent concern threaded through all our feedback - where will our kids work in twenty years from now? This is why we continue to explore opportunities like this Pumped Hydro project and why we welcome the opportunity to partner with Industry on projects aimed at delivering future jobs for our Shire,” Muswellbrook Mayor Martin Rush said.

“We are a pioneering and innovative country and we are not afraid of the future. Muswellbrook has proudly played a key role for over a century in energy generation in this country and we are determined to continue to do so for a long time to come.”

“This announcement is possible today through the initial expert advice of Professor Andrew Blakers and Dr Mathew Stocks (ANU) and the in-depth analysis of a team at the University of Newcastle including Professor Richard Bush, Associate Professor Steve Weller, Dr Michael Askew and Dr Matthew Ives (Oxford University).”

“We look forward to seeing the next stage of this project and for what is likely to be a $200million infrastructure project for Muswellbrook Shire with around 200 jobs in construction and 25 ongoing operational jobs.”

Council has now called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) to facilitate the sale of land option for the reservoir and the progression to the next stage of feasibility for the project.

The documents may be downloaded from the E-tendering portal

Tenderlink Logo

For further information please contact Gerry Bobsien on 6549 3700.


What is it?

Pumped hydroelectric energy storage (PHES), is commonly used in electric power systems for load balancing. Energy is stored in the form of gravitational potential energy of water, pumped from a lower elevation reservoir to a higher elevation. The stored water can be released through turbines to produce electric power as required. The flexibility of this system and capacity to store intermittent source of power (e.g. wind and solar) and/or excess electricity from continuous base-load sources (such as coal), is the core advantage.

Pumped storage is the largest-capacity form of grid energy storage currently available, and accounting for more than 96% worldwide. The main disadvantage of PHES are the restrictive landform and hydrological requirements for suitable sites. However, a recent desktop survey by the Australian National University identified hundreds of potentially suitable locations in eastern Australia.

With the assistance of the experts at the ANU and through further research by the University of Newcastle, Council has identified a suitable site for an upper reservoir.

Muswellbrook Shire Council then commissioned a report looking into the viability of the site.

This report was a desktop study investigating the physical parameters of the site alongside energy storage calculations, water storage capacity and a range of cost scenarios. It outlined the value of proceeding to the next stage to investigate economic and technical feasibility. The report concluded that the site was worthy of further investigation.

What is the next phase?

If an interested party is successful with the tender process. Council will transfer the option of land to the proponent who will then embark on a staged process for feasibility of the project.

This feasibility phase is likely to take twelve months and will include studies such as:

Geology, Geomorphology and Geotech.
Engineering concept design
Water concept layout and surface modelling
Vegetation mapping and ecology studies
Power Connection Studies
Financial modelling.

Following studies like these, a planning process is likely to commence with the NSW Government and this extensive process may take 18 months to two years including community consultation and assessments.

Is there a plan of the proposal to look at?

This project is in the very early stages of development. As such, there is no plan at this stage however as the studies progress to the next phase a plan will be developed and a full environmental impact study and planning process undertaken including community consultation.

Hydel pump Small2

Above: this is a PHES system from Germany – built in 1966. It is not new technology!

Image source: Department of Energy (US) Global Energy Storage Database

Muswellbrook Shire Council has engaged Abergeldie Watertech to undertake maintenance and repairs to the sewer network within the Muswellbrook and Denman Townships.

The works will commence on 14 May, 2018 and conclude in July, 2018.

The works form part of a rehabilitation program by Muswellbrook Shire Council to improve the sewerage system for the protection of the local environment and public health.

Activities associated with the work include

  • Internal inspection of maintenance manholes
  • CCTV inspection of sewer mains, both before and after cleaning and relining works
  • Cleaning of sewer pipes
  • Installation of structural liners

As part of the works high pressure cleaning equipment is used to clean the sewer mains before inspections are undertaken.

There is a slight possibility that the high pressure cleaning may cause pressure surges in the sanitary drainage system. Should this occur Council will remedy any occurrence with immediate effect.

If access to a property is required a letter of notification will be provided 48 hours in advance.

Contact Council on 6549 3840 for more information.

 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



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.”

An insidious disease has taken its toll on a local icon and plans for a replacement are already underway.

The Lone Pine in Simpson Park had suffered a significant decline in health and Council Parks staff, after constantly monitoring and providing additional water and other nurturing treatments to the historic tree, sought urgent advice from an expert.

On Friday morning arborist Hugh Taylor, from Australian Tree Consultants, confirmed what Parks staff feared – the tree is dying and beyond treatment. Mr Taylor believes the sudden demise is due to Pine Wilt Nematode (Bursaphelenchus Xylophilus).

The Muswellbrook Lone Pine will be removed and existing soil replaced and sterilised by sunlight for a period of three months. Drip line irrigation will also be installed at the site in preparation for replanting.

The Lone Pine species, Pinus halepensis, is known to be initially fragile and requires considerable care to ensure the tree survives and thrives. A replacement has been sourced by the Muswellbrook RSL Sub Branch from Yarralumla Nursery in Canberra, where the seedlings are propagated.

The original Lone Pine, also known as the Aleppo Pine, was a solitary tree on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey and marked the Battle of Lone Pine in 1915. The pine was the only survivor of a group of trees cut down by Turkish soldiers who used the timber and branches to cover their trenches during the battle.

Two pine cones were brought back to Australia, one by Keith McDonald of the 23rd Battalion and the other by Lance Corporal Benjamin Smith of the 3rd Battalion, who, grieving the loss of his brother in the battle, sent the pine cone home to his mother.

The cone and its seeds were kept in a drawer for around 13 years before an attempt was made to grow some trees, of which two survived.

One was planted at the Australian War Memorial and the other at Inverell, in northern NSW. Each year seeds are carefully collected from the Lone Pine growing at the memorial to produce much sort after offspring – one of which is making its way to 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.


  • 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


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.

Woman at cafe checking her email on a tablet

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

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

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

  • 02-05 January 2018 - 4 day program for only $62.00 per student
  • 08-12 January 2018 - 5 day program for only $77.50 per student
  • 15-19 January 2018 - 5 day program for only $77.50 per student
  • 22-25 January 2018 - 4 day program for only $62.00 per student

Denman Aquatic Centre

  • 08-12 January 2018 - 5 day program for only $77.50 per student
  • 15-19 January 2018 - 5 day program for only $77.50 per student

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:

  • Monday 7 May
  • Monday 4 June
  • Monday 2 July
  • Monday 6 August
  • Monday 3 September

We apologise for any inconvenience.

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

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

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

Muswellbrook’s Sustainability 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 on community support.

Throughout the year The Muswellbrook Penguin Garden Club, Muscle Creek Landcare, Goodstart Learning Centre 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. 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.  

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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