burst water pipe

4:40pm: Council has been advised of a water main break in Newman Street, Muswellbrook. In order to effect repairs an interruption to supply will occur for approximately 4 hours from the time of shutdown; which are expected be around 4.00pm.

Areas potentially affected by this interruption will include: Cook, Newman, Kombala, Bligh and Dumaresq Streets.

Council apologises for any inconvenience caused. The service to these properties will be resumed as soon as possible

pile of draft documents held together with bull clips

Pursuant to Section 93G of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, members of the public are invited to inspect a proposed draft Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) between Muswellbrook Shire Council and Muswellbrook Coal Company Limited.

Muswellbrook Coal Company Limited has offered to enter into the voluntary planning agreement with Council to make monetary contributions towards the funding of community projects.

The below draft Voluntary Planning Agreement between Muswellbrook Coal Company Limited and Muswellbrook Shire Council is on public exhibition until 09 February 2018.

Draft Voluntary Planning Agreement


All interested parties are invited to inspect the exhibited documents and make written submission, addressed to:
• The General Manager, PO Box 122, Muswellbrook NSW 2333.
• Or by email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For further information please contact Council’s Executive Services Coordinator on 02 6549 3744.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) has suspended fire permits from midnight 11th December 2017 until further notice in the Muswellbrook and Singleton Local Government Areas because of local climatic conditions.
NSW RFS Operational Officer Leanne Bell said the decision to suspend fire permits has been made in order to help keep the local community safe from bush and grass fires.

“In dry and windy conditions fires can start quickly and spread rapidly. With the predicted hot weather forecasted for this week, combined with the lack of decent rainfall in the area has led to an increased risk of bush and grass fires in the Hunter Valley district area,” Operational Officer Bell said.

“Just one spark from a planned hazard reduction or a pile burn can cause a fire to spread and threaten life and property.”

“While fire permits have been suspended, we encourage residents to play their part by preparing their property for fire which includes removing flammable materials from around their yards, clearing leaves from gutters and checking hose lengths.”

“It is also important to make or update your Bush Fire Survival Plan and have a conversation with your family to ensure that everyone knows what to do and where they will go in the event that they are threatened by a bush or grass fire.”
Anyone wishing to light a fire during the Bush Fire Danger Period must obtain a permit from their local Fire Control Centre. Serious penalties, including fines and/or imprisonment, apply for starting a fire without a permit during the Bush Fire Danger Period.

“Permits ensure that fire is used safely and to minimise the danger to landholders, their property and the community,” Operational Officer Bell said.

Permits may be authorised in exceptional circumstances, such as public safety or essential business works. To request an exemption, contact the Hunter Valley Fire Control Centre.

For further information on how you can protect your property, or to get the guide to making your Bush Fire Survival Plan, visit the NSW RFS website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or call the Hunter Valley Fire Control Centre on 6575 1200.

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.”

sign on sportsground "field closed"

Olympic Park Oval 1, Highbrook Park Oval 1, VictoriaPark Oval  2, Weeraman Fields Oval 1 in Muswellbrook, and Denman Recreational Grounds Oval 1 will be closed during the period Monday 26 March to 20 April 2018 whilst Council completes an over sow program.

This benefits of over sowing of Ryegrass is that it provides an actively growing cool season grass cover that will help provide a safe, high quality playing surface whilst normal warm season grass types are dormant.

This will minimise the heavily worn playing surfaces normally encountered in this region with our warm season grass types.

There is only a 3 week period from the time of sowing the seed until the field is reopened, minimising the disruption to users.

Although the main fields will be closed you may use the alternate field or if an issue contact Council to discuss an alternative venue.

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.

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.

Loxton House rear exterior artist's impression

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Muswellbrook Recycle Water Treatment Works The 3D model

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

Woman at cafe checking her email on a tablet

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

Pouring the concrete slab

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.

Woman wearing an Akubra hat waving the Australian flag

Fun and free family actvities for eveyone at both Muswellbrook and Denman Aquatic Centres from 12pm on Australia Day.

Muswellbrook Aquatic Centre entrance

Mondays and Wednesdays 11:15-11:45a. Only $6.10.

Call Muswellbrook Aquatic Centre in  6541 2999 for details.

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.

Inflated whale tail at Muswellbrook Indoor pool

Giant Whale Tail is available every Tuesday and Thursday throughout school holidays between 12:00-1:00pm and 1:30-2:30pm for $4.00 per session, plus pool entry.

Pool rockers are available for hire in half hour blocks for only $4.00 at Muswellbrook aquatic centres. Hire a rocker for any occasion, such as having a bit of extra fun with a group of friends, or to include in your next pool party.
Book a rocker with aquatic centre staff .

Woman wearing an Akubra hat waving the Australian flag

The annual Australia Day Awards Ceremony is a free community event that begins at 8.00am with a complimentary BBQ breakfast. The event includes a citizenship ceremony and entertainment, and a free family fun afternoon at Muswellbrook and Denman Aquatic Centres from 12 noon.

When: Friday 26 January 2018
Where: Denman Indoor Sports Centre

  • Free BBQ breakfast from 8:00am
  • Citizenship ceremony and awards presentations from 9:00am
  • FREE entry from 12pm to Muswellbrook and Denman Aquatic Centres

Ability Links will be hosting an Including You tent, which includes a range of hearing and visual aids and noise-cancelling headphones. Their sensory tee-pees will be a welcoming quiet space for children to escape the noise and crowds.

Muswellbrook Aquatic Centre

  • FREE entry from 12pm
  • FREE BBQ lunch
  • Jumping Castle
  • Giant Whale Tail
  • DJ
  • Petting zoo
  • Fire Truck Display
  • Sheep Shearing demos
  • Whip cracking demos
  • Thong Throwing Competition
  • Face Painting and fairy floss

Apex logo

Denman Aquatic Centre

  • FREE entry from 12pm
  • FREE BBQ lunch
  • Jumping Castle
  • Giant Inflatables
  • Petting zoo
  • Fire Truck Display
  • Thong Throwing Competition
  • Face Painting

Artist's impression of Muswellbrook's Olympic Park percinct walkway

Rate payers of Muswellbrook Shire are asked to provide their views on priority projects that will improve services to residents, stimulate the local economy, provide new entertainment opportunities for the community and attract visitors to the region.

Council has continued to pursue the ambitious set of priorities captured after extensive community consultation and reflected in the Muswellbrook Community Strategic Plan.

To fund the implementation of these projects, Councillors unanimously resolved to place two options before the community for feedback.

The first option includes a permanent, one-off increase of 12.3% (18.3% for mining rates, both including the 2.3% rate peg) from 2018/19 which will fund:

Improvements in stormwater management, particularly in Denman

Upgrades to Muswellbrook’s Olympic Park precinct

A new Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre

Additional support for job creation across the Shire.

The second option will increase rates by the anticipated 2.3% rate peg. Council’s present works program will continue within existing resources.

Martin Rush, Mayor of Muswellbrook, said:

“Council has carefully considered community priorities and now asks local residents to let us know their views on these options. Council has no preconceived views on the options. We will continue to deliver balanced budgets and the high standard of services and infrastructure our community expects of its Council.”

Cr Steven Reynolds, Councillor Spokesperson for Community Engagement said:

“The options Council is asking the community to consider will deliver significantly improved facilities to all the families that use the popular Olympic Park venue. It will increase car parking and enhance road safety. Council has worked closely with Olympic Park user groups and they solidly support the proposal.”

Cr Jason Foy, Councillor Spokesperson for the Arts said:

“Council has listened to the community over the last twelve months and refined the original concept for a regional performance space. We are eager to get feedback on the new Entertainment and Conference Centre proposal. It will add a new level of entertainment, performance and recreational opportunities for our Shire’s local families. As well as this, it will bring visitors from the wider region and new economic activity.”

Have Your Say:

Council is seeking your feedback, until 12:00pm 19 January 2018, on this proposal in a number of ways.

Write to Council at PO Box 122, Muswellbrook NSW 2333

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

The consultation has confirmed ongoing community support to cement Muswellbrook as the Regional Centre for the Upper Hunter – with the infrastructure to match – such as an Entertainment and Conference Centre and quality regional sporting facilities.

Whatever the outcome, Muswellbrook rate payers will continue to pay amongst the lowest rates in the Hunter region.

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.

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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