Muswellbrook Shire Council considered a range of items including development applications, tenders, and Council’s Annual Financial Statements and Annual Report at the November 2018 Ordinary Meeting.
Councillors were presented with the 2017/18 Financial Statements and Annual Report which were adopted.
Council agreed to fund a pilot water/energy operation in Sandy Hollow in partnership with Restech and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). It is understand that of the 18 ARENA funded projects in NSW, this is the third for the Muswellbrook Shire. This project is for a pilot demonstration plant located at the Sandy Hollow Water Treatment Plant, which aims to reduce energy costs and integrate solar panels and energy storage into the pumping systems to build a more efficient operation. The novelty in the approach is in considering the water treatment plant as a system, and using all of the engineering freedoms in mechanical, hydrological and electrical engineering to optimise the system as a whole. The result is the motors and design of the loads they drive only operate at full power in short periods or ‘batches’ with known regularity. It is anticipated that the system will each year save 31 MWh of electricity, $9,500 in annual energy costs, and produce compliant drinking water.
Council allocated $250,000 towards the design and planning approvals necessary to facilitate the relocation of Council’s Administration Centre to Muswellbrook’s business precinct. The relocation will facilitate the establishment of the Richard Gill National School of Music Education and meets a key goal of the Muswellbrook Town Centre Strategy.
Council also determined to hold an Extraordinary Meeting on Tuesday, 20 November 2018 at 5.00 pm to further consider two tenders recommended for acceptance.
Council held over to the November Corporate Policy and Planning Committee consideration of reports on the draft Local Orders Policy, a review of the Future Fund Policy and amendments to the Development Control Plan concerning stormwater management. Consideration of a Development Application for proposed office and car parking facilities at Bayswater Power Station were referred to the Development Assessment Committee for determination.
Other decisions from the meeting included:
- Approval of two development applications – a dwelling in Lorne Street, Muswellbrook and for renovations and additions to the Muswellbrook Racing Club. The General Manager was delegated the authority to determine a development application with respect to a board house proposed for Wollombi Road, Muswellbrook.
- Endorsement of a submission to the Department of Planning and Environment on the proposed planning framework for the regulation of short-term rental accommodation, including a determination that in residential, village, industrial and recreational zones, a maximum limit of 180 days be imposed on the number of days each year a home can be made available for short term rental, such as Air BnB.
- Adoption of a Denman Tourist Park Master Plan within the Denman Recreation Area, which was recently publicly exhibited. It will incorporated into the Denman Recreation Area Master Plan. A decision on the location of the proposed netball courts will be considered at a workshop of Councillors in the near future.
- Delegated to the General Manager the determination of the necessary arrangements to proceed with a rezoning proposal for Ironbark Ridge.
- Council received the report of the recommendations of the Community Panel, which met in October 2018.