Muswellbrook Community Panel ‘has its say’ on proposed application for Special Rate Variation

MEMBERS of the Muswellbrook Shire Council’s Community Panel have expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to be involved in discussions surrounding the proposed application for a Special Rate Variation (SRV). 

The panel convened with councillors and senior staff members for the third time on Saturday and, on this occasion, they had the floor.

Split into five discussion groups, the members deliberated on the priority projects that would be funded by the SRV.

This includes upgrades to the Olympic Park precinct, a new regional entertainment and conference centre, and formulated recommendations to council.

While the discussion groups all agreed on their support of council’s vision for the shire, they acknowledged the need for more facilities and endorsed their support of an SRV and the proposed projects.

However, their endorsements came with suggestions for council.

All groups conveyed the desire for the entertainment and conference centre to have multi-functional use and cater for a diverse range of entertainment and entertainers. 

Several members felt a centre should also be available for “up and coming” bands and community groups to use.

Others expressed concern about filling a 500-seat venue and some came up with some unusual ideas such as building a sky bridge to connect the new building with Campbell’s Corner and the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music.

The design for Olympic Park was supported with panel members keen to see nature walks, plenty of seating, play areas for children, outdoor gym equipment, interactive/historical pit stops and, especially, cater for special needs and disability requirements.

That community stakeholders have an ongoing involvement in both projects, including budgets, timelines and shortfalls, was an essential requirement of the community panel.

To wrap up the session, several members were interviewed about their experience on the panel and asked the questions: “What did you like about being on the community panel?” and “What did you learn about council that you didn’t know previously?”

To view the interviews with panel members visit council’s website at