Local News

Liveability is key


Liveability is a key element to Muswellbrook Shire Council’s 2018/19 Budget and it’s something Council believes will encourage more people to come to the area.

The Budget was revealed at the Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry Breakfast this morning with local business owners turning up keen to hear how and if the Budget will affect them.

One of the biggest concerns was what the Budget would do to help businesses and encourage more people to the region.

Councillor Scott Bailey said from their perspective they can make the Shire more appealing and liveable, but in the end it’s up to businesses to decide if they set up shop here or not.

“Businesses have to make their own decisions based on the numbers they run.”

“If you’re a franchise operator and you’re bringing something to town you will run the numbers and decide whether the economy and the population and the mix and how close your nearest competitors are and you will form an opinion on whether Muswellbrook is a suitable place,” said Councillor Bailey.

“What we can do as a council is improve the liveability of the Shire,”

“If we improve the education offerings, the recreational offerings and liveability offerings and things like the sporting fields, the blue heeler film festival, these are things people want to engage with and make them want to be in the town and remain in the shire and live in the shire,”

“So Council’s role is really to ensure our liveability improves and Muswellbrook becomes a desirable place for people to grow up, to become educated and remain in them and raise their own families and by doing that it creates a population base that can service the retailers and the local business community,” said Councillor Bailey.

The number of service businesses compared to retail was a concern raised by owners this morning.

Business owners suggested a number of ideas this morning to bring more business including making the main street one lane each way to allow angle parking but without another road available for heavy vehicles Muswellbrook Mayor Martin Rush said right now it’s out of their control.

Business owners also questioned whether or not the town would ever get a bypass, but Mayor Rush and his Councillors are confident it will come particularly because funding has been put towards it already.  

Image credit: Grant Broadcasters/Jessica Rouse