Muswellbrook Shire

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Muswellbrook Shire
New South Wales
Muswellbrook LGA NSW.png
Location in New South Wales
Coordinates 32°16′S 150°54′E / 32.267°S 150.900°E / -32.267; 150.900Coordinates: 32°16′S 150°54′E / 32.267°S 150.900°E / -32.267; 150.900
Population 17,209 (2015 Est.)[1]
 • Density 5.05/km2 (13.1/sq mi)
Area 3,405 km2 (1,314.7 sq mi)[2]
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST) AEDT (UTC+11)
Mayor Martin Rush[3]
Council seat Muswellbrook[4]
Region Hunter[5]
State electorate(s) Upper Hunter[6]
Federal Division(s) Hunter[7]
Muswellbrook Shire Council.gif
Website Muswellbrook Shire
LGAs around Muswellbrook Shire:
Upper Hunter Upper Hunter Upper Hunter
Mid-Western Muswellbrook Shire Singleton
Mid-Western Singleton Singleton

Muswellbrook Shire is a local government area in the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales, Australia. The Shire is situated adjacent to the New England Highway and the Hunter railway line.

The Mayor of the Muswellbrook Shire Council is Cr. Martin Rush, an unaligned politician.[3]

Main towns and villages[edit]

The Shire includes Muswellbrook, Denman, Baerami, McCullys Gap, Martindale, Muscle Creek, Sandy Hollow, Widden and Wybong.[8]


At the 2011 census, there were 15,791 people in the Muswellbrook Shire local government area, of these 51.7 per cent were male and 48.3 per cent were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 5.4 per cent of the population, which was significantly higher than the national and state averages of 2.5 per cent. The median age of people in the Muswellbrook Shire was 34 years, which was lower than the national median of 37 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 22.8 per cent of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 10.6 per cent of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 47.0 per cent were married and 11.8 per cent were either divorced or separated.[2]

Population growth in the Muswellbrook Shire between the 2001 census and the 2006 census was 3.25 per cent; and in the subsequent five years to the 2011 census, population growth was 3.64 per cent. When compared with total population growth of Australia for the same periods, being 5.78 per cent and 8.32 per cent respectively, population growth in the Muswellbrook Shire local government area was approximately half the national average.[9][10] The median weekly income for residents within the Muswellbrook Shire was marginally higher than the national average.[2]

At the 2011 census, the proportion of residents in the Muswellbrook Shire local government area who stated their ancestry as Australian or Anglo-Saxon exceeded 81 per cent of all residents (national average was 65.2 per cent). In excess of 68% of all residents in the Muswellbrook Shire nominated a religious affiliation with Christianity at the 2011 census, which was slightly higher than the national average of 50.2 per cent. Meanwhile, as at the census date, compared to the national average, households in the Muswellbrook Shire local government area had a significantly lower than average proportion (4.3 per cent) where two or more languages are spoken (national average was 20.4 per cent); and a significantly higher proportion (89.7 per cent) where English only was spoken at home (national average was 76.8 per cent).[2]

Selected historical census data for the Muswellbrook Shire local government area
Census year 2001[9] 2006[10] 2011[2]
Population Estimated residents on Census night 14,756 15,236 15,791
LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales
% of New South Wales population 0.23%
% of Australian population 0.08% Steady 0.08% Decrease 0.07%
Cultural and language diversity
top responses
Australian 36.2%
English 30.4%
Irish 8.1%
Scottish 6.6%
German 2.9%
top responses
(other than English)
Shona n/c Steady n/c Increase 0.2%
Cantonese 0.1% Steady 0.1% Increase 0.2%
Italian 0.1% Steady 0.1% Steady 0.1%
Thai n/c Increase 0.1% Steady 0.1%
Mandarin n/c Increase 0.1% Steady 0.1%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
Anglican 40.3% Decrease 37.5% Decrease 35.6%
Catholic 28.0% Decrease 27.7% Decrease 26.1%
No Religion 7.6% Increase 11.0% Increase 13.9%
Uniting Church 5.2% Decrease 4.4% Decrease 3.9%
Presbyterian and Reformed 3.8% Decrease 3.2% Decrease 3.1%
Median weekly incomes
Personal income Median weekly personal income A$453 A$619
% of Australian median income 97.2% Increase 107.3%
Family income Median weekly family income A$1,213 A$1,697
% of Australian median income 103.6% Increase 114.6%
Household income Median weekly household income A$1,060 A$1,399
% of Australian median income 103.2% Increase 113.4%


Current composition and election method[edit]

Muswellbrook Shire Council is composed of twelve Councillors elected proportionally as a single ward. All Councillors are elected for a fixed four-year term of office. The Mayor is elected by the Councillors at the first meeting of the Council. The most recent election was held on 10 September 2016 and the makeup of the Council is as follows:[11]

Party Councillors
  Independents and Unaligned 12
Total 12

The current Council, elected in 2016, in order of election, is:[11]

Councillor Party Notes
  Martin Rush Independent Mayor[3]
  Steve Reynolds Independent
  Jason Foy Independent
  Graeme McNeill Independent
  Stephen Ward Unaligned
  Scott Bailey Independent
  Brett Woodruff Independent
  Rod Scholes Independent
  Janelle Risby Independent
  Mark Bowditch Independent
  Michelle Green Unaligned
  Jacinta Ledlin Independent


The following is a list of mayors since the Shire of Denman amalgamated with the Municipality of Muswellbrook to form Muswellbrook Shire Council on 1 July 1979.[12]

Councillor Party Term of office
  J.H. Jobling Unaligned 1979–1986
  E.I. Wolfgang Unaligned 1986–1989
  I.E. Seymour Unaligned 1989–1999
  J.E. Colvin Unaligned 1999–2008
  Martin Rush Unaligned 2008–present


  1. ^ "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2014–15". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Muswellbrook (Local Government Area)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Hughes, Betina (22 September 2016). "The new Muswellbrook Shire councillors elected Cr Martin Rush as mayor". Muswellbrook Chronicle. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "Muswellbrook Shire Council". New South Wales Division of Local Government. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Suburb Search – Local Council Boundaries – Hunter (HT) – Muswellbrook Shire Council". New South Wales Division of Local Government. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Upper Hunter". New South Wales Electoral Commission. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Hunter". Australian Electoral Commission. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "About Muswellbrook Shire". Muswellbrook Shire Council. Retrieved 28 August 2009. 
  9. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Muswellbrook (A)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Muswellbrook (A)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Muswellbrook Shire Council: Summary of First Preference and Group Votes for each Candidate". Local Government Elections 2016. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 17 September 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  12. ^ Bill Spicer (18 June 2004). "Mayors, Alderman, Shire Presidents, Councillors and Staff" (PDF). Muswellbrook Shire Council. Retrieved 16 August 2009.