Official Media Release

NSW Government Funds $18.9 Million Water Security Project In Muswellbrook Shire

Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter today announced that Muswellbrook Shire and the broader Upper Hunter region is set to benefit from a new water pipeline that will allow local businesses to expand their operations, open the door to new agribusiness investment opportunities and create hundreds of local jobs, thanks to NSW Government funding.

Mr Johnsen said $18.9 million from the Growing Local Economies fund for the construction of the 11km Upper Hunter Water Security Project pipeline that will supply water from Denman to Hollydeen, and a further 6.5km pipeline connecting Hollydeen to Sandy Hollow.

“The pipeline has the potential to service proposed developments in the region, such as the Yarraman Abattoir and Feedlot, and still have plenty of capacity available for future commercial and industrial developments,” Mr Johnsen said.

“Building this pipeline will deliver water security for prospective businesses and provide even more reason to invest in Muswellbrook Shire and the broader Upper Hunter region.”

“The new pipeline will also deliver a secure water supply to local communities, boosting resilience to future droughts and helping strengthen agricultural employers based locally and in the western area of Muswellbrook Shire.”

“This pipeline will bring greater connection to the Upper Hunter water network, providing water security to the west and north-west areas of the shire and helping to facilitate the region’s growth.”

“The Nationals in Government are giving regional communities across the state the infrastructure they need to succeed.

“We are continuing to work with communities to invest record amounts of money into infrastructure and services, so more people can realise the potential of our regions, and this water security and economic development project is a prime example of that.”

Muswellbrook Shire Councillor and Spokesperson for Community Engagement Steve Reynolds welcomed this news and commended the State Government for delivering this funding.

“This is great news for our Shire, delivering a vital resource to our ratepayers and wider rural area, and this pipeline will not only enhance the liveability, but also opens the door for industry and tourism,” Clr Reynolds said.

“In this current economic climate to receive the support of the State Government to this amount, sends a strong message that rural and regional NSW is being heard, and I would like to congratulate our Council staff on the behalf of the community for seeing this through.

Mr Johnsen said the $500 million Growing Local Economies Fund is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to the delivery of infrastructure projects which improve the economic growth and productivity of the state under the Restart NSW Fund.

“There are still a number of approvals and conditions to be met before the project can commence construction, and I commend Muswellbrook Shire Council on securing this funding and look forward to seeing the growth and benefits that this project will generate once all necessary approvals have been met,” Mr Johnsen concluded.

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  For media background: Upper Hunter Water Security Project pipeline conditions


  • A number of approvals and conditions need to be met before the project can commence construction
  • These are conditions are;
  • Council collaborating with DPIE Water to ensure inclusion of this project in Muswellbrook council’s Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM); and Muswellbrook Council adopting the preferred scenario as outlined in the IWCM
    • IWCM Strategies address the complex linkages between elements of the urban water cycle (water supply, sewage and stormwater) and community expectations
  • Muswellbrook council achieving all of the remaining planning and regulatory approvals necessary for this project to proceed
    • For instance, this includes the State Significant Development for the proposed Yarraman Abattoir and Feedlot
  • Muswellbrook council securing written agreement and in principle approval for the purchase of the required water volume and license to enable the development to proceed
    • This is to ensure that the NSW Government funding is matched by industry demand and development at the proposed site
  • Muswellbrook council securing a binding agreement with FJT Australia for development of the site, including a commitment to accept the water from Council.
    • To ensure the full benefits of this project are realised, council need to secure the binding agreement with FJT Australia to generate the resulting employment and expenditure in Muswellbrook
  • The funding offer has a standard NSW Government sunset clause of 12-months from the date of offer, with the potential to withdraw the offer of funding if the conditions are not met within this timeframe.