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News Week Starting 9/12/21





Merriwa is widely known by travellers as a stopover for fuel, pies, coffee and toilet breaks. But there are opportunities to attract visitors to extend their stay in Merriwa.

The Upper Hunter Destination Management Plan (DMP) proposes several exciting suggestions for local attractions, such as:

  • a destination holiday park
  • boutique accommodation properties
  • shearing shed overnight trekking tours
  • self-drive rail buggies, and
  • a regional produce showcase.

It also offers ideas for interesting activities such as: a carp fishing competition; a zipline and adventure course; mountain bike trails; sound and light shows; and progressive dinners. Already, there are plans to develop tourist attractions around the railway / silo precinct, which would complement the skate park and driver reviver area.

The DMP assesses the current facilities and attractions across the whole Upper Hunter Shire and provides suggestions on how to better attract and cater for tourists visiting the area. It should be read in conjunction with the Merriwa Town Centre Master (Revitalisation) Plan, which offers many ways to improve the appearance and functionality of the Merriwa CBD.

Both documents can be downloaded from the Upper Hunter Shire Council website, or you can ask to view copies at the Council office in Merriwa. They contain some very interesting information.

Although the DMP was completed by Stafford Strategy in February 2021, Council did not release it to the public until November 2021 following a request from the Merriwa District Progress Association. Council is liaising with Upper Hunter Country Tourism to form a task force to identify and drive priority projects.

Remember that residents can present their opinions and ideas on a range of local issues to the Merriwa District Progress Association at its meetings held on the third Wednesday of every month (except January) at 6:00 PM at the Merriwa RSL Club, or email merriwaprogress@gmail.com.

Stephen Gowlland,

President, MDPA

3 December 2021




Telstra mobile ‘phones will now work for longer during blackouts now that Telstra has replaced the backup batteries in the exchange in the Merriwa mobile ‘phone repeater tower.

Many Telstra mobile ‘phone users in Merriwa had experienced loss of network around two hours after Ausgrid began their scheduled power outages to improve our electricity supply. When mains power is unavailable, power is supplied by batteries located at the ‘exchange’ at the mobile ‘phone tower.

Many Australians rely on their mobile ‘phones for communications, especially in emergency situations. This is exacerbated during blackouts, often associated with extreme weather conditions. Some medical apparatus (such as Vitalcall) relies on the mobile network to notify emergency services in cases of a medical crisis.

The Merriwa District Progress Association began negotiations with Telstra’s ‘Regional Experience Specialist’ in July 2021 to rectify this situation. Telstra initially said they were unaware there was a problem, but agreed to begin investigations.

After months of discussions with Telstra, we are pleased to announce that Telstra has now replaced the batteries that power the exchange during power outages, and has scheduled regular monitoring, commencing in the second quarter of 2022.

A disturbing discovery has been that the batteries are not designed to cope with extended power outages such as the Ausgrid scheduled linework shutdowns. So, Telstra mobile ‘phone users could potentially still lose service if the mains power is disconnected for several hours.

We have referred this matter to our local Federal member, Barnaby Joyce, who has asked Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications to give urgent consideration to the problems being experienced in Merriwa. We can only hope that a more reliable and permanent solution can be put in place.

Remember that residents can present their opinions and ideas on a range of local issues to the Merriwa District Progress Association at its meetings held on the third Wednesday of every month (except January) at 6:00 PM at the Merriwa RSL Club, or email merriwaprogress@gmail.com.

Stephen Gowlland,

President, MDPA

1 December 2021





Since May 2019, the Merriwa District Progress Association (MDPA) and Upper Hunter Shire Council have been liaising with TOMRA Cleanaway in an attempt to have them agree to install a reverse vending machine (RVM) in Merriwa.

A RVM is a machine that you feed drink containers into to refund the 10 cents extra you pay when you buy the drink. At present, there are two RVMs in Muswellbrook and one in Scone, but none in Merriwa.

Two attempts have been made at operating an ‘over-the-counter’ return service in Merriwa by IGA and Home Hardware, but these operations have been unsuccessful due to the high demand on returning beverage containers.

TOMRA appears to have been avoiding the issue of installing a RVM in Merriwa by continually failing to return ‘phone calls and stalling. They declared that a RVM in Merriwa “doesn’t meet their network requirements”. At one stage they said they were waiting for an acoustic survey to be carried out in Sydney, but later denied any knowledge of that study. They blamed delays on their business partners Cleanaway, who shied away from the extra 100 km trip when collecting containers in the Upper Hunter loop. However, Cleanaway is now keen to collect containers from an over-the-counter collection point.

A survey carried out by the MDPA revealed that approximately 1,300,000 beverage containers are sold in the Merriwa district per year. If the deposit on these containers could be redeemed in Merriwa, it would add $130,000 to the local economy.

The MDPA is committed to pursuing this issue further as it has widespread community support and is deemed to be a vital addition to waste management in our district. Therefore, please look out for further action on this front, and add your support if requested.

Stephen Gowlland,

President, MDPA

1 December 2021


Feast with Friends

The community would like to invite you to a Community Christmas Dinner December 25. Alone on Christmas day? Come along and share good company with others. If enough
interest, we will put on a full Christmas Dinner at 12.30pm on Christmas Day at the Anglican Hall in McKenzie Street.

For catering purposes, please indicate your attendance by Friday December 10 by calling Deidre on 0429 320 821. We will confirm if it is going ahead in the last Ringer for 2021.
Deidre Peebles


Merriwa District Progress Association


The Merriwa District Progress Association would like to express its sincere appreciation to The Ringer and all those people involved in its production for the ongoing support it has
provided to our organisation. Since its introduction, The Ringer has been a very popular and successful media for sharing information across the community. It has been
our only true ‘local’ newspaper.

Its popularity has been demonstrated by the large number of sponsors, advertisers and contributors that have contributed to its valued place in the community. Many residents
anticipate Thursdays when they can get a hold of The Ringer to catch up on local news.

As the Central School can no longer support or produce The Ringer, it is anticipated that the small group of dedicated locals in the task force can design a replacement community
Stephen Gowlland,
President, MDPA


Carols in the Park

The Combined Christian Churches of  Merriwa would like to hold the Carols in the Park News on December 12, 2021 at 6.00pm in Apex Park Merriwa.
If inclement weather prevails then we will transfer to the School of Arts ,Bow St Merriwa Current Covid19 restrictions as per the NSW Health regulations will apply including QR code
for check in. However,dont let these regulations prevent us from celebrating Christmas, come and join us celebrate
Ron Campbell



Can Assist

Can Assist Merriwa is holding their annual Christmas Ham raffle.
DATE: December 11
VENUE: Merriwa Sports Club
COST: $1.00 a ticket
TICKETS: On sale from 5.00pm for 7.30pm draw.

30 Christmas Ham with more prizes added as the day approaches. All monies raised go directly to assisting those diagnosed with Cancer in Merriwa and the
surrounding settlements. If we can help or if you just need to chat, give us a call on 0431 939 093 or 6548 5191.
Marlene Rogers



Merriwa CWA

Another year is about to end and we have all survived 2021 with covid, now let’s enjoy what’s left of it. We would like to thank the organisers of Christmas on Bettington, we had a great time.
Thank you everyone for coming up to say hello.

To finish off the year we are going to have a street stall on Friday 10 December 2021. Lots of Christmas cooking will be available so come along to get some goodies.

On Saturday 18 December, 2021 we will be having our Kid’s Cooking Club again. We will be learning how to decorate cakes with Paulette Bakker, who does lovely decorated cakes. So
come along and have some fun, free lunch and morning tea. We will have craft and DVD’s . We might even have a tree to decorate, so come along it’s about time to get back to some fun.
We will need the parents to sign in because of Covid rules.

Start time 10.00am We will be starting a craft day every fourth Monday of the month. Bring along your morning tea or lunch and craft to enjoy a nice social
day. Bring any craft you wish to do and if you would like to learn something new, all you have to do is ask. Learn to Knit or crochet even some sewing. Everyone is welcome it is NOT just for
CWA members, your children are more than welcome.

Our next meeting will be Monday 13 December 2021 at 10.00am at the CWA rooms. 159 Bettington Street Merriwa. New members are always welcome, so why not drop in and say
hello. Enquiries to: Barbara Campbell on 02 6548 5131 or 0428 485 131 or Kim Clydsdale on 02 6548 2558 or 0421 910 658

The CWA Rooms are available for hire at very reasonable rates by contacting Kim Clydsdale on 02 6548 2558 or 0421 910 658 or Email : kmclydsdale@gmail.com
Kim Clydsdale


Hunter Medical Practice Opening Hours over Christmas



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