Council: Muster's future in hands of Apex and board

20th March 2017 5:08 PM
A spokeswoman for Gympie Regional Council says staff decisions are not in their hands. A spokeswoman for Gympie Regional Council says staff decisions are not in their hands. Renee Albrecht

GYMPIE Regional Council has distanced itself from the Muster's inner turmoil which resulted in the resignation of all paid staff, including the executive director.

While David Gibson had already given notice he would finish on March 31, his resignation was made effective immediately after a board meeting this morning.

Festival director Melinda Wells and Janell Cox have also resigned, leaving a cloud over the Muster just five months out from this year's event.

A council spokeswoman said the council had no involvement with the board's decisions but believed there would be no interruption to the festival.

"The Muster has a proud 35 year history.

"It is up to Apex and the Muster Board with regards to the continuation of the event.

"It is our understanding that the event will go ahead and that Council are very supportive of this."

MORE AS YESTERDAY'S SHOCK NEWS UNFOLDED

Mar 20, 5pm: Muster's future in hands of Apex and board 

Mar 20, 4pm: Muster resignations - big job ahead - says board

Mar 20, 3.30pm: Muster board meeting hastened Gibson's departure

In 2014, the council granted a $300,000 interest free loan to keep the event afloat following a number of down years.

According to the spokeswoman there is now no outstanding debt to the council.

She added organisers had worked hard in recent years to put the event on.

"All festivals that operate in the current economy are facing challenges but the Muster Organisation and Board have worked hard in recent years to put the event on.

"It is a much loved National event so we are very supportive of the event continuing.

The Muster brings significant economic benefit to the Region each year and it continues to put our Region on a national and international stage."

A Gympie icon, the Muster annually brings tens of thousands of visitors to the region and injects millions of dollars into the economy.

In 2015 it was estimated the Muster was worth the equivalent of 64 jobs in the region.

Apex has been contacted for comment but have not responded.