The death of the Pre Muster party has sparked outrage in the Gympie community - and some finger pointing.
The death of the Pre Muster party has sparked outrage in the Gympie community - and some finger pointing. Renee Pilcher

Outrage over 'pathetic' failure to keep Pre Muster alive

THE death of the Mary St Pre Muster party has not gone down smoothly with the community slamming the inability to bring this year's Muster festivities to the city.

The popular CBD party's fate was sealed by an inability to secure public liability insurance.

It is understood this would have cost $600-$1000.

A Gympie Regional Council spokeswoman said this additional cost had not been budgeted for, with the council already pouring $200,000 into the Muster and $20,000 into the other Mary St events.

Its demise was a hot topic; more than 120 comments were left on The Gympie Times website alone within 12 hours of the story breaking, with many looking to establish exactly where the buck for this decision stopped.

The council was the main target.


Jessica Murillo called the inability to hold the event "pathetic”.

"It's Gympie's biggest weekend on the calendar! This just proves to all the tourists and locals the breakdown in support over the years!”

Jorja and Matilda Smith at the Pre Muster Party. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times
Jorja and Matilda Smith at a past Pre Muster party. Renee Pilcher

Cheryle Mills said it was a "bad blow for local business”.

Division 2 council candidate Leonora Cox said the loss was a "shame for Mary St and the locals.

"Really seems a bit pathetic of council if it's just about the money,” she said. "Yes they put money into Muster and that's important too.

"How does the insurance work for the other Mary St events?”

Division 4 council candidate Bruce Devereaux agreed the decision was unbelievable.

"Meanwhile a couple of million being spent up the other end of the same street to make it more attractive to out-of-towners,” Mr Devereaux said.

"Hard to imagine council was ever interested in this event when they tear up the main street for works the literal week before it was due to happen.”

READY TO PARTY: Ruby Ripe and Cherry Ripe at the pre muster on Mary Street.
Ruby Ripe and Cherry Ripe. Philippe Coquerand

Tanya Andersin said the loss of the event was a letdown for those who cannot afford tickets to the main event at Amamoor.

"Shame on our council.

"Back our town and our events.

"Pre Muster is great family fun for us all who can't buy tickets for the actual muster,” she said.

However, Steve Gilbert said the council was copping too much of the blame for what happened.

"So the council throws $200,000 at the Muster and then gets the blame for not doing the Pre Muster party.

"Everybody whinges about rates/ the Rattler/ Mary St etc etc etc and here you lot are saying the council are slack for not spending more money!”

Where is Percy? The mascot has disappeared after the Pre Muster parties.
Pre Muster decorations. Contributed

Shauna Faith agreed, and pointed to the Muster board as another culprit in the Pre Muster collapse.

"The Muster board have a massive say in whether support events go ahead and I can tell you they didn't want to organise it,” she said.

Donna Leigh asked why a Pre Muster event in Gympie was not included in any contract to do with funding the Muster.

"I'm completely gobsmacked why you would not want to market and cash in on a pre launch party showcasing the town by leveraging of the Muster - unbelievable.”

In the end, Rea Lee summed up best what it all meant for the region ("There goes another good thing for Gympie”).

Dianne Woodstock laid bare what the event brought to businesses in the past.

"Most shops in town will tell you that trade dies Muster week as not only do the visitors go there - which is terrific - but heaps of regular customers go out to volunteer and work out there - again which is great for the Muster but makes it hard in town,” she said.