Muster benefits spread
THE Optus Gympie Music Muster has become an absolute must for what remains of the Kandanga business community, according to its hotel and butcher shop.
The two businesses alone probably constitute most of the dam-affected township's cash turnover and both say the Muster is a big shot in the arm for them.
Hoteliers Justine and Terry Hodges are among the Muster's biggest fans, as they will make clear if you ask them the importance of the big music event to them.
"What do you reckon?" a delighted Justine Hodges said this week, as bar attendant Sophie Morgan loaded up a box of takeaways, bound for one Muster camp site.
And butcher Kevin Shaw sees it the same way.
The tiny Mary Valley village has been hard-hit by the residential and business dislocation associated with the Traveston Crossing dam proposal.
Now, with government and community plans offering some new hope for the future, the Muster remains a welcome cash bonus to help keep the wheels turning until then.
"I haven't been through a Muster season before," Mr Shaw said, explaining he had only recently purchased the business.
"But the former owner said the Muster brought in a lot of customers.
"And we've already had good sales, including a big order from one of the Muster catering organisations."
New "recreational vehicle" parking areas had also been a boost to the town, with "grey nomads" adding their grocery needs to the shop's turnover.
"The number of people coming in to the RV park is great and the locals are so friendly here, a lot of them will be coming back," he said.