Muster spirit shines through flood damaged venue
EX TROPICAL Cyclone Marcia is no match for community spirit, Apex Muster chairman Wayne Dean vowed yesterday as receding floodwater revealed the extent of damage to the Gympie Music Muster site.
Torrents of water busted Amamoor Creek's banks on Sunday and inundated the music festival's home in the Amamoor State Forest.
Mr Dean was "disappointed" surveying the damage.
Footpaths, bridges and standing infrastructure took a direct hit from flash flooding.
The tell-tale line of debris reached halfway up the main stage hill while fences were weighed down with logs and washed-up undergrowth.
Skill Centred Work for the Dole supervisor John Anderson felt "devastated" surveying the damage yesterday morning.
Mr Anderson has worked at the Muster for 28 years and the flood's aftermath was nothing like he had seen before.
He said the closest flood in his memory that came close in terms of damage was the major flood of 1989.
"It's done a hell of a lot of damage to fences," Mr Anderson said. "It took away all the fence around the dam."
A prominent casualty has been the iconic windmill from the Windmill Bar.
"We cannot find it anywhere," Mr Anderson said.
The much-loved windmill has likely ended up in the creek, meaning its recovery will be against all odds.
Meanwhile, the force of floodwater at the peak of the event warped the side screens of the main stage.
Corrugated iron was ripped from the hill stairs and a substantial log dumped right beside the stage as Marcia's calling card.
Mr Dean said he was heartbroken to see the home of country music again awash; he was already thinking of the recovery phase.
"(This kind of) damage we have seen before so we knew what we were walking into," he said.
"Nothing is impossible with help from the community."
A working bee is in the planning in the coming weeks to tackle the big clean-up.
An exact date is yet to be worked out but Mr Dean was confident the community would again rally behind the Muster and return the site to its former glory.
"We just want to have one big day for a clean-up - hopefully within a fortnight," he said.
Working bee participants will have their work cut out for them removing logs and debris, but honest hard work will come with plenty of fun.
"The goal will be to have fun and have a laugh; get it cleaned up like we normally do," Mr Dean said.
An exact date for the clean-up will be announced in the coming weeks and Mr Dean has asked Muster fans to follow the festival's Facebook page as a way to stay connected.
He thanked the community for standing behind the Muster during a tough time and was adamant memories of the flood will be a distant memory come August when country music thrusts Gympie into the national spotlight for all the right reasons.