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Deniliquin Council extends muster support

Deniliquin Mayor Lindsay Renwick believes personal sacrifice has grown the event.

January 17, 2014 4:15am

Since the first Deni Ute Muster nearly 15 years ago, it has grown to become one of Australia’s premier events.

Deniliquin Mayor Lindsay Renwick said this could not have occurred without outstanding commitment from a host of community groups and individuals.

Cr Renwick, who was on the first festival committee, said the personal sacrifices made by a lot of people to ensure the Ute Muster’s success must continue to be recognised.

He said at times difficult decisions have to be made, as occurred last week and will result in replacement of general manager Kathie Heyman.

‘‘This would not have been an easy decision for the board of directors, and I know it is one that consumed a huge amount of time and discussion,’’ Cr Renwick said.

‘‘Also, it was made in what the board believes is in the best interests of our iconic event.’’

Cr Renwick added Deniliquin Council had full confidence in the Play on the Plains Festival Ltd. board of directors, and congratulated the board members on the contribution they were making to the future of the Ute Muster, the Blues & Roots Festival and the local economy in general.

‘‘At our first meeting in March 1999, which was called by Deniliquin Council and the Chamber of Commerce, the stated aim was to develop an event that would put Deniliquin on the map,’’ Cr Renwick said.

‘‘Not in our wildest dreams did we think that meeting would sow the seeds for an event which last year won the gold medal in the events category at the Australian Tourism Awards.

‘‘And the Blues & Roots Festival, in its inaugural year, won the Festival and Events category at the NSW Tourism Awards.

‘‘In anyone’s language these are outstanding achievements and a reflection on the progressive thinking that has been a feature of the Board for many years.’’

Council general manager Des Bilske said Deniliquin Council was proud of the role it played and the commitment of numerous individual staff members to both festivals.

‘‘Our role is to support these events in any way possible, and council is delighted that its contribution in the past has been publicly recognised,’’ he said.

‘‘We understand the importance of the Ute Muster and Blues & Roots Festival to the local economy and will continue providing the organisers with as much assistance as possible.’’

Cr Renwick said he looks forward to the appointment of a new general manager by the Play on the Plains Festival Ltd. Board of Directors, and assisting this individual, as required, in their role of leading the next phase of our festivals’ development.

‘‘Council, in the meantime, will continue supporting and working with Chairman Harold Clapham and his board of directors to ensure we have two super festivals in 2014,’’ he said.

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