State Government pledges funding for Mossman Mill

MOSSMAN MILL PROJECT

Victoria Stone-Meadows

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FUNDED: The future of the Mossman Mill is looking very green after a funding announcement from the State Government. Image: Newsport.
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The township of Mossman has been handed an early Christmas present with the state government committing $25 million to secure the future of the Mossman Mill.

Today’s announcement comes following months of uncertainty about the mill’s future and heated exchanges between state and federal governments.

Earlier this year, the current mill owner, Mackay Sugar, announced the mill would be close, leaving 560 people without work.

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The Mossman Canegrowers, the Australian Cane Farmers Association, and Tableland Canegrowers came together with plans to buy the bill themselves and transform it into a bio refinery.

The federal government committed $20 million to the project with funding contingent on the state and local government also providing funding.

The Douglas Shire Council committed $250,000 to the project.

Maryann Salvetti, Chair of Far Northern Milling, said the support from the state government brings the group closer to creating a secure future in Mossman that will benefit everyone.

“We would like to thank Minister Dick, Cynthia Lui and the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning for this support and their vote of confidence in our vision of creating a bio-future for our community,” she said.

“We now have a pathway forward to save Mossman Mill and the jobs it supports, which is great news for the Mossman sugar community.”

Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said this funding will ensure the long term viability of the Mill and the town of Mossman.

“This is such a fantastic Christmas present for the Shire and a really amazing outcome,” she said.

“For the state government to announce the full package of $25 million, it is really going to enable the establishment of this innovative bio refinery and will certainly underpin the long term future of the mill.”

Cr Leu thanked the Member for Cook Cynthia Lui for her advocacy and the federal government for their input as well.

“It’s a tremendous example of the three levels of government working together for the economic and social benefit of Mossman and the canegrowers,” she said.

“Because of this significant announcement well see new types of jobs and industries for our community.”

State Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the bio refinery is a win for the region.

“If successful, this project will result in the development of a bio refinery in the Far North which uses the latest in green chemical technology, which is another strong and progressive step forward for the state’s biofutures industry,” he said.

“This potential project will also diversify the Douglas Shire economy through the introduction of a considerable number of green chemical manufacturing jobs.

“This package has been developed in consultation with the growers and is focused on securing the long-term viability of the industry.”

State MP for Cook Cynthia Lui said the announcement vindicates the hard work and long hours spent fighting for the mill’s future.

“I have been fighting to get certainty for the growers, and to get a clear pathway forward to build a sustainable future for the industry, and this announcement is a strong outcome,” she said.

“Now it is up to Warren Entsch and the Commonwealth Government to deliver on their promise and release the $20 million they have committed to the ongoing operating costs of the mill.”

 

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