Federal Government pledges $20 million to save the Mossman Mill


Karlie Brady

Junior Reporter

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Success for the Mossman Mill. (L-R) CEO of Advance Cairns Nick Tromph, Mayor Julia Leu, MP Warren Entsch, Canegrowers Tableland chairperson Maryanne Salvetti and CEO of Cairns Chamber of Commerce Debbie-Ann Bender. IMAGE: Supplied.

FEDERAL Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch today announced that the Federal Government has committed $20 million to support the Mossman Mill Transition Project.

The news comes just days before the crushing season is due to end on Monday which was the timeline cut off for current owners Mackay Sugar.

“Mossman was faced with the very chilling prospect of after the next few days of the crushing season being completed, a mill that was established in 1897 was facing the real prospect of closing,” Mr Entsch Said.

“Now there has been a determined effort by a local group of farmers to make sure that that doesn't happen and they've come up with a proposal that would see the conversion of this mill here into something much more than just a sugar mill and in fact it will become an eco bio manufacturing plant”

This $20 million commitment will be delivered through the Community Development Grants program and is subject to the completion of a positive business case and a significant contribution from the Queensland Labor Government.

Mr Entsch was elated the project would receive this much-needed Federal Government support.

“This is about listening and delivering for my community.” 

“This project will not only transform the mill, but also the region, through technology and innovation.

“This will allow them to transition over the next two years into the next major step which is the transformation into something here that has never ever been seen in the sugar industry in Australia, it will be a first,” Mr Entsch said.

“Building on the 560 jobs the mill already supports, this transition project is expected to create an estimated 86 new long-term jobs, which is a major boost for the town and region.

“I want to congratulate Far Northern Milling on their foresight and ingenuity along with Advance Cairns, the Cairns Chamber of Commerce and Douglas Shire Council for their advocacy.

“I look forward to working with them in coming months.”

Mayor Julia Leu said she was also very happy that the Federal Government had listened to the community of Mossman.

“We are absolutely thrilled that the federal government has so strongly committed to the diversification of the sugar industry in the township of Mossman. We we’re faced with the prospect of a dying town, we now have this wonderful opportunity to actually transition the mill into a bio-refinery, not only will it be saving jobs it will be creating new jobs,” Ms Leu said.

Canegrowers Tableland chairperson Maryanne Salvetti said the Federal Government’s $20 million commitment to transition the mill to a bio-energy and feed stock processing plant will secure the future of the Mossman Community.

“This shows that the determination of a group of people to secure their future has not gone unnoticed by Federal Government,” Ms Salvetti said.

“I would like to thank Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Deputy Prime Michael McCormack, Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann and other government ministers and their advisors for believing that a group of farmers can achieve great things when given the opportunity.

“I would especially like to thank Warren Entsch because without his support and influence this outcome would not have been possible.

“The Mossman Community will be forever in his debt.

“I also believe that this outcome was only achieved because of Advanced Cairns’ ingenuity to take a business convey to Canberra last month to lobby for the North.”

The convoy was made up of fifty delegates including Mr Entsch, who met with members of cabinet from the Prime Minister down to insure the Federal Government would supply the money they so desperately needed.

“We still have much work to do to bring this project to reality and the announcement today will give us more the confidence we need to continue forward,” said Ms Salvetti.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the project would provide necessary support for a major regional project that will build long-term economic growth and create jobs in the region.

“The Mossman Mill Transition Project will unlock economic opportunities in the Mossman community and the surrounding Far North Queensland region, especially for cane growers and all those industries which support the existing Mill operations,” Mr McCormack said.

“I am pleased to announce the government’s support for this project and we look forward to considering the detail of the business case in coming weeks.

“This project is just a couple of steps away from receiving funding and making this part of Far North Queensland even stronger and more resilient.

“Transitioning the existing mill into a new bio-precinct will lead the way for the Australian Sugar industry in this part of Queensland and beyond.” 



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