Deputy PM likely to visit Mossman as canegrowers prepare to dig in

MOSSMAN MILL

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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(L-R) Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack with Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu in Canberra today. IMAGE: Supplied.
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DOUGLAS Shire Mayor Julia Leu has invited Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack to visit Mossman next month to discuss the future of the Mossman Mill.

Leu, who is in Canberra attending the Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (FNQROC), has been meeting with a number of senior government officials, but has placed a key emphasis on the future of the mill.

“I outlined the full extent of the Mossman Mill issue to him during our meeting and he seemed to be very receptive to our concerns,” Leu told Newsport today.

This is a delicate time for the future of the 121-year-old Mossman Mill. Although local cane growers (Far Northern Milling Company) have made a move to buy the mill – Council is lobbying for $20m from the Federal Government and $10m from the State Government – if the mill is not sold by November, current owners Mackay Sugar will be closing its doors at year’s end.

The mill employs some 90 full-time and casual people, supports multiple businesses in the town and generates $115m into the economy. The closure of the mill could spell the death knell for Mossman.

Council recently approved $250,000 to help the Far Northern Milling Company take over the facility towards the creation of a ‘Daintree Bio Precinct’ that will tap into renewable energy opportunities and create valuable by-products at a processing facility next to the Mossman Mill.

“Council, along with the Mossman and Tablelands Canegrowers, will be meeting with Minister McCormack again on October 8 in Cairns to reiterate the need for their support. Timing is everything and we need the Federal Government on board,” said Leu.

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“This is a perfect opportunity for the Federal Government to show us they unequivocally care about agriculture and regional communities in the Far North.”

Leu said the resilient Mossman and Tablelands sugarcane growing families are determined to not only save the local industry, but catapult it forward through fully-fledged biofuel and valuable by-products manufacturing.

“The Bio Precinct will lead the way for the Australian Sugar Industry to review its dependence on export raw sugar and allow better returns for both growers and millers,” she said.

“Everyone is well aware of the potential in the green transformation of the sugar cane industry and here is a prime opportunity for our Federal politicians to be key stakeholders.” 

The Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (FNQROC) was established in the 1980s and represents 13 member Councils from Hinchinbrook, north to Cook and west to Carpentaria in Far North Queensland.

MAYOR LEU'S SCHEDULE OF CANBERRA MEETINGS:

Tuesday 18 September
11.15am-11.45am: Mr Jason Clare, Shadow Minister for Resources and Northern Australia and Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment

1.30pm-2.00pm: Senator James McGrath, Senator for Queensland

3.30pm-4.00pm: The Hon Richard Marles MP, Shadow Minister for Defence

4.15pm–4.45pm: The Hon Warren Entsch MP, Federal Member for Leichhardt

5.00pm-5.30pm: Minister Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

Wednesday 19 September
8.15am-8.45am : The Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Veteran’s Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel, Deputy Leader of the House

9.30am-10.00am: Ms Lisa Chesters MP, Shadow Assistant Minister for Workplace Relations and Rural and Regional Australia

10.00am-10.30am: Senator Anthony Chisholm Senator for Queensland

10.30am-11.00am: The Hon Peter Dutton MP Minister for Home Affairs Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

11.15am-11.45am: Senator the Hon Marise Payne Minister for Foreign Affairs

1.15pm-1.45pm: Senator Claire Moore, Shadow Minister for International Development
And the Pacific

4.00pm-4.30pm: The Hon Chris Bowen MP Shadow Treasurer

Thursday 20 September
9.00am-9.30am: The Hon Anthony Albanese MPShadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport Cities and Regional Development, Shadow Minister for Tourism

9.30am-10.00am: Ms Anne Stunzner, Senior Advisor for Senator Matthew Canavan

10.00am-10.30am: Senator the Hon Matthew Canavan, Minister for Northern Australia

 

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