State member confident a resolution for the mill can be found



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The Labor member for Cook, Cynthia Lui, is confident the two levels of government can resolve their differences regarding the Mossman Mill and avoid conditional owners Far Northern Milling (FNM) walking away (from purchasing the mill) on 14 June.

"I will be working closely with all stakeholders to make sure we have an outcome. I’ve spoken to Maryann Salvetti, Chairperson of FNM, and Douglas Shire mayor Julia Leu.

“They have my support and we all need to be walking the same path and towards a common goal. I will be working with them and I want to see this happen," she said.

Her comments come in light of an ultimatum by FNM, who have threatened to walk away on 14 June if they cannot resolve their differences with the Queensland State Government.

In a letter dated 29 May and addressed to Warren Entsch, the Federal Member for Leichhardt, Ms Salvetti, Chairperson of FNM wrote: “The Board is tired of fighting and yesterday moved a resolution that if we cannot achieve the $? from the State funding for operations and cash flow, then on 14 June we will have no option but to walk away from purchasing the mill.

“We now leave the future of Mossman Mill in the hands of the Federal and State governments again and hopefully this proposal will be acceptable to both layers of Government,” she wrote.

Ms Lui said she wanted to make it clear the state government has come out to support the mill 100 per cent and will continue to do so.

“We have offered more money than initially asked: $25m was asked for and I have worked closely with the cane growers to get their business case as strong as possible so we could meet it dollar for dollar.

“For this project to go ahead, we need more collaboration between the state and federal governments. I urge the Federal member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, to come on board and make good on his promise.

“This is not a matter of state against federal; it’s about doing what’s right for the region and making sure that it all happens. I want to see it come to fruition but we need to hold the federal government accountable as well. They committed funding as well but have changed the goalposts,” said Ms Lui.  

Ms Lui said there was a statement by Mr Entsch committing $10m of this federal funding to the mill for operational costs.

“Everyone is overlooking that aspect that the federal government has committed funding for operations, but there have been no answers from the federal member, just him throwing daggers.

“I want to know if he is going to commit because he isn’t really saying anything."

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