Mossman Mill roars to life as the 2021 cane crush kicks off


Karlie Brady


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Mossman Mill employees: Zoe Lester, Kelston George, Emily Galloway, Jill Hage, Michael Hewitt, Emma Vizard, Kate Padovan, and Rory McLoughlin. Image: Karlie Brady.
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The engines of the Mossman Sugar Mill rumbled to life this morning as the 2021 cane crushing season officially got underway.

Over 780,000 tonnes of cane is expected to be harvested in the coming months with the season likely to run for approximately 17 weeks ending around mid-October.

Mossman Mill HSE/HR Advisor, Deby Ruddell, said around 60 local seasonal employees have been taken on for the crush, taking the total number of workers to 150; and she says the weather has been kind.

“Good summer rain saw the crop progress very well,” she said.

“We are expecting the total crop for Far Northern Milling to be 785,000 tonnes with 100,000 tonnes being processed through the Tablelands mill.

“This will produce about 104,000 tonnes of Raw sugar and 24,000 tonnes of Molasses.

The familiar sight of steam emitting from the stack returned to the Mossman skyline over the last couple of weeks as steam trials were conducted ensuring everything was ready to go for the first cane to go up the belt this morning.

Ms Ruddell said a big maintenance program has been undertaken since the end of the last crush saw many jobs completed within the tight budgetary constraints.

“One major capital expenditure project was the replacement of a process control computer and the partial automation of the Pan stage,” she said.

As always, the start of crush means cane trains are back on our local tracks as well.

“We remind the public to be mindful of the cane trains and take extra caution around the rail crossings,” Ms Ruddell said.

She added that the Mills phone line is manned 24/7 during the season and the community shouldn’t hesitate to call if they have any issues on 07 4030 4100.

“We thank the community for their continued support to see the Mossman mill remain viable and continue to provide secure employment opportunities.

“An electronic notice board outside Woolworths will keep the public updated with the crushing progress.”

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