A transformational infrastructure project in Queensland’s far north is a step closer to becoming a reality after the federal government committed up to $20 million to support the Mossman Mill Transition Project.
The commitment, to be delivered through the Community Development Grants program, is subject to the completion of a positive business case and a significant contribution from the Queensland government.
Federal Leichhardt MP, Warren Entsch said the proposed project would not only transform the mill, but also the region, through technology and innovation.
“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,” he said. “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.”
In turn, Canegrowers Tableland chairwoman, Maryanne Salvetti said the commitment to transition the mill to a bio-energy and feed stock processing plant would 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,” she added.
Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, said he was looking forward to considering the details of the business case but said the Mossman Mill Transition Project would unlock economic opportunities, especially for cane growers and industries that support existing mill operations.
“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.”
CANEGROWERS has welcomed the federal commitment for a grower-led future for Queensland’s most northern sugar mill.
CEO Dan Galligan said the announcement was a significant step in the bold plan of Mossman and Tableland growers to buy Mossman Mill and transition it to a more diversified future.
“It’s been the drive and determination of local growers which has driven an idea to this exciting milestone.”
A company set up and backed by sugarcane growers, Far Northern Milling, is working to purchase the mill from Mackay Sugar and, with the involvement of private investors, develop a bio-precinct in the town.
“Products such as bioplastics will add more value to our industry and recognise sustainably grown sugarcane as one of Queensland’s valuable renewable resources,” Mr Galligan said.
“The contribution from the federal government is an excellent example of government and business, in this case farmers, working together to grasp new opportunities and build a prosperous future in regional Queensland.”
Far Northern Milling is completing a business case and is now seeking Queensland government support to make its vision a reality.