Sold: Mossman Mill-ions
MOSSMAN Central Mill Company workers gathered on Tuesday to listen to chairman Bill Phillips-turner explain their jobs were safe after being taken over by Mackay Sugar Limited.
For the past four months Mr Phillips-turner, along with the mill’s management team, has been in negotiations with the Mackay mill’s management working out the details of the sale of the Mossman mill which was bought for $25 million.
The sale of the mill came with a condition that the Mossman staff must be retained along with all of their entitlements workers have accrued, according to Mr Phillips-turner.
“Everything will remain the same and if someone has worked for the Mossman Mill for the past 10 years and continues to do so then their entitlements will follow them to the new company,” Mr Phillips-turner said.
“Their time will not start at zero under the new company, if someone has 10 years’ service, or more, they will start with their years of service under the new company.”
Mr Phillips-turner said the company has been sold because it will be able to perform better and have access to more capitalisation programs in the coming years under Mackay Sugar Limited.
“The reasons for selling the mill to Mackay, is that Mackay Sugar is a well-managed, well capitalised growerowned public company with diversified interests in the Australian sugar industry,” Mr Phillips-turner said.
“The company can also demonstrate a sound and well-reasoned business strategy going forward and this puts a lot of confidence in the long-term future of the Mossman Mill and will lead to benefits for all stakeholders.
“But this will put a lot of confidence back into the community which is a good thing.
“And Mackay Sugar is committed to a strong QSL (Queensland Sugar Limited), as an important player in the Australian Sugar Industry and Mossman Mill management believes this is a critical factor, particularly in the marketing of our sugar.”
That confidence will be given a kick-start with the mill expected to crush 550,000 tonnes of cane this year, which is up on last year’s crush of 410,000 tonnes of cane, according to the general manager of the Mossman mill, Alan Johnstone.
The other positive for the Mossman mill is that Mackay Sugar, which at present has 77,000 hectares of cane under production, will be seeking to lift the yield that the mill will be able to crush in the future.
Cane under production in the Mossman region is 7300 hectares but Mackay’s management has dedicated people on the ground seeking out land and farmers who will be able to grow cane to lift the crushing yield for the Mossman Sugar Mill.
The mill is designed to crush in excess of one million tonnes of cane annually.
Mackay Sugar’s harvest for this year is estimated to exceed 5.5 million tonnes of cane. It has a 25 per cent interest in Sugar Australia and New Zealand Sugar, both domestic refining and marketing businesses, and is constructing a $120 million co-generation plant in Mackay which is to be completed by next February.
The sale of the mill is expected to be completed by May 25 and handed over to the new owners on June 1.
Safe: Mossman mill workers gather to find out if their jobs are safe after the takeover