Cane still truck­ing

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Angelique Pat­ter­son

MOSS­MAN Mill can still ex­pect the ar­rival of 700,000 tonnes of Table­land sug­ar­cane de­spite own­ers of the mill near Ma­reeba promis­ing to meet grow­ers’ de­mands.

Last month Mackay Sugar and Table­land Cane­grow­ers Ltd signed a cane sup­ply agree­ment to sup­ply their en­tire crop to the Moss­man Mill from 2014 for five years.

About 80 Table­land Cane­grow­ers made the de­ci­sion to change mills af­ter the Ar­riga Mill own­ers Mary­bor­ough Sugar Fac­tory re­fused to meet ne­go­ti­a­tions on mar­ket­ing and pric­ing con­di­tions.

The grow­ers wanted MSF to con­tinue ex­port­ing their prod­uct through Queens­land Sugar Limited, but MSF, owned by the Thai com­pany Mitr Phol, wanted to con­tinue sell­ing the sugar it­self.

MSF has since come out and said they would con­sider sign­ing an agree­ment with Queens­land Sugar Limited, but Table­land Cane­grow­ers Ltd Man­ager Bron­wyn Dwyer said ‘‘too lit­tle, too late’’.

‘‘They are pre­pared to re-sign with QSL as long as they get what they want, tak­ing the eco­nomic in­ter­est out, but the doc­u­men­ta­tion has not been fi­nalised,’’ she said.

‘‘Our grow­ers know that but we have a legally bind­ing con­tract from 2014 sea­son and we can­not break that con­tract and have no in­ten­tion of go­ing back to MSF.

‘‘Even if they do re-sign, there is no guar­an­tee, be­ing a multi­na­tional com­pany with in­ter­ests not aligned with the grow­ers, that they won’t give no­tice and back out in the next three years, like they have been try­ing to do with us for the last three years.’’

Mackay Sugar CEO Quin­ton Hilde­brand said they are still in ne­go­ti­a­tions with MSF about crush­ing some of the Table­land Cane in the Ar­riga Mill, but there has been no progress.

‘‘Mackay Sugar con­tinue to make ar­range­ments to crush the en­tire 700,000 tonnes from the Table­lands at the Moss­man mill in 2014 and have a team of engi­neers work­ing on the nec­es­sary up­grade for the mill,’’ he said.

‘‘We have not ruled out en­ter­ing into an ar­range­ment with the Table­lands mill but no progress has been made in this re­gard.’’

Mean­while con­cerned cit­i­zens of Mt Mol­loy and Julatten are demon­strat­ing to­day at 4pm on the Ri­fle Creek bridge in Mt Mol­loy, protest­ing over the plans to truck the Table­land sug­ar­cane through their com­mu­ni­ties and down the Rex Range.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.