The right skills for the job
The new council needs a mayor and councillors with the right mix of business acumen, negotiating skills, lack of political allegiances, and life experience. That is why I am backing James Dormer for mayor. I call James ‘‘friend’’, and do so proudly; more so, though, I know James Dormer as a businessman, who, with his business partner, has built a successful building company over many years, and who is responsible for the construction of many of the wonderful, architect-designed homes in the area. The Mossman Mill will sustain the large farming community and local businesses will be given a boost with the inevitable increase in expendable income and the demand for goods and services. The Mossman Mill and the Far North Queensland tourism sector have successfully co-existed for many years. In fact, the mill was actually a popular tourist attraction, providing regular mill tours until only a few years ago and there is every possibility that this service could be reintroduced under Mackay Sugar’s ownership in the future. Mackay Sugar is also involved with the Port Douglas Chamber of Commerce: Economic Development Group, with the intention of supporting strategies that will drive growth within the region’s tourism and industry sectors. Furthermore, through its Community Support Program, Mackay Sugar provides financial and in-kind support to various community groups and organisations, such as the Mossman Community Centre, Mossman State High School and Mossman Show. The trucks from the Tablelands will be delivering cane to a transfer station (Cassowary Ramps) located approximately six kilometres south of Mossman, with the cane then transported to the Mossman Mill via the rail network. The trucks from the Tablelands will not be carting cane on the Captain Cook Highway, nor will they drive through Mossman. In fact there will be reduced road traffic through Mossman in a 24-hour period as all road deliveries of cane will be delivered to rail hubs and not directly to the mill. Finally, I would like to provide a brief outline of Mackay Sugar’s stakeholder engagement activities correlated with the Tablelands cane supply agreement. Over the past six months, Mackay Sugar has met with key stakeholders (including government representatives); provided media releases and interviews/ comments to the Mossman, Tablelands and Cairns media; had face-to-face meetings with Mt Molloy and Julatten residents concerned with the cane trucks travelling on the Rex Range; conducted a community information session in Mt Molloy, and formed a Community Working Group (involving local and state representatives) to facilitate a collaborative planning process for the transportation of Tablelands cane to Mossman Mill. The Community Working Group was discontinued due to the resignation of the group’s chairman and the evident aggressive and entrenched attitude of certain members. However, Mackay Sugar remains committed to fostering a collaborative planning process to ensure its cane transportation is safe and efficient and conducted in a manner that reduces impact on the Mt Molloy and Julatten communities.