Nei­ther silent nor AWOL

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

In re­sponse to Mal­colm McKel­lar (17-10-13) and Ian Wal­dren (24-10-13), I take ex­cep­tion to be­ing ac­cused of be­ing ‘silent’ or ‘AWOL’. I have been briefed by Moss­man Mill on the lo­gis­ti­cal, so­cial and eco­nomic im­pacts. All I have re­ceived from the com­mu­nity is a copy of Mr McKel­lar’s let­ter to the ed­i­tor. A Fed­eral Mem­ber takes up is­sues where there is wide­spread dis­con­tent and I am yet to see that. From my own knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion and for the fol­low­ing rea­sons, I sup­port the de­ci­sion to trans­port and crush ad­di­tional cane at Moss­man Mill. Firstly, if Mackay Su­gar hadn’t stepped in, Moss­man Mill would face clo­sure. It was crush­ing less than half of its ca­pac­ity in June 2013; by se­cur­ing sup­ply from the Table­land it will op­er­ate again at full ca­pac­ity. Not only does this in­crease em­ploy­ment and job se­cu­rity at the Mill, but em­ploy­ees and their fam­i­lies will con­tinue to live and spend money in the area. Se­condly, the in­creased truck­ing move­ments will have no im­pact on the Cap­tain Cook High­way or cen­tral Moss­man as the trans­fer sta­tion at Cas­sowary will be utilised. There will be in­creased truck move­ments on the Moss­man-Mt Mol­loy Rd and this is likely to cause in­con­ve­nience to res­i­dents, tourists and other road users. How­ever in­creased traf­fic flow can oc­cur for any num­ber of rea­sons. If the trucks do present road safety con­cerns, then they will be dealt with through the ap­pro­pri­ate au­thor­i­ties. Thirdly, we need to weigh up the eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties and com­mu­nity well­be­ing against any neg­a­tive im­pacts and from what I can see, the ben­e­fits out­weigh the dis­ad­van­tages. Mackay Su­gar has com­mit­ting to con­tin­u­ing con­sul­ta­tion with res­i­dents of af­fected ar­eas and I will cer­tainly keep abreast of the sit­u­a­tion.

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