Neither silent nor AWOL
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.