Sugar mill’s ready to wel­come tours

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Ni­chols

THE Moss­man Mill is plan­ning to cel­e­brate its 130th an­niver­sary this year with the re­vival of tours of the mill.

Re­cently it ad­ver­tised for ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est from po­ten­tial op­er­a­tors.

The tours, run in­de­pen­dently of the Mak­cay sugar, the mill own­ers, will run dur­ing the usual crush­ing pe­riod.

Moss­man Mill man­ager Haydn Slat­tery said there had been a num­ber of in­quiries from in­ter­ested par­ties.

“We used to run tours un­til about five years ago,” Mr Slat­tery said.

“They had been run­ning for a long time. But we stopped when we were pur­chased by Mackay Sugar be­cause we wanted to fo­cus on get­ting the plant up and run­ning to its ca­pac­ity.

“The cur­rent idea came about from the eco­nomic re­view by the shire coun­cil last year.

“There seems to be still quite an ap­petite in the com­mu­nity for the mill tours. And I sup­pose Mackay was look­ing for ways for the busi­ness to align it­self with the other ma­jor in­dus­try in the area.

“It’s not some­thing we want to run – we pre­fer some­one to come in from the out­side and op­er­ate it.”

Mr Slat­tery four or five “in­di­vid­u­als or com­pa­nies have come in to say they are in­ter­ested, and we’ve started to dis­cuss what it would look like.”

The mill tours have been pop­u­lar in the past.

“I think we had 2000 vis­i­tors come through in the last year we ran the tour,” Mr Slat­tery said.

In its hey­day the Bally Hoo­ley loco col­lected vis­i­tors in Port Dou­glas and took them up to the mill for the tour, but un­for­tu­nately an ac­ci­dent put paid to that.

There is still a mu­seum on site but it is not ex­ten­sive at all.

“It’s only got a few pho­tos in it,” Mr Slat­tery said.

“But I hope we can find enough in­ter­est and some­one can come up with a good pro­posal – it would be great to re­vive it this year, in such a spe­cial year.”

Pic­ture: SHANE NI­CHOLS

Moss­man Cen­tral Mill, now in its 130th year

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