Sugar mill’s ready to welcome tours
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.”
Mossman Central Mill, now in its 130th year