Mill at the crossroad
THE local sugar industry is at a historic crossroad, following Mackay Sugar’s latest announcement that it wants to sell all of the Mossman Mill.
Last month it told growers it wanted them to buy half the mill at least, due to its own hefty financial problems stemming from its southern operations.
The prospect of the current owner departing the Mossman operation entirely has suddenly Mum Jill and Audrey Smith enjoyed Bodies in Motion’s annual Easter dance show at Port Village Shopping Plaza on Sunday, where the big bunny was one of the stars. thrust the future of local sugar production into play.
It’s a crisis but possibly a good one.
Local ownership brings the prospect that with the investment of new technology at the mill, it could become a bio-refinery that is about a lot more than milling sugar.
Prominent local grower Don Murday, head of the Australian Sugar Cane Farmers Association, sees it as a transformative opportunity to both ensure the future of milling operations locally and also to create an energy hub, through the production of gas, that would generate money and increase local self-reliance in energy production.
Mackay chairman Andrew Capello had a meeting with Mossman growers last week.
“It’s quite clear that Mackay Sugar aren’t going to put any more money into it [Mossman Central],” Mr Murday said. “So we either wither on the vine or we get pro-active.”