DOUGLAS Shire Mayor Julia Leu has called on the Federal Government to stump up money to save the Mossman Mill and help create a state-of-the-art bio processing precinct.
Mayor Leu will attempt to harvest support from Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack during the FNQROC Mayors delegation in Canberra tomorrow.
She said Federal funding was absolutely critical to the future of the mill and Mossman community.
“The Federal Government has the perfect opportunity here to show us they unequivocally care about agriculture and regional communities in the Far North,” she said.
“Our resilient Mossman and Tablelands sugarcane growing families are determined to not only save the local industry, but catapult it forward through fully-fledged biofuel and valuable by-products manufacturing.
“Everyone is well aware of the potential in the green transformation of the sugar cane industry and here is a prime opportunity for our Federal politicians to be key stakeholders.”
The Canegrowers’ vision is to create a ‘Daintree Bio Precinct’ that will tap into renewable energy opportunities and create valuable by-products at a processing facility on the land adjacent to the Mossman Mill.
Council made an application under the Federal Government’s Regional Growth Fund for $20m on the basis it would be matched by contributions from the growers over time.
The funding would be used to upgrade the necessary infrastructure and lock in sugarcane feedstock for the Daintree Bio Precinct.
Council has already committed up to $250,000 to assist with costs incurred through the mill acquisition.
“This is about ensuring our local economy is sustained and jobs are maintained in the Far North,” Mayor Leu said.
“Our small towns depend on an active sugar industry and here is an opportunity to invest in an economy-boosting project that sows new seeds for a more prosperous sugarcane industry.”
Mayor Leu has already met with Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, Mulgrave MP Curtis Pitt and written to Premier Anastacia Palszcaczuk, Minister McCormack, Senator Bridget McKenzie and Assistant Minister for Regional Development Sussan Ley
She also hopes to speak to Deputy Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon and Senator McKenzie.