A JOINT push to save the Mossman Mill and transform it into a state of the art bio processing plant has received firm support from Labor Senator Kim Carr.
Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu joined Mossman and Tablelands Canegrowers at a meeting with Senator Carr and Candidate for Leichhardt Elida Faith in Mossman today.
Mayor Leu said it was fantastic to have Federal Politicians visiting the region and taking the mill issue seriously.
“It is great to have Labor’s backing, but bipartisan support is vital to the mill’s future and Mossman economy,” she said.
“The Coalition Government is well aware of the potential consequences of the mill closing and has the perfect opportunity here to show us they undeniably care about agriculture and regional communities in the Far North
“The Daintree Bio Precinct is a fiscally sound project that will lead the way for industry diversification of the Australian Sugar Industry.
“This clean and green vision will create a vibrant bio refinery to grow an environmentally sustainable manufacturing industry in Douglas Shire.”
Douglas Shire Council and Canegrowers will hold another meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch in Cairns on Monday next week.
Canegrowers estimates the project could create 86 new long term jobs and inject $150 million into the economy annually.
Senator Carr, who is Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, called on the Deputy Prime Minister to back the proposal when he visits the region next week.
“There are 100 jobs at the mill involved, there are many growers who depend on this facility,” he said.
“The current company that runs it has run into considerable difficulties, and I want to make sure they are not repeated.
“I want to make sure that we can secure the future so I’m prepared to back it if the feasibility study comes in.
“I will put the argument to the colleagues in Canberra. We can’t afford to lose manufacturing in the region. We’ve got to make sure the economy here is diversified.
“Blue-collar jobs are really important to Labor, they’re really important to the economy of Far North Queensland and they’re really important to Australia.”
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.
Mayor Leu has also met with:-
-Senator the Hon Matthew Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia
– The Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development and Shadow Minister for Tourism
– The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Shadow Treasurer
-Senator Claire Moore, Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific
– The Hon Mark Butler MP, Shadow Minister for Climate Change & Energy
– Minister Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Home Affairs & Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
– Senator Anthony Chisholm, Queensland Senator
– Ms Lisa Chesters MP, Shadow Assistant Minister for Workplace Relations and Shadow Minister for Rural & Regional Australia
– The Hon Richard Marles MP, Shadow Minister for Defence.
- The Hon Jason Clare M,P, Shadow Minister for Resources and North Australia and Shadow Minister for Trade & Investment