All Hands On Deck As Mossman Harvest Gets Green Light

The race is on to get Mossman’s cane crush underway, following confirmation the State Government would chip in up to $6 million towards the cost of transporting the cane 100kms south to MSF’s Mulgrave Mill.

Following months of intensive negotiations between CANEGROWERS Mossman, the local Douglas Shire Council, Douglas Chamber of Commerce, MSF Sugar and the Queensland Government, Premier Steven Miles announced the government would cover nearly half of the transport costs.

“This is a good economic outcome for the industry, with growers looking to recoup some of the $15 million they have put into getting this crop ready,” CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan said.

“I’d like to thank the Premier, as well as Minister for State Development Grace Grace and Minister for Agriculture Mark Furner, for listening to grower concerns and taking action to ensure Mossman’s 2024 sugarcane crop can be cut and crushed.”

While many Mossman growers were looking to enter into a commercial cane supply agreement with MSF, the reality is that without the government, milling company, and growers sharing in the transport costs, the project would be economically unviable.

“Growers will still need to pay up to $12 per tonne for transport costs, so for some the finances of this arrangement are tight, but they are determined that this crop should be turned into an economic outcome.

“This arrangement gives growers certainty around this year’s crop and also provides some breathing room so growers can take a little time to consider their next move.”

CANEGROWERS Mossman Chairman Matt Watson said the government’s commitment was a huge relief for local growers.

“For months we’ve been in limbo, not knowing if someone would swoop in and save the mill or if our crops would be left to rot in the paddocks.

“MSF making a commercial decision to receive and crush the cane was the critical first piece of the puzzle, and I’d like to acknowledge the team at MSF for their diligence and persistence in making that happen.

“Finding a funding arrangement to cover the cost of transport has been the stumbling block to making this venture a reality. It’s been an anxious time for growers, but we can all take a deep breath now and start preparing for the crush.”

Mr Watson said there was still plenty of work to do before harvesting could get underway.

“We have plenty of planning to get harvesters ready to fire up, and the mill is also making preparations. But now that we know the harvest is going ahead, it’s all hands on deck to make this happen.”

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