Research shows value of Mossman Mill to local economy


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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POWERHOUSE: The Mossman Mill represents about seven per cent of the Douglas Shire's economy. Image: Newsport.

Independent analysis has revealed a total direct and indirect economic contribution in excess of $4 billion made by the sugar manufacturing sector in Queensland in 2017-18.

The research was commissioned by the Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC). 

David Rynne, ASMC’s Director of Economics, Policy and Trade, said direct expenditure on payments to mill employees, cane growers, and mill goods and services providers totalled approximately $2.24 billion in the last financial year.

“You can’t overstate the importance of a direct $2.24 billion injection into the state’s economy,” said Mr Rynne.

“And the direct payments stimulated a further $1.81 billion flow-on economic boost in sectors from farm and mill inputs to retail.

“All of this added up to a total of $4.05 billion gross value-add and 22,657 jobs for Queensland,” he said in a statement.

Rynne added sugar production benefited the Cairns, Port Douglas, Mareeba, Atherton Tablelands and Yarrabah local government areas.

The Mossman Mill, which until a few weeks ago was in grave danger of closing, is a key player in its contribution to the Douglas Local Government Area.

This graphic clearly outlines the Mossman Mill’s gross value add in terms of revenue and employment to the local government area. 

In welcoming the figures, Douglas Shire Mayor, Julia Leu, said the report justifies Douglas Shire Council’s relentless support of the region’s canegrowers in their efforts to save and transform the Mossman Mill.

“We are firmly optimistic about this green transformation of the sugar cane industry,” she said.

“Securing the Mossman Mill’s future gives our young farmers certainty, restores investment confidence and pushes more dollars through the tills of small businesses in our shire.

“Council contributed $250,000 to help with the acquisition of the mill and submitted an application to get a piece of the $20 million Regional Growth Fund on behalf of Mossman and Tablelands Canegrowers,” she said.

ASMC Chief Executive, David Pietsch, said the report from respected analysts Lawrence Consulting, confirms the contribution of sugar manufacturing in terms of wealth and job creation in Queensland.

“We now have detailed data that shows the extent to which Queensland’s sugar mills underpin the regional communities in which they operate,” said Mr Pietsch.

“As we look ahead, despite the current concerns regarding low sugar prices, Queensland’s milling enterprises are keen to grow and invest in new opportunities, if provided with the right economic signals and government policy settings,” he said.


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