The future of Mossman and the Mossman Mill is in the hands of the Federal Government, according to Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu.
Fresh from a trip to Canberra, where she met senior ministers and extended an invitation to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack to visit Mossman, Leu said there is a lot riding on federal assistance.
“Mossman is not struggling. But it may be if we don’t get the Federal Government on board to save the Mossman Mill and develop a Daintree Bio Precinct,” Leu told Newsport.
“If tourism is the backbone of our economy, then the Mossman Mill is the heartbeat.”
Leu was optimistic about the future of the 121-year-old mill following the decision of local cane growers, Far Northern Milling Company, to buy it back from Mackay Sugar.
Council is lobbying for $20m from the Federal Government and $10m from the State Government in order to get the sale done by November. Failing that, the current owners will be closing at the end of the year.
“Putting the mill back into the cane growers’ hands will give our young farmers certainty, restore investment confidence and push more dollars through the tills of small businesses in Mossman,” she said.
“Council has approved a payment of up to $250,000 to help Far Northern Milling Pty Ltd cover costs of acquiring the mill and we are firmly optimistic about this green transformation of the sugar cane industry.”
The mill employs some 90 full-time and casual people and generates $115m into the economy.