Grant helps secure sugarcane farms and jobs

CANEGROWERS has welcomed the announcement of a Federal Government grant for a crucial piece of infrastructure to help Maryborough and Sunshine Coast growers get their sugarcane to Childers for crushing this year.

The Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and local Federal MP Keith Pitt have announced a $2.5 million Community Development Grant towards the construction of a transloader to move sugarcane from road to rail transport so it can be processed at the Isis Central Sugar Mill.

CANEGROWERS had called for government assistance after MSF Sugar announced the closure of the Maryborough Mill at the end of the 2020 season.

“This grant shows that a relatively small investment on the part of government can have a profound impact on the economic stability of a regional community,” CANEGROWERS Maryborough Chairman Jeff Atkinson said.

“It gives longer term confidence to the 90 sugarcane growers in my region and job security to 140 farm workers and contractors.

“It is a good result all round – Maryborough sugarcane can now support a viable Isis Mill into the future.”

CANEGROWERS Maryborough and CANEGROWERS Isis are working on behalf of members in the region to ensure all the pieces are in place for a successful 2021 season.

Isis Central Sugar Mill is matching the government grant so the facility will be operational before the season starts.

Queensland Government support is also being sought and if this is forthcoming, growers will have the confidence they need for a successful season that now only hinges on the urgent need for rain in the southern sugarcane regions of Queensland to promote crop growth.

“In January the rain looked good but February has delivered almost nothing with temperatures up to 38 degrees so the situation is getting desperate,” Mr Atkinson said.

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