A regional partnership approach to developing a sustainable sugar cane system : SRDC final report MAS001
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The Mossman milling area has a unique place in the Australian sugar industry; not only is it the most northern of all mill areas but the Mossman Central Mill is one of the oldest independent milling companies and still substantially owned by its cane suppliers. It also has also established a reputation for innovation in both the processing and growing of sugarcane. By 2002 Mossman and most of the Australian sugar industry was suffering significant financial difficulties following a decade of expansion.In 2002 a unique Joint Venture Partnership (JVP) was established with membership comprising the Douglas Shire Council, CSIRO, Mossman Central Mill, Mossman Canegrowers and Mossman Agricultural Services to develop strategic responses to the sustainability issues facing the sugar industry. In addition to the formal membership, input from state and federal government service providers and community and environmental groups was also sought.The JVP was able to secure funding from the Federal Department of Environment and Heritage to develop Queensland’s first Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP). The MAS001 project was also developed through the JVP to address sustainability issues facing the Mossman sugar industry.In 2002 Mossman Central Mill was in the final stages of securing financial partners for an ethanol plant and cogeneration. The JVP was also able to secure some funding from the Federal Greenhouse Gas Abatement Programme for plantation forestry and plantings for biodiversity and habitat value in conjunction with the mill projects. MAS001 was seen as a vehicle for promoting the plantations with Mossman farmers.