Sunday 29th Mar, 2020

Cairns South development area to expand for sugar industry growth

Sugar is bouncing back from a long-term price low. Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

The Cairns South State Development Area (SDA) has been approved to expand to support the growth and diversification of the sugar industry and to create more jobs.

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the expansion would provide greater certainty to the local sugar industry.

“Our government recognises the sugar industry’s significant economic contribution to the region,” Pitt said.

“This amendment will protect Mulgrave Mill from urban encroachment and will ensure land for cane supply is retained.

“Most importantly, this will protect local jobs, and help create new ones in the future.”

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The expansion also aims to support future industries that use the mill’s by-products, for example ethanol and pharmaceuticals production using sugar cane waste.

Feedback on the expansion was received from landowners, MSF Sugar, Cairns Regional Council, Canegrowers Cairns, along with community members.

Pitt added the SDA expansion will provide an opportunity to better manage heavy vehicle traffic in Gordonvale.

“Long-term access to the Mulgrave Mill industrial precinct is proposed from Highleigh Road, which will improve operational conditions for the industry,” he said.

The SDA expansion includes approximately 303 hectares of land around MSF Sugar’s Mulgrave Mill in Gordonvale.

The Coordinator-General has consulted on a draft development scheme for the Cairns South SDA. A decision on the scheme is expected in the coming weeks.