CONCERNS are ramping up over the future of the Mossman Mill with questions being raised as to whether the State and Federal Government’s commitment of 25 and 20 million dollars respectively will be secured before the pending investment decision on June 14.
In a media release just under a fortnight ago, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure, and Planning Cameron Dick challenged Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch by stating that critical funding for day to day operational funding for the Mossman Mill, including wages, is now in jeopardy.
“Everyone understood the State’s support was focused on the delivery of the bio-precinct, with the Federal funding designed to support ongoing operations to allow the transition to occur,” Mr Dick said.
“This approach is consistent with our relevant constitutional roles and was fully supported by Far Northern Milling.”
Mr Dick said he and the local State Member for Cook Cynthia Lui are deeply concerned that the Federal Government will not honour the commitment made to Far Northern Milling Company, and the people of Mossman.
“A deal is a deal and a promise is a promise – when we make a promise, we deliver it,” he said.
“The Queensland Government will not be changing the deal we entered into with growers and nor should Mr Entsch.
“Mr Entsch and the LNP need to deliver on their promise today.”
Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch rubbished the claims made my Mr Dick, stating that his press release was a “bastard act”.
“Cameron Dick has no idea what he’s talking about – he took my comments I made earlier in the year on face value, twisted them and didn’t even bother to speak with the proponents of the Mossman Mill before sending that release,” he said.
“I’m disappointed that this has been pushed as two politicians having a fight, all I’m concerned about is getting this over the line.
“The growers and those at Far Northern Milling have worked too hard for this opportunity for it to be compromised because of mongrel politics.”
Mr Entsch said the Federal Government funding is ready to go, and that it’s in fact the State Government who has yet come to the table.
“Mr Dick has repeatedly said that he will sign off and release the money if he can find greater flexibility,” he said.
“The State Government is placing restrictions on Far Northern Milling and the conditions of the contract are simply unacceptable.”
Far Northern Milling’s Secrerary Bronwyn Dwyer was short and succinct when speaking on the current progress of negotiations.
“Funding that the Federal Government has promised suits the purpose that we require of it,” she said.
“On the other hand, the State Government has turned this into a political football.”