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$33.6 million to boost sugar industry's future.



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BACK Home | Media Releases DAFF06/180PM - 11 December 2006

$33.6 million to boost sugar industry’s future

The Australian Government has today announced funding of up to $33.6 million to support sugar industry communities in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, said the funding for 23 projects would come from the third round of the Regional and Community Projects (RCP) scheme, which formed part of the Government’s Sugar Industry Reform Programme 2004.

“The projects will contribute to securing the future of the sugar industry. The projects are tailored to improve the industry’s efficiency levels and help it pursue options to diversify and innovate,” Mr McGauran said.

“Among the grant recipients is Queensland’s Mackay Sugar Co-operative Association Ltd, which has been allocated up to $12 million to help it produce electricity and ethanol.

“Bundaberg Sugar Ltd has been allocated up to $6.5 million to build a new rail bridge over the South Johnstone River, while the Mossman Central Mill Co is receiving up to $3.9 million to develop low glycemic index (GI) sugar and molasses extracts.

“Gollandra Mulch Products will receive up to $820,000 to set up a sugarcane mulch processing facility in WA’s Ord River District, and the NSW Sugar Milling Cooperative Ltd has been allocated up to $104,000 to provide the State’s cane farmers with information about an initiative aimed at helping them increase their yields and cut costs.

“In total, 45 projects have received up to $60 million under the RCP programme, with all of them due to be completed by June 2008.”

Mr McGauran said studies recommended in the Sugar Industry Oversight Group’s (IOG) Strategic Vision — including domestic and international benchmarking to analyse productivity changes and research into structural change — would be undertaken in 2007.

“I will consult with the IOG on possible options for using any remaining funds in the RCP programme. Meanwhile, the IOG, and Regional Advisory Groups, will continue to play active roles in the reform and restructuring of Australia’s sugar industry.”

Round 3 Sugar Industry Regional and Community Projects

NSW Up to $104,000 to NSW Sugar Milling Cooperative Ltd to improve information flows to NSW cane farmers regarding the ‘10-in-10’ productivity initiative. The initiative aims to increase yields by 10 per cent and reduce costs by $0.90/tonne by 2016.

Contact: Peter McGuire (02) 6670 1745

Western Australia Up to $820,500 to Gollandra Pty Ltd so it can set up a sugarcane mulch processing facility in the Ord River District. The new infrastructure will include two, 1000 square metre sheds, office and workshop space, communications equipment, upgraded power and water supplies and support machinery, and equipment and vehicles. Contact: Ian Marshall (02) 6682 8420

Queensland Up to $3,938,844 to Mossman Central Mill Company Ltd to develop food-grade, low glycemic index sugar and molasses extracts. Contact: Allan Johnstone (07) 4030 4101

Up to $53,600 to Dore & Company to encourage greater use of zero tillage, controlled traffic and GPS-guided billet-planting systems for growers in the wet tropics sugar region. Contact: Greg Dore (07) 4066 7830

Up to $29,000 to Arthur Cecchi to increase the use of GPS planting by including it as part of a larger scheme promoting the use of variable rate fertiliser applicators, harvester yield monitors, farm mapping and prescription nutrient applications, GPS steer billet planter tractors, and GPS steer harvesters and adjustable front harvesters. Contact: Arthur Cecchi (07) 4063 2115

Up to $31,855 to PC Brooks & Co so it can implement controlled traffic farming at two-metre spacings in the wet tropics. Contact: Robert Brooks (07) 4065 2288

Up to $2,362,500 to Bundaberg Sugar Ltd so it can close Mourilyan Mill and transfer operations to the South Johnstone and Babinda Mills. This will help improve the environmental sustainability of the South Johnstone Mill. Contact: Ronald Porter (07) 4043 8200

Up to $6,529,250 to Bundaberg Sugar Ltd to build a new bridge over the South Johnstone River, construct 4.7km of new rail line and install associated infrastructure, modify 600 cane bins so they can be linked to existing rail systems, increase crushing rates and provide an efficient, community-friendly transport system. Contact: Craig Alman (07) 4043 8206

Up to $250,000 to Bundaberg Sugar Ltd to relocate the 170 square metre, rotary, vacuum mud-filter at the Mourilyan Mill to the Babinda Mill. This will help increase crushing rates, particularly when the soil content in the cane supply is above average and also increase sugar-recovery from the filter mud. Contact: Michael O’Halloran (07) 4043 8115

Up to $356,250 to Herbert Cane Productivity Services Ltd to set up integrated, geospatial, crop-yield monitoring systems in all harvesters (which are already fitted with GPS-harvesting monitoring systems) in the Herbert district. This will help boost regional productivity, save costs and improve regional decision-making. Contact: Ron Kerkwyk (07) 4776 1808

Up to $756,200 to CSR Sugar (Herbert) Pty Ltd to install NIR Cane Analysis Systems in Herbert’s sugar mills. They will allow speedy feedback to growers on nutrient management, to harvesters on cane quality, to mill operators on cane characteristics and to RD&E agencies on variability in cane analysis parameters within

farms, sub-districts and across the region. Contact: Ian Davies (07) 4776 4206

Up to $44,063 to the Estate of L Mizzi and Y, P and C Mizzi to speed up use of a proven farming system that will reduce planting costs by about 50 per cent without affecting productivity. Contact: Paul Mizzi (07) 4777 1681

Up to $1,174,050 to CSR Sugar Pty Ltd (Burdekin) to install NIR machines on five sugar trains in the Burdekin. The machines will determine the quality and nutrient content of sugar cane, provide growers with recommendations on crop inputs via

regional precision-agriculture GIS and productivity reports, and incorporate NIR data in new cane and harvesting payment systems. Contact: Lisa McDonald (07) 4652 6205

Up to $10,928 to the Proserpine District Canegrowers Co-operative Ltd to enable growers, harvest contractors and other industry stakeholders to better understand the state of their businesses. The associated infrastructure will also be freely available to the broader community. Contact: Geoff Bolster (07) 4945 1844

Up to $12 million to the Mackay Sugar Co-operative Association Ltd to help the company broaden its product base by participating in a renewable energy cogeneration project. The project involves producing electricity in the shorter term and ethanol in the medium term. Contact: John Pollock (07) 4953 8252

Up to $500,000 to Australian Prime Fibre Pty Ltd to build detached, on-site, high-volume storage facilities, and install new production equipment to boost factory capacity and production output by a factor of six. Contact: Paul Woosley (07) 5476 6245

Up to $576,300 to help Bundaberg Sugar Ltd to upgrade rail connections between the Fairymead and Bingera Mills. The project will boost locomotive haul capacity by 62 per cent — from 40 to 65 bins per load — and reduce the trip time by 18 per cent — from 5.5 to 4.5 hours — by regrading three steep sections of the track. Contact: Gary Longden (07) 4150 8500

Up to $1,900,000 to BSES Ltd to establish a SmartSettĀ® sugarcane propagation facility in Brisbane and distribution centres in the sugar regions. Contact: Garry Butler (07) 3331 3337

Up to $38,450 to Bundaberg Canegrowers Ltd to help increase its bargaining power by setting up the Grain in Cane Trading Cooperative. Bundaberg Canegrowers will also install grain handling infrastructure and further develop an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable grain-in-cane farming system. Contact: Dale

Holliss (07) 4151 2555

Up to $221,650 to The Maryborough Sugar Factory Ltd to implement a farm management system that incorporates improved variety selection and propagation, precision planting using a double disc opener planter equipped with GPS, increasing the attractiveness of growing soybeans as a break crop, and improving the efficiency of irrigation systems. Contact: John Burman (07) 4121 1100

Up to $1,230,000 to Australian Sugar Cane Feeds Pty Ltd to speed up completion of the CowCandy plant expansion. Contact: Druce Batstone (07) 5448 5990

Up to $132,500 to Rocky Point Cooperative Ltd to encourage the use of new farm management systems by providing the co-op with equipment to help make the process

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more cost effective. Contact: Greg Zipf (07) 5546 1481

Up to $500,000 to Rocky Point Sugar Mill to modify infrastructure at the Rocky Point Mill. This will improve ethanol production, as well as the extraction of organic sugar and high-quality conventional sugar from cane. Contact: David Heck (07) 5546 2422

Ends

Further media inquiries:

Minister McGauran's office: Ben Houston 02 6277 7520

http://www.maff.gov.au/releases/06/06180pm.html

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