Out with the crush and in with Christmas
A SUCCESSFUL crushing season has kept spirits high in the Hebert River District as Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto urges locals to get into the Christmas spirit.
As of last Friday, some 4,208,117 tonnes of cane had been crushed between Ingham’s Victoria and Macknade Mills, which equates to about 90 per cent of the season harvest completed.
The strong result comes as the district closes in on its forecast of 4,770,000 tonnes to be crushed by season’s end.
“I’d like to congratulate both growers and mill workers for putting in a phenomenal effort over the season this year. A combination of dry weather and limited mill breakdowns has seen us get this year’s crop off in time for an early wash-down for Christmas,” Mr Dametto said.
“It is a tribute to the strength and resilience of our district’s growers to bounce back from the damage done to crops during March’s floods.
“We’re also fortunate that a good winter followed resulting in a largely dry harvest and a strong Commercial Cane Sugar (CCS) value.”
Mr Dametto said the Herbert River district “comes to life” during the crushing season as hundreds of people are employed through harvesting contractors and through Wilmar on milling and loco crews.
“This year’s crushing season could wind up as early as the 30th of November, giving everyone the opportunity to catch up for a cold one and a yarn during the usual end of year “harvester parties”, which most crews have missed out on over the last few years as we have cut cane right up to Christmas,” he said.
“I’m sure the milling crews will also be keen to have the shredder apart and mill washed down before Christmas this year.
“Our local towns really shine when the season is on, with a host of events and festivals celebrating the best of the region.
“I know it’s been a tough year for growers with the world sugar price in such a slump, but I am confident we will bounce back as we see the forward pricing improving for next year. Regardless, I know we are all looking forward to a good Christmas this year.”
Meanwhile, the Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism will be getting into the Christmas spirit by decorating vacant shopfronts around Ingham and distributing leftover decorations to business owners to help spruce up their shops.
“Whether it’s attending Christmas carols or decorating your shopfront, I encourage all local businesses to embrace the festive season and celebrate a great end to the year,” Mr Dametto said.