Business

Region to miss out on $660m Mary Harbour project

Maryborough Sugar CEO Mike Barry with an artist's impression of the company's proposed $500 million Mary Harbour project at Granville on land that is now under sugar cane. Photo: JOCELYN WATTS 10m949
Maryborough Sugar CEO Mike Barry with an artist's impression of the company's proposed $500 million Mary Harbour project at Granville on land that is now under sugar cane. Photo: JOCELYN WATTS 10m949 Jocelyn Watts

MARYBOROUGH'S $660 million Mary Harbour project has been put on ice, with investor Mitr Phol signalling its intention to invest its money elsewhere.

It comes after a controversial sugar industry bill was passed in the Queensland Parliament this week.

The Sugar Industry (Real Choice in Marketing) Amendment Act, introduced by Katter's Australia Party and supported by independent member Billy Gordon and the LNP, was intended to allow cane growers to have a say in who marketed their product.

But Mike Barry, chief executive officer of MSF Sugar, which is owned by Mitr Phol, said the bill had created "uncertainty and discomfort" for the company and its shareholders, leading to the decision to put plans for the Mary Harbour development and expansions at the sugar mill on hold.

Mr Barry said funding for the project would now be redeployed in other countries.

He said he was saddened by the development.

"I put a lot of work into this," he said.

 

"It has all been put on hold."

Mr Barry said there had been no consultation with MSF Sugar from the Opposition before the bill was introduced in parliament.

"It's not clear where the industry is heading," he said.

The company would investigate whether it was workable to go ahead with the projects, he said.

"But it's not, on the face of it," Mr Barry said.

Mr Barry said the ramifications of the bill could mean costly pre-contract arbitration would be necessary between the mill and cane growers.

"The industry was deregulated, it's now becoming re-regulated," he said.

"It's creating investment uncertainty."

Mr Barry said the company made the difficult decision to explore other opportunities.

"There are other opportunities in other countries," he said.

When asked what it might mean for the future of MSF Sugar, Mr Barry said that it would impact on any possible expansion, with plans for a biomass plant now on hold.

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said he was "absolutely gutted" by the news.

Mr Saunders made a speech in parliament on Wednesday night, issuing a warning about what the possible repercussions of the bill might be.

"It's a kick in the guts."

Mr Saunders said the legislation would go before the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for assessment, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk saying the bill was "anti-competitive behaviour", putting jobs and investment at risk.

But even if the legislation was overturned, Mr Saunders said it could delay the Mary Harbour development by a further two to three years.

Mr Saunders said that if the Mary Harbour Project did not go ahead, it was likely that funding for Granville Bridge would be re-examined.

Mr Saunders said the bill could have serious repercussions for the future of Maryborough.

He said when people walked down the streets of Maryborough and saw the empty shops, they should think of the LNP.

"I don't know what we are going to do," Mr Saunders said. "Words can't express how I feel today. I warned that this would happen."

Sugar Industry Amendment Act

Brought before the Queensland Parliament by Katter's Australia Party

Supported by the LNP and independent member Billy Gordan

Opposed by the Palaszczuk Government because it rised trade ties and was anti-competitive

Supporters argue it will give canegrowers greater say in how their sugar is marketed

Topics:  fraser coast maryborough mary harbour sugar industry



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

CCTV shows toddlers opening pool gate

LUCKY ESCAPE: Juscinta Lewis is glad her children Zhii, 3, and Ziva, 5, are safe after they broke into the pool area on Thursday.

Granville mum shares her terrifying ordeal.

Prison staff want managers with custodial experience

Maryborough Correctional Centre.

Staff have expressed a lack of confidence in two duty managers.

Telco tower needs to be placed elsewhere, residents say

The final image design outlined in the development application of the proposed tower, situated at the Granville Hockey Field.

Granville residents Melinda and Andrew Macaulay have their say.

Local Partners

Animal refuge's food supplies scarcely low, can you help?

THE closure of IGA and Food for Less in Maryborough Central Plaza has resulted in some animals at a Fraser Coast refuge almost going hungry.


Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

What's on: 11 gigs coming up at the Brolga

Xavier Rudd will be performing a benefit concert at the Brolga Theatre on January 21.

There's a gig for everyone with lots happening in coming months.

J.K. Rowling writes through severe back pain

An aching back couldn't stop J.K. Rowling catching inspiration

Elsa voice actor's son hates Frozen

Idina Menzel's son "hates" his mother's most famous film 'Frozen'

Chrissy Teigen likes her "soft" stretch marks

Stretch marks are no problem for Chrissy Teigen

Naomie Harris in the dark over Daniel Craig's future as 007

Naomie Harris has no idea if Daniel Craig will be returning as 007

REVIEW: Will Kasey Chambers' Dragonfly take off with fans?

Kasey Chambers’ new album Dragonfly gets 3.5 stars from Cameron Adams.

CHAMBERS is back with her 11th studio album.

Ed Sheeran wants Beyonce collaboration

Ed Sheeran wants to record a duet with Beyoncé.

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!