News

Disasters claim sugar jobs

HARVEST WOES: The sugar industry is expecting a reduced harvest this year.
HARVEST WOES: The sugar industry is expecting a reduced harvest this year. Mike Knott

A COMBINATION of the floods of last year and the subsequent drought has led to job losses at Bundaberg Sugar's operation.

General manager of operations David Pickering said the extreme weather had forced a review of the company's structure and, as a result, there were eight redundancies.

"We had floods last year, which led to a small crop," he said.

"We've had to spend a lot of money on repairing our cane railway lines."

This year's dry spell also looks as though it will result in a smaller cane crop and resulting crush.

Mr Pickering said the company had to look at maintaining efficiencies and production so it could remain competitive.

The job losses were at both the Millaquin mill and on the cane railway network.

Mr Pickering said half the jobs lost were seasonal and half were full time.

"This puts us in the position where we know we have got a sustainable company and workforce into the future," he said.

Mr Pickering said the company was aiming towards an annual harvest of two million tonnes of cane.

"That's probably where we need to be," he said.

In 2012 the harvest was 1.8 million tonnes, which was close to what Bundaberg Sugar wanted.

Mr Pickering said the company had a five-year plan to get to the two million tonnes.

This involved Bundaberg Sugar planting more land to sugar cane, and encouraging growers in the district to plant more.

Mr Pickering said even with the recent rain, and if growers irrigated now, it was going to be a very small crop this year

. Isis Canegrowers chairman Joe Russo said the recent rain would help lift the crop.

"Up until four to five weeks ago it was looking disastrous," he said.

"The rain has been a great benefit."

Mr Russo said estimates of the harvest in the Isis district was about the 850,000 tonne mark.

But 50mm of rain in the next few weeks could push that up.

Last year the district harvested 1.175 million tonnes of cane.

"The cane that has been irrigated has really grown," he said.

"But it's hard to put a number on the smaller and unirrigated cane."

Mr Russo said no start date for the harvest had been set yet, but based on the estimated crop it would be mid to late July.

Bundaberg Canegrowers chairman Allan Dingle said the estimate for the region's crop was 1.45 million tonnes this year.




Doctors differ on scan results

Inquest hears Mr Plumb's condition got worse

Tenants trash Bundy home

CLEAN-UP: Tenants have left this rental property in Norville uninhabitable.

Strange white coating left over floor

Wooden house razed as fire tears through home

The house fire in Givelda.Photo Contributed

Emergency crews rush to house fire

Latest deals and offers

Mum driver heroically ignores hilarious lip-syncing son

Hilarious moves while Mum concentrates on the road.

IF IT takes a village to raise a child, why aren't they driving?

Twitter adds dancing David Brent emoji

Ricky Gervais's character has its own emoji now

Cyndi Lauper opens up about mother's dementia

Cyndi Lauper says her mother Catrine has "a little dementia".

Lindsay Lohan 'calls off engagement'

Lohan reportedly called off her engagement to Russian millionaire

Rob Kardashian 'neglected' by Blac Chyna

Friends say they are now 'back in love'

Isla Fisher: I don't like talking about my private life

Isla Fisher shut down TV hosts when they asked about her husband

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles