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.



Nine males, one female; divers watch turtles get frisky

Mating season ends this month.

One female, nine males, this is all part of nature for turtles

Unlike: the Facebook scam targeting Bundy businesses

ALARM BELLS: Cool Bananas co-owner Sharlene Gemming managed to avoid the phishing trap. Photo: Eliza Goetze / NewsMail

Scammers are targetting local cafes on Facebook

Local Partners

Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

Michael Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch"

Daniel Radcliffe hoped for haircut anonymity

Radcliffe thought shaving his head would make him more anonymous

Jim Carrey slams 'shameful greed' of lawsuit

Jim Carrey has slammed the "shameful greed" of White's ex-husband.

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

WATCH: Justin Bieber grabbed in Germany

A video has emerged of singer Justin Bieber being attacked

Why The Wrong Girl is right for Jessica Marais

Jessica Marais and Ian Meadows in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

ACTOR makes the sometimes awkward character her own in new comedy.

Developers boost confidence in Bundaberg property market

Slow and steady growth has always been Bundaberg’s way

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state