Yesterday saw the first shipment of sugar to leave Bundaberg’s port since the area was devastated by floods in late January.
Jason Pascoe, Bundaberg’s port manager told the Courier Mail that the floods had caused ‘unprecedented’ damage to the port which prevented ships from entering.
“I think everyone will be buoyed that we have our port open,” he said.
“It’s a huge boost in confidence for our community who rely on this port to get their product to market.”
With over 350 cane growers in the region, the closure of the port meant that the 18,000 tonnes of sugar from last years harvest was forced to sit unused in storage sheds.
The new season’s sugar crushing is scheduled to start on Monday, which means that the port needs to be cleared on make way for the new crops.
General manager of Queensland Sugar Limited, Damian Ziebarth said a 150m cargo ship carried the first load and is expected to make 11 trips back to Mackay.
“We would like to get back to full, normal operations soon,” he said.
The shipment it expected to reach Mackay today.
Image credit: www.southjohnstonemill.com.au