El Arish North Queensland

Places, Faces and Events of an Historical Soldier Settlement town

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The Establishment of the Tully Mill

The establishment of the Mill was a major milestone because before that, until 1923,  cane either had to go to a mill at Guru via the Derrick System run by Queensland Rail.  This could take up to a week to get there depending on industrial strikes, weather, flooding, derailments and a variety of other potential issues.  The 1924 and 1925 harvests went to South Johnston, which while a better alternative, was still not satisfactory. 

Finally after several applications were denied by the Queensland Government the tramway from El Arish to the Tully Mill was completed just in time for the 1937 crushing season.


Milling and processing

Tully Sugar Mill is a large, self-contained factory, located in Tully  close to the farms which supply them with sugarcane.  The Mill with it's towering stacks and plumes of white smoke which can be seen for miles,  works day and night during the cane crushing season and is a major employer in the area. During the crushing season the Tully Mill runs guided tours of the mill.

It is an efficient operation with very little of the cane is not used.  Fibre left after the cane is crushed is used as fuel for the mill boiler and ash and mud from the Mill is returned to the cane paddocks as fertilizer.  Molasses, which is a syrup residue remaining after the raw sugar crystals are made, is used in distilleries and for stock feed.  It is a major export for Queensland and contributes greatly to the state's GDP.