After four decades in the sugar milling industry, Proserpine Cane Supply Manager Tony Marino is heading into a well-deserved retirement.

He has passed the torch on to Jed Page, who made the move south from Tully to become the new Cane Supply Manager for our Proserpine Mill.

Tony has worked across seven Queensland sugar mills since starting his career as a Graduate Cane Inspector in 1981.

“At the time, CSR was recruiting university graduates and I had just finished a Bachelor of Business in Rural Management at Gatton. Because of the demand for cane inspectors, I was able to gain valuable experience and move up the ranks fairly quickly,” he said.

“I first started at Goondi Mill near Innisfail, which included a brief period at Hambledon Mill just outside Cairns, not far from where I spent my childhood on the family farm. Both of those sugar mills have since shut down.

“I’ve worked in all of Wilmar Sugar’s milling regions, Townsville head office, and most of its mills. I’ve spent time at Victoria and Macknade mills in the Herbert, Invicta in the Burdekin, Plane Creek Mill at Sarina and more recently Proserpine Mill.”

He spent the latter part of his career in Cane Supply Manager roles – nine years at Plane Creek Mill and the last five years at Proserpine Mill.

Tony is part of a multi-generational sugar industry family.

“My grandfather started working in the sugar industry in the 1920s on a farm at Fishery Falls near Gordonvale, my father continued on his legacy and my son and I both ended up working for Wilmar Sugar – me as a Cane Supply Manager and David as the Assistant Production Superintendent at Inkerman Mill in the Burdekin.”

Tony said he enjoyed the stability and diversity that came with working at Wilmar Sugar, which enabled him to make some great friends over the last 40 years.

“It’s the people that make the mill,” he said.

“I have stayed with the company for over 40 years. Not many people get the opportunity to work somewhere for so long.”

Tony and his wife Lorraine are in the process of moving to Townsville to be closer to their children, and first grandchild, who was born this month.

Jed, who has taken over from Tony, has a background as a Logistics Officer at Tully Sugar Mill.

“It’s been a good and fun challenge to take on this role,” he said.

“I’ve spent the last five weeks working closely with Tony as we transition over, which has been a great start to the job, and I am at the point now where everything is really starting to click.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with the Cane Supply team, local growers and harvesting contractors to get the 2022 sugarcane crop off the ground.”