By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
Bahamian auto body repairers have urged the Government to establish a ‘trade park’, where ‘roadside’ or ‘backyard’ operators can rent work space and legitimise their operations.
Dwayne Scavella, the Bahamas Auto Repair Association’s president, told Tribune Business: “We have sat back for years and listened to the complaints of the road side repairers or back yard repairers.
“For quite some time we have looked at that and not one government has stepped up to the plate and said what they are going to do for these guys.”
He added: “The Association has brought them in and did what we can to assist them. You have a Straw Market for straw vendors, so why is it you can’t erect a trade park, rent work bays to these guys, help them to become legitimate businessmen and eliminate all of this inner self-destruction going on in this country.”
Sean Riley, proprietor of Riley’s Auto, concurred, telling Tribune Business: “The Government has access to the land. All they need is one steel building.
“There are a lot of guys not interested in school and, believe it or not, if you put them to deal with a car they will surprise you. These are areas that the Government needs to look at.”
Bahamian auto repairers have blasted the new car dealers for successfully lobbying the Government to ban wrecked vehicle imports, claiming this move would jeopardise 4,500 jobs.
Messrs Scavella and Riley said the policy, which is to take effect from September 1, was “inconsiderate”. The men suggested that a title committee comprised of individuals from within the local auto repair industry could be established, with an inspection team, to assess vehicles at the dock to determine whether they could be accepted for repairs or sent to the scrapyard.