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Minnis: Disney Has Outstanding Record

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By MORGAN ADDERLEY

Tribune Staff Reporter

madderley@tribunemedia.net

DISNEY has an “outstanding environmental record” Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday, as he doubled down on his defence of the multi-million-dollar cruise facility proposed for South Eleuthera.

Dr Minnis underscored this project will result in “long-term sustainable development,” as he listed a litany of Family Island tourism projects during his keynote address at yesterday’s 2019 Local Government Workshop opening ceremony.

Among these projects include new airports, resorts, and ports.

Dr Minnis also announced the next National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) training session will take place next month.

Directly addressing the Disney deal, Dr Minnis said: “There has been talk in some quarters about the development that are dead wrong. The land on which the development is taking place is private property. It was not Crown land. Furthermore, Disney has an outstanding environmental record.

“No development will begin until an environmental impact assessment that meets the government’s requirements is done,” he reiterated.

Dr Minnis added that he was “pleased” to “personally inform” the residents of South Eleuthera that the deal for the port was signed, adding it will “result in long-term sustainable development, including business opportunities and jobs.”

Dr Minnis tabled the project’s heads of agreement in Parliament last week. The deal has been rife with controversy, with Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Fred Mitchell last week saying details in the HOA have raised concerns.

Mr Mitchell also criticised Dr Minnis for the “arrogance” the prime minister displayed in Parliament when he made no apologies for announcing first in Eleuthera that the deal had been agreed. This was done in a closed-door meeting on March 7 and not announced until March 9.

Yesterday, Dr Minnis said he places “a priority” on town hall meetings and “keeping Family Island residents abreast of various national developments.”

He added his government will be creating and expanding offices of the prime minister in more Family Islands and also reiterated other upcoming projects.

“I am pleased that during this term in office we will build new airports in North Eleuthera, Exuma and Long Island,” Dr Minnis said.

“We are actively exploring the opportunity to establish a transshipment port in Mayaguana in the southern Bahamas,” he continued, adding the Bahamas Stripping Group of Companies will be developing poultry farms and processing plants in North Andros and Eleuthera and a distribution centre on New Providence.

Dr Minnis also noted the government is making an effort to incorporate solar power generation into the Ragged Island electricity grid and improving water access in Crooked Island and Long Island.

Resorts and lodges are also in development for Andros, Long Island, and Abaco.

The latter will include the upgrade and expansion of the Sandy Point airstrip, ferry dock, and extension of the Queen’s Highway.

Regarding NEMA and hurricane preparedness, Dr Minnis said: “After being hit by category four and five hurricanes for three consecutive years, we were spared last year, but we always need to be in a state of readiness.

“NEMA was given a mandate to provide training to all key stakeholders, well in advance of the hurricane season.

“NEMA has already had two, three-day training seminars in January and March with the assistance of US Northcom. Another three day training is planned for the first week of April, with the test run being done in June. Family Island administrators will be a part of this training. I urge you to make sure you are fully involved in this important exercise.”

Dr Minnis addressed the status of plans to introduce local government in New Providence. “I am pleased to report that the advisory committee on the introduction of local government to New Providence has completed extensive consultations both locally and internationally.

“They have compiled their findings in a report that will be presented to Cabinet in a few weeks for further discussion. The decisions that follow may enhance the quality of life in New Providence, in the first instance, and the enhancement of local government in the Family Islands.”

Comments

JackArawak 5 months ago

I can't say that Disney had a great environmental reputation when they finished with Bakers Bay on North end of Great Guana Cay, Abaco. They dredged and tore the whole area up then abandoned it later and left junk and trash everywhere. 150 menial jobs in S Eluthera at best. Ask the folks in Sandy Point Abaco today what they get from Gorda / Castaway Cay.

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gbgal 5 months ago

Don't forget the mess they left in GB after "Pirates"! We haven't.

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DDK 5 months ago

That is an excellent article and very enlightening for those ignorant of the true ways of The Mouse. One would almost have to wonder if the PM and his crew ever read or listen to ANYTHING that is not of direct import to their pockets.

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ThisIsOurs 5 months ago

I'm sure he's repeating what they told him. Or maybe he's confusing their Bahamas record with the popularity of Disney world

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joeblow 5 months ago

Politicians love low paying jobs at any cost! So sad!

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Clamshell 5 months ago

Maybe you have some great ideas for high-paying jobs for rural South Eleuthera. Maybe aerospace engineering, or high-speed injection molding, or cloud-data storage? The folks there would love to hear them! So would we!

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joeblow 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I'm sorry you missed the bigger point my pithy comment meant to make, which is: successive governments have failed to have a sensible national development plan to develop industry and self reliance for the empowerment of ALL Bahamians. As a result Bahamians are overly dependent on government to create jobs by giving ridiculous concessions to encourage FDI. This allows government to keep the populace dependent on them for jobs that keep them ignorant slaves to the banking system. The vast majority of these jobs are low skilled low paying jobs! The plantation may have changed, but people are still slaves!

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stocktonfuller 5 months ago

Disney can be a great addition to Eleuthera but to suggest that they are environmentally responsible is totally inaccurate. They cut through the reef on Grand Bahama whilst filming Pirates of the Caribbean and destroyed valuable property when finished leaving waste and debris.

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sealice 5 months ago

Where do you suppose all the Gorda trash goes? right in the ocean off the back of their cruise ships??

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