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Andros Mp Unhappy He Was Not Consulted On Project

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

NORTH Andros and the Berry Islands MP Carlton Bowleg said it is "high disrespect" for investors to pursue a massive development affecting his constituents without consulting him first.

He was referring to a proposed multi-million development in Morgan's Bluff, Andros that would involve a new port, airport, healthcare research facilities and manufacturing facilities for harvested aragonite.

Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong, a philanthropist billionaire, is heading a group that wants to invest $200m to $250m over the first two phases of the project, which is called the North Andros Green Free Trade Zone. A formal submission has not yet been made to the Minnis administration but a leaked draft proposal requests work permits and promises more than 10,000 new construction, manufacturing and service jobs.

The Progressive Liberal Party came out against the project yesterday, saying it is not environmentally sustainable given the shallow water table in the area.

"The PLP does not support privatising the port at Morgan's Bluff and therefore the shareholders in the Arawak Cay Port Development and the cruise ship port should also not be allowed to add this to their ownership and control," PLP chairman Fred Mitchell said in a statement.

Mr Bowleg, meanwhile, said he should have been contacted before information about the project began to spread.

"If people could go and put something out there like that without the MP knowing, they bold," he said. "It's a high disrespect for someone to put out all these brochures of what they looking to do. And the project they looking at, it's like they want to take the whole North Andros, that is really just crazy. For someone to put out a bold brochure like that and not contact me, definitely I have a problem with that. I live here in Andros. Whatever decision is going to be made as far as North Andros is concerned this member will ensure the people have a voice."

The draft proposal speaks to harvesting aragonite in a water concession area and getting thousands of acres in land concessions.

"Whatever we agree to has to be safe," Mr Bowleg said, "not in a way that is going to be damaging as far as people coming in reaping awards that our children won't benefit from at the end of the day. I am not for it."

Mr Bowleg said he laughed when he saw what is proposed.

"I laughed because I live here and if you see what the project is they're looking to do, they're not asking for two or three miles," he said. "I look at it and I don't know what part of this lifetime, me being the MP, would let something like that actually take place. We would need to check out the EIA (environment impact assessment), make sure our water table is not going to be affected by that and it has to be brought to our people. Our people have to be aware about the pros and cos and yes it could be something sustainable, but it could also be a harm, so we'll have to see."

Mr Bowleg said North Andros residents are not desperate for an economic stimulus.

"I always say, under the PLP, we've been forgotten," he told The Tribune. "This is the first time Andros has gotten the look it's getting right now so we're used to surviving and we will continue to survive. We have a lot. We have our fishing industry and construction going on for a lot of buildings, we can sustain ourselves and that's why we will be wise. Androsians are resilient people but my voice will be heard for my people. For those people out of LA who looking to do such a great job coming here, you can't come half stepping, come through the proper channels. The main thing is we've been going good for ourselves and won't put ourselves in danger as far as them doing that kind of mining here," he said.

Comments

birdiestrachan 5 months, 2 weeks ago

There will be a change of tongue soon. It is to bad that Andros did not have a fishing industry under the PLP. It just came about under the FNM .

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tribanon 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The people of Andros deserve a national inquiry into why MP Bowleg was not put on the list of those expecting to receive 'shingles'. After all, he too is finding it difficult to keep a well shingled roof over his head in these unprecedented difficult times.

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themessenger 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Especially as many of his constituents still have a tarp over their roof, you ain see bey only some people could afford shingles.

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Godson 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Carlton should not hold it against this investor for not knowing about the 10% under the table dues and fees; otherwise called, political contributions

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The_Oracle 5 months, 2 weeks ago

And here on full display is the exact reason why the Bahamas is stuck in the muck it has crated for itself: No politician should ever have to be consulted. The laws of the land provide for certain processes to be followed, documents to be provided, and if all is in order, stamped and approved. By now there are probably 20 individuals that are on the line for shingles as promised/extorted. Politicians may have oversight, but no insertion in the process. Funny how so many people have the self assigned right to prevent, stop and delay, but none have the capability to simply approve or do.

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Godson 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I am in full support of you here.

The role and responsibilities of Members of Parliament have been distorted.

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The_Oracle 5 months, 2 weeks ago

"Mr Bowleg said North Andros residents are not desperate for an economic stimulus." I wonder if the people of Andros agree with that statement? Looked pretty depressed (as it always has) the last time I was there, a year ago.

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pocoloo 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Let Bowleg stay right there. He from Andros but he never had to worry about anything and still don't. He may be the MP but unless he polls the constituents he cannot make that statement. The majority of the people objecting to this project don't live in North Andros.

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Socrates 5 months, 2 weeks ago

More big talk.. we'll soon be floating to Florida on tubes due to tough times and this politician who should know better, says things are great..

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Godson 5 months, 2 weeks ago

There needs to be a clear and precise definition as to what are the roles and responsibilities of a 'Member of Parliament' for any particular constituency.

In my view, the roles and responsibilities of an elected Member of Parliament have become distorted and removed far from what it was intended or written to be.

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The_Oracle 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The problem with tribalism, is there is always a challenger to the tribal leader. usually the leader puts insurrection down most brutally. Or gets deposed. Tribalism is indeed a well used system of leadership WHEN THERE IS NOT A CONSTITUTION that governs. We have failed the system, and yet they re-write the system/write new laws to address their own failure. Does anyone think the Curfew serves any purpose beyond an attempt to control crime? /Perhaps a curfew has succeeded where they have failed? But, to wit, he has issued a statement that personifies the failure of self Governance. Andros has little for that very same arrogance and self appointed important position.

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DiverBelow 5 months, 2 weeks ago

This North Andros Green Free Trade Zone is most certainly a fools pipe dream, things to consider: 1. How can you expect to change the high volume natural tidal flow of the North West Passage area between Andros & Chub Cay, this with no ramifications to North Andros & The Berrys? Water moves where ever it wants. 2. The volume of rock-fill to create this North Andros barrier island & port for the purpose of aragonite mining will come from where? 3. The aragonite market is low, this is why the mine project south of Cat Cay went bust. 4. Most importantly, why reinvent the wheel in N Andros, one that you already have in Freeport? Invest in GB, where you already have the infrastructure, airports, homes & people. Is it because you are not getting cooperation from GBPA? or because these advantages are more expensive than starting from scratch in N Andros, where you may convince govt to give away loads of property for a little cash & a half-hearted dream? Bahamians are tired of half hearted dreams, the land is scarred with many. 5. Another selling of Bahamas' valued resources, their actual islands. Whats next their kids?

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killemwitdakno 5 months ago

Bluff floods. Sounds like a sale.

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