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BUDGET DEBATE CONTINUED THIS WEEK IN PARLIAMENT
Parliament met this week from Monday to Thursday to debate the $2 billion 2016/2017 budget. Below is a summary of the contributions:
Grand Bahama Affairs Minister Dr. Michael Darville was clearly the most demonstrative of all Parliamentarians in his House presentation, making extensive use of visual aids. Following are some of the highlights:
· Independent Environmental and Health Risk Assessment of the Lewis Yard, Pinders Point and surrounding areas.
· Design and preparation for the Freeport Community Clinic in advanced stage with groundbreaking scheduled for September 2016.
· Renovation and expansion of the Rand Memorial Hospital ahead of NHI rollout.
· Renovations to existing public health clinics across Grand Bahama.
· Holmes Rock potable water project nearing completion.
· Completion of C.A. Smith storage complex.
· Renovations and enhancements to the Grand Bahama Sports Complex.
· Renovations to the Harold Degregory Building.
· Renovations to the Freeport Post Office.
· Renovations of the Garnet Levarity Justice Center.
· Upgrade of ambulatory fleet and fleet to facilitate domiciliary care.
· Construction of seawall in Smith’s Point to address coastal erosion.
· New Freeport Fire Station nearing completion.
· New Fishing Hole Bridge on Fishing Hole Road under construction.
· New Cruise port planned for East Grand Bahama.
· MOU signed for $250 million phase V expansion of Freeport Container Port.
The Hon. Kenred Dorsett, Minister of Environment and Housing, announced the establishment of the Youth Environmental Corps, a program established to assist in relieving unemployment. The program will play an important role in the establishment of the green and blue economies in The Bahamas where apprenticeship opportunities will be provided to as many as 1,200 young people between the ages of 17 and 40 over the next five years. Dorsett also announced that work will commence shortly on the Killarney National Park and the Hero’s Park.