TRYING TO FLAM GRAND BAHAMA THE FNM IS

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On Monday of this week, the Prime Minister Hubert Minnis took the whole cabinet up to Freeport for a dog and pony show. This time he was announcing the cruise port that the PLP signed a heads of agreement for a new cruise port in 2017 just before losing office. The Port was to create an alternative to the existing Freeport Harbour where the cruise ships complain that the industrial nature of the harbour makes it unattractive for their cruise passengers. The graceless human being that he is, the Prime Minister gave no credit to the PLP for this project.  This is yet another example of the fact that the FNM has no ideas and are using PLP ideas to get things going.  The Prime Minister did acknowledge that the project spanned three administrations beginning he said with that of Hubert Ingraham. The problem is that in 1994, Mr. Ingraham signed a letter which gave Hutchison Whampoa, the owners of the Freeport Container Port the right to veto the creation of any other port in Grand Bahama.  Mr. Ingraham could not get them to agree to waive the exclusivity. This was something that Perry Christie was able to do and then got Carnival to commit to the construction of a new port outside the Freeport zoned area. Now comes Mr. Minnis who has announced the project but this time within the bonded area.  Why would you do that?  The bonded area has two governments, two sets of fees, two sets of bureaucracy in order to get anything done.  The PLP wanted to improve the lot of the people of East Grand Bahama, boost their economy by the creation of a cruise port with total Bahamian small business involvement.  Nevertheless, the announcement has created a kind of buzz in the Freeport community which is so desperate for something to take off. Meanwhile, the Government debacle in buying the Grand Lucayan Hotel continues.  Sixty five million and counting down the drain.  They announced that they have paid off the line staff who wanted to go.  They said they have spent some 13 million supporting the operating costs in Grand Bahama for the hotel. So, everyone expects the worse with the latest issue but is hoping for the best.  The room the Pestaina Hall was packed with people.