Categorized | National News

Bimini Dredging Back On

The Bimini Bay Coalition (BBC) announced Friday that it will immediately begin the appeal process to overturn a Supreme Court decision to set aside a Privy Council injunction which halted dredging in Bimini.

On Friday, Justice Hartman Longley lifted the injunction ordered a week earlier by the Privy Council which stopped dredging until the Resorts World Bimini (RWB) developer could provide proof of the validity of a permit it received on May 22 under the Conservation and Protection of the Physical Landscape of The Bahamas Act (CPPLB).

The coalition has also been ordered to pay all legal expenses for both RWB and the government arising from both the Privy Council and the Supreme Court.

Following Justice Longley’s ruling, RWB announced it plans to resume dredging immediately.

“We are pleased with the ruling and will resume dredging operation today [Friday], resulting in many Biminites immediately getting back to work,” Public Affairs Director for RWB Michelle Malcolm said.“The people of Bimini know that Resorts World Bimini is an enormously positive development for the economy and ethos of the island, and we are hopeful that outside special interests will finally cease their litigious efforts to stand in the way of a project that the local people so clearly want.”

The statement continued: “We now look forward to completing the construction of the cruise pier expeditiously so that we can open the full destination resort, and continue to provide many jobs and opportunities for Biminites.”

But, attorney for the BBC Fred Smith, QC, has charged that RWB’s decision to continue dredging despite the fact that the coalition is appealing the Supreme Court’s decision demonstrates a blatant disregard on the part of the developer of the judicial process.

“They’re going to go ahead and continue to dredge so that perhaps by the time the case is heard, there is nothing to have a case about,” he said. “This is a real irony and a real disaster for the judicial system and respect for the rule of law and respect for the judicial system and respect for local rights that our government continues in the face of challenges brought lawfully in the courts, continues these projects.”

He explained that despite the developers scoring a victory on Friday, the battle between the BBC and the RWB developers is a long way from over.

“We are applying for a stay of the discharge of the injunction given by the Supreme Court so this can very well be a revolving door where the Privy Council gives us an injunction and the Supreme Court sets it aside,” he said. “Hopefully, we can persuade the Court of Appeal to reinstate the injunction and then of course, the developers can appeal to the Privy Council or if we lose at the Court of Appeal, we can appeal to the Privy Council.”

RWB is dredging around the Alice Town Dock in Bimini to construct a cruise ship terminal that will allow large vessels to dock.

The BBC has expressed concern that the dredging will cause irreversible degradation to the coastline and marine life of the island.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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