Categorized | National News

Gov’t Must Focus on Pressing Issues, Says Turnquest

Member of Parliament for East Grand Bahama Peter Turnquest blasted the Christie administration for ignoring the national interest of the Bahamian people, while contributing to debate on the Public Parks and Public Beaches Authority Bill, Mr. Turnquest stressed that issues like crime, unemployment and fiscal reform should be the centre of discussion at this time.

He said the government is focused on feel good legislation to distract Bahamians from issues of national concern.
“This proposed legislation does not addressed the crime problem that continues to destabilise our communities and destroy Bahamian families, 90 murders officially recorded to date and many more harmed in our communities due to violence, where are the programs that were suppose to help, has self promotion and politics impeded the potential of these projects,” he asked.

“This bill do not help to reinvigorate the sluggish Bahamian economy nor does it provide relief to the many Bahamians who are seeking employment opportunities and a better way of life and the families nor does it provide a wise and strategic approach to getting our fiscal house in order as the government bask in the joy on resting the ill advised burden of Value Added Tax (VAT) and other taxes on the backs of the Bahamian consumer.”

The bill seeks to form a Public Beach and Parks Authority that will not only manage the upkeep of the environment but the safety of Bahamians as well in parks and beaches.

In the House of Assembly on Thursday, Mr. Turnquest further criticised the bill for its lack of clarity over who would really manage the parks and public spaces.

“The question that I have and I still have because it has not been explain, any animal has two heads,” he asked.
“Who is responsible, is it going to be a local function or is there going to be a new entity established called the Public Parks Authority who is going to have their own wardens who are going to be responsible for the parks and if it is so then I am assuming that it is going to be taken out of local government which I oppose.”

Prime Minister Perry Christie explained that there will be no conflict between local government and the Authority once it’s formed.

“It says, all parks, all beaches, all that you recommend to be parks and beaches will fall under this authority,

“In the process of execution any agency, local government can be used to facilitate the execution of the law the question does not arise as to where the authority is in law when you pass this, the authority is there.”

The Authority when formed will be governed by a twelve member board of directors inclusive of the director of forestry, a local government representative, the director ex officio, the executive director of The Bahamas National Trust and eight members appointed by the Governor General in consultation with the minister.

The Public Beach and Parks Authority Bill was passed in the House of Assembly on Thursday.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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