Categorized | National News

Time For Another “Bend or Break”

Former Tourism Minister, Obie Wilchcombe says the time has come for another  bend or break speech for Grand Bahama. He was referring to the speech made in the late  1960’s by former Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling on foreign investment in  Freeport.  Mr. Wilchcombe said that Hutchinson Whampoa  has not honoured its agreement to maintain  the Lucayan Grand Resort. 

 He said  Grand Bahama’s failing economy is the result of a lack of the government’s involvement on that island, not only present, but past as well.

Mr. Wilchcombe also added that he believes the government had to subsidize the The Grand Lucayan  property to keep the jobs of those employees currently working there. 

“There was no real government intervention which has always been the problem in Grand Bahama, the lack of government intervention,” he said.

“Because we’ve left it to the Port and then Hutchinson Whampoa to run things. Well,  that’s the problem. But what happened was, you had to become involved.

“If you’re considering what happened to Driftwood, Driftwood shut down so you just had one major property and that major property was Our Lucaya.

“And you had to do something to keep those jobs going in Grand Bahama, so the government had to get in either one way or the other.”

The former Member of Parliament for West End and Bimini said Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis is simply following the footsteps of his predecessors, but his work has only just begun. 

“And faced with the circumstances, you can’t blame what Ingraham did, you can’t blame what Christie did, you can’t blame what Minnis is doing now, because he’s doing really the same thing,” he said.

“Except  he’s gone one step further, because Hutchinson has said I have no further interest in this property. He’s now sent them 10 million dollars as a deposit.

“But I don’t think he’s considering that next month when he takes it over, he takes everything over. It’s a going concern, it’s a property that’s still open. 

“The reality is that there are people who are working and you’re then responsible for everything 

“So when you hear the Minister of Tourism say we don’t want to spend that much money,  the truth is, they’re going to have spend a whole heap of money.”

Mr. Wilchcombe’s remarks came as he appeared as a guest on Love 97’s afternoon show On Point. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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