The Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs made his contribution to the 2023/24 budget debate in the senate on Thursday. In his presentation he spoke to the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) which was also a prominent topic during the budget debate in the House of Assembly.
Sen. Hon. Ryan Pinder addressed monies owed to the government by the GBPA for costs carried by the government per the Hawksbill Creek Agreement. He said, “their assertion that no government has ever pursued these amounts is patently incorrect. The Grand Bahama Port Authority would recall in 2015, under Prime Minister Christie, a hawksbill creek review committee was comprised to review matters related to the obligations under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement including the applicability of section 1 (5) of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement and the reimbursements owed thereunder.”
Pinder went further stating, “we understand that they may disagree with the calculations that’s their right and that’s fine. The method of such dispute, however, is not in the public domain through miscommunication in press releases. But through adequate methods of dispute resolution that are found in the Hawksbill Creek Agreement itself. There are prescribed dispute resolution procedures and if there is a genuine dispute execute those procedures, that’s all. We believe the day has come when the obligations due the Bahamian people have to be paid.”
In the 2023/24 budget communication Prime Minister, the Hon. Philip Davis said “decisive action” was needed regarding the GBPA.