September 21, 2019

The Editor speaks: Mickey Mouse joins Cayman’s Cruise ship berthing facility

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Colin Wilson

has now joined Carnival and to provide all the financing for our proposed new cruise ship berthing facility.

This was announced by our Premier last Thursday at the Chamber of Commerce Legislative Lunch when he said Disney was now part of the trio.

When it was just the original two cruise companies, both the premier and his Deputy, tourism minister, said “no public money will be required to build the new cruise berths and enhanced cargo facility”. Presumably, the original budgetary costs have risen for Disney to join in.

How all this financing will work is anyone’s guess as nothing has been disclosed? The name of the preferred bidder, we don’t even know officially who any of the bidders are, was going to be announced ‘shortly’. Now it’s “by the Summer”. Any advances…? How long is our Summer…?

What puzzles me is the tender process has always been touted as ‘design, build and finance’ .I suppose that doesn’t now mean all the finance…?

This is borne out by McLaughlin saying “the cruise line agreements along with the finance to be provided by the preferred bidder effectively ensured that no public money will be required”.

He once again emphasised the importance of the facility, and I am not saying I do not agree with him, saying, “The new cruise dock is vital to safeguard the future of Cayman’s tourism industry, whilst the new cargo facilities will receive larger cargo ships and help support the islands’ growing population and, by allowing greater economies of scale, help to mitigate some of the cost pressures impacting our cost of living.”

We also don’t have to worry about paying for all the remedial works that will need to be done to restore the large impacts to our environment the facility will destroy. This is because all of the geographical surveys and studies as well as the environmental impact reports will be the responsibility of, and paid for by, the winning bidder.

Hmm.

Our Premier did tackle the claims by the opposition that “ no economic benefit can outweigh the environmental concerns”. This statement is included in the petition that thousands of people signed under the disguise they were signing something to make government be more open about the project. “We need to know more”, they cried out and vast numbers signed without bothering to read everything the petition said. Petitions were thrust under the nose of busy shoppers with wailing children in tow. I know this because I saw it with my own eyes and got into a heated argument with one of the petitioners who tried to get me to sign it.

It’s not just the government who aren’t giving us all the facts. The other side are blatantly disguising it.

Government isn’t the only game with Mickey Mouse on their side. Sorry, perhaps one side has .

Quack. Quack.

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