Elected officials don’t show for meeting
A proposal to build a cruise ship berthing facility in Red Bay, as opposed to George Town, isn’t getting the attention it deserves from local elected officials, according to the group pushing the project.
About 20 people showed up for a public meeting at Sir John A. Cumber Primary School on Tuesday night held to present the proposal to West Bay residents.
The group presenting the plan, led by local architect Burns Conolly, businessman Reginald ‘Choppy’ Delapenha and a group of local boat captains, is supporting the Red Bay proposal, which they said would allow for easier berthing of larger, Genesis-class cruise ships and more guaranteed ‘safe port’ days for incoming ships.
No elected representatives showed up for the meeting Tuesday night.
“[The Premier] doesn’t want to hear this presentation, for whatever reason,” Mr. Conolly said.
Captain Bryan Ebanks, one of the chief proponents of the Red Bay project, said he was disappointed by no-shows from both government and opposition party members.
“Tonight, again, they have let us down,” Captain Bryan said.
Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin said members simply weren’t able to attend the meeting in West Bay on Tuesday because they were all busy attending other events in their constituencies.
The Compass received no response from the premier’s office regarding the meeting attendance.
The varying proposals for the Red Bay cruise berthing facility include dock space for five cruise ships; possibly two or three Oasis-class ships that can hold up to 5,000 passengers apiece. Space for mega-yacht berths and potential hotel development are also being considered in the plan.
Mr. Conolly said a local consortium of designers and construction companies could potentially fully fund the facility, rather than depending on an outside developer.
On the downside, Mr. Conolly admits a large amount of dredging would be needed to create the harbour space in Red Bay and that it would likely disrupt designated marine life replenishment zones in the area.
However, the architect said the George Town port plan would disrupt a number of reefs and dive sites, and would also require significant dredging.