Local attorney Brian K. Hanna of Brian K. Hanna Chambers is again addressing the condition of the Garnet Levarity Justice Centre.
Speaking to the state of the building housing the island’s Magistrate and Supreme Courts, Hanna in a recent (Friday, July 7) interview with this daily noted that it is now that seventh month in 2017 and the justice center’s condition appears to be worsening.
“We cannot, now, call on the previous government to correct or improve our great Garnet Levarity Justice Centre; however, the question remains as to what will be done.”
Hanna further questioned whether the Garnet Levarity Justice Centre would deteriorate to the point that of no return.
“Are we going to close our eyes to the garbage of the unkempt landscape? Are we going to allow our judges and magistrates to sit in courtrooms that have no ventilation at all? Where there is no air condition to cool the room?” He asked.
“Are we going to allow jurors to deliberate cases in uncomfortable conditions?
Quite frankly the place is a disgrace,” Hanna maintained.
“Why is it not a priority for those in authority?” he asked.
Hanna said that it is absurd to allow the only Justice Centre on the island to deteriorate the way it is, calling it “outright nasty, uncaring and neglectful.
“I can see no reason for the justice centre to be kept in such deplorable conditions,” he said.
Hanna noted that it cannot be expected for foreign investors to put money into Freeport under “these conditions. The atmosphere here in Freeport seems to be hopeless. Not only can we not attract new investment, our own Bahamian brothers and sisters are not motivated to involve themselves with sustainable investment in this community,” claimed Hanna.
“Truly this is the time for Bahamians to create and fire up our island. We need to start investing our own Bahamian Dollar to create viable, sustainable investments we really cannot be depending on foreign entities to solve our employment and development issues,” he said.
Back in January this year, then Minister for Grand Bahama Dr. Michael Darville revealed that a consultant has already come in to assess the Garnet Levarity Justice Centre, along with all other government buildings.
Darville said he believed the consultant to be Tony Farrington from New Providence.
“The building has been assessed … that information was forwarded to the Ministry of Works and that additional amount of work must be embedded in the contract,” he added.
Darville noted that the process is moving fairly quickly and a new contract will be awarded, which includes the damage done by Hurricane Matthew. Once that is completed there would be an additional contingency and the work will begin again.
According to Darville the Ministry of Works has also done their own assessment of the courthouse as well as other government buildings.