Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini, Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe elaborated on major developments set for the Island of North Bimini, specifically within the tourism sector. Her remarks came during her 2019/2020 Budget presentation in the House of Assembly on Thursday, June 13.
“Mr. Speaker, the West Grand Bahama and Bimini Constituency is that train that keeps chugging away and while we realize that the funds are just not there as we wish, we are optimistic of the strength that we are gaining slowly but surely with Bimini leading the way particularly in the tourism sector.
“We must take our hats off Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Tourism (Dionisio D’Aguilar) and his team, for the work they are doing,” said Parker-Edgecombe.
“The arrival of Virgin Cruises is in April 2020 bringing with it 2,700 passengers as it docks three times every two weeks, which will amount to 78 stops per year. Undoubtedly, there will be jobs created. Resorts World Bimini for starters is building a Beach Club, to cater to passengers. These passengers, however, will not be limited to just that property and will also wish to take in the sights and sounds of Bimini in its entirety.
“I, therefore, appeal to Biminites firstly, but Bahamians in general, to take advantage of empowerment opportunities by creating tours and excursions and experiences, in general, that will wow the visitors and bring economic stability for themselves. This investment into Bimini’s economy Mr. Speaker will mean some 200,000 passengers annually to the island. Mr. Speaker, we are going to need more space,” expressed the MP.
Additionally, she spoke of capital works projects on that northern island, that are expected to be completed by the end of the year.
“We are also happy to report that the completion of the Administrative Complex which will house the various Government Departments in Bimini, is scheduled for November of this year, as we also eye renovations to the current building which houses the administrator for the island and police.
“On that note Mr. Speaker, I wish to point out that after years and years of calling for a Road Traffic office in Bimini, work is currently being carried out for this Department, with completion expected in just a matter of weeks.
“This means Mr. Speaker, that persons in Bimini will no longer have to travel to Nassau or Freeport, and pay hundreds of dollars, just to get their licenses.
“Mr. Speaker, we continue to do much in West Grand Bahama and Bimini. I am happy to say that we are currently working with the Administrator Local Government Office and the newly reestablished Bimini Sports Council, where we are going to be catering to the youth of the area. Repairs have already begun at the baseball field. As you know Mr. Speaker, there is no baseball like Bimini baseball.”
She continued by highlighting the Louise McDonald High School in North Bimini, under the leadership of the school’s principal and other administrative staff for their significant accomplishments, which this daily also reported on Wednesday, June 2.
“One of our most significant accomplishments we wish to recognize comes from the District of Bimini, at the Louise McDonald High School. Under the leadership of Principal Demetrius Wildgoose and a group of hard working teachers, the 2018/2019 academic year began with the school celebrating an increase in academic achievement from the previous year.
With respect to this present Free National Movement (FNM) under the leadership of Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, she continued, “Famed activist Malcolm X once said, ‘If you have no critics, you will likely have no success.’
“This FNM administration has had criticism lobbied against us from the start, practically every move we have made thus far has been questioned. We hear the criticisms loud and clear, but there is much to be achieved with steady hands and a focused mindset.
“Mr. Speaker, we have that in the form of this nation’s leader Dr. Hubert Minnis and his Cabinet. Steady we go, in spite of it all Mr. Speaker, we are being guided in the right direction.
“We won’t stop; we can’t stop. Join us now, as we take governance to another level. I thank God, my family, my constituents, my colleagues, the various Government agencies and my partners, for all that has been done thus far to assist this member in her work for the people.
“Our work will not be in vain. West Grand Bahama supports this Budget,” concluded Parker-Edgecombe.