Mitchell says GBPA licensees educational seminar based on a “false premise”

Mitchell says GBPA licensees educational seminar based on a “false premise”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Fred Mitchell said that a recent ‘educational seminar’ held by the Grand Bahama Port Authority licensees was based  on a “false premise.”

Commenting on that meeting in a voice note released yesterday, Mitchell said: “The sad thing is that as a matter of law, the disposition of the shares of the GBPA and the policy on the Hawksbill Creek Agreement is a matter  between the government and Port, not the licenses, so the entire meeting is simply based on a false premise.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell

An association of Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) licensees held an education seminar on Monday and said that it hopes to secure a meeting with Prime Minister Philip Davis, in light of statements by the government that have sharply criticized the GBPA.

According to the Concerned Freeport Licensees Association (CFLA), these statements have been perceived by many licensees as a potential threat to the livelihood of Grand Bahamians.

The government and the GBPA have been embroiled in a public back and forth since May when Prime Minister Philip Davis, during his budget communication, accused the Port of failing the people of Freeport.

“Our position is clear: the Port Authority under its present structure is not realizing Freeport’s enormous potential; the status quo is not working, and the people of Grand Bahama deserve better,” Davis said.

More than 160 licensees and supporters reportedly attended the CFLA’s education seminar Monday night on the Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA), with concerned stakeholders discussing the future of Freeport, its economic well-being, and the importance of preserving Grand Bahamians’ livelihoods.

The CFLA was formed just eight weeks ago in response to the volley of releases by the government—which promised “decisive,” yet non-specific, action—and the GBPA—which sought to clear its name. The Association emphasized that the CFLA is an independent organization and not affiliated with the GBPA.

The CFLA’s mission is to unite the approximately 3,000 Grand Bahama Port Authority licensees, educate one another, and work collaboratively to improve Grand Bahama.

To date, the association has only met with the GBPA. Their outreach to the government so far has been unsuccessful.