Opposition plans cruise port info roadshow

| 14/09/2018 | 61 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cheeseburger Reef (photo courtesy DoE)

(CNS): Following government’s rejection of the private member’s motion calling for a national vote on the controversial cruise berthing and cargo facility, Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller, who filed the motion, said that he and his opposition colleagues will be throwing their weight behind the campaign for a people-initiated referendum and hitting the road with a series of public meetings. Meanwhile, government has released documents that indicate the decision to push the piers further into the sea may not be anywhere near as environmentally friendly as previously implied, as more than 55 acres of coral is still facing destruction.

Miller said that despite the failure of his motion, the debate did elicit some new information about the project that will help the opposition in their efforts to demonstrate to the public why this critically important issue should be put to a countrywide ballot.

He said he was hoping that the opposition could begin public meetings in the districts by the first week of October, offering people a chance to see all of the documentation now circulating, ask questions, debate the issues and inform themselves about this huge capital project.

The opposition leader has made no secret of his concerns about this project, which is becoming evermore controversial. As more documentation emerges, questions about the decisions government has been making also increase.

In one of the documents that emerged during the debate on the call for government to trigger the referendum, Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell tabled a short document showing the redesign options, which indicated that government has not opted not for the most environmentally friendly design, as it has often implied over recent months.

This option still sees a loss of more than 15 acres of coral reef and more than 20 acres of coral substrate, patches of reef, coral heads and spurs in the direct construction footprint. The dredge footprint reaches from Soto’s Reef to Eden Rock, which means all of these reefs, in addition to those lost in direct construction, are also all at risk, plus another 20 acres of coral reef at risk from the sediment.

The document further indicates that Soto’s Reef, if it survives the construction period, will then be at risk from ships in rough weather or that are suffering technical troubles or mooring line failures. The estimated economic loss of this destruction of reefs was stated to be as much as $10.5 million annually.

With the opposition now planning to get help with the campaign for a people-initiated referendum, there are hopes that the campaign will have an even greater chance of reaching the more than 5,200 signatures it will need to force government’s hand into a national ballot.

The petition already as the signatures of almost 2,000 registered voters, as well as many more on a separate petition from residents who are not registered to vote. Volunteers are hoping for another great turn out this weekend.

The public will be able to sign the petition at Hurley’s in Grand Harbour, Pure Art, Sunset house, Bliss Yoga and the Lobster Pot dive centre. A number of people also have petition books across the district.

More information is available on the Cruise Port Referendum campaign Facebook page.

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Category: development, Local News, Marine Environment, Politics, Science & Nature

Comments (61)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    is there anyone who doesn’t either own or work for a downtown business that is prominently out there supporting this Port?

    • Ya better do it says:

      You know successive Governments take the people for fools after thetpy are elected. By the way that includes the Opposition too( a story for another day).

      Why in tarnation cant the CIG reveal the short listed bidders , is it because it would what?. There is no logical reason for this and this as well as the revelation of one name by whom I don’t know does anyone? Smack of piracy or the new word corruption or just lack of awareness and understanding of what “TRANSPARENCY”really means.

      While there maybe some merit in not disclosing terms at this stage, you guys we have elected need to be “transpAren’t” and let the people who elected you and who will certainly boot your rasses out if you don’t 1) tell all to the public and 2) encourage the proposed referendum, as it could be your only saving grace at least for one two of youse at the next election.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What is the proposed referendum question?

    CNS: I’ve added the petitions with the referendum wording to the CNS Library here. These are not for printout to collect signatures.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Where is the Referendum for enactment of the Standards in Public Life Law (2014)? We don’t even understand the depth of this problem, the scope of conflict, nor the concurrent financial ambitions of those who seized power last year.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Secret bureaucracy, it’s just a lie
    The devil’s henchmen, in suit and tie
    A sacred brotherhood, an ancient rite
    Politicians and the double lives they hide

    Violate your rights, no more equality
    Surrender freedom, your Social Security
    We the people face unconstitutional lies
    In greed we trust, in revolution we die

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    • alaw says:

      every thing that has ever been built in this world had an opposition side, that’s normal
      including roads, tunnels, overpasses, airports, high buildings, and the list goes on and on. Human nature reluctant to change.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Baird’s now outdated 2015 EIA, for an entirely different layout, raised serious questions and problems, which continue to be wholly ignored as if they don’t matter. The threats and realities in the EIA are not hypothecations that reasonable people should set aside with the waive of Moses’ hand.

        http://www.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/11910174.PDF

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        • Anonymous says:

          So please tell us what is different? Sea water, soft coral, hard coral, a ship that was blown up in 1932 and ? Since the new diagram shows its going in deeper water there is less need to remove as much sea bed ( marl).

  5. Anonymous says:

    How and where can we sign the petition for a referendum?

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Ignore the self serving paper caymanians and JUST BUILD THE DOCK

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    • Anonymous says:

      it would take a stupid persons to make a comment like this. Do you know the facts?….do you know the destruction to the ecology?
      read and learn some sense.

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    • Conservative Caymanian says:

      Please ignore the braying ass who commented at 2:24 pm and stop the unnecessary, unneeded, environment destroying monstrosity that the greedy politicians want to build with the peoples money.

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      • Say it like it is says:

        2.21pm I am 100% with you, spoken like a true paper Caymanian.Fortunately we have a large number of born Caymanians who appreciate their environment as do many expatriates.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Why would billion dollar companies want to destroy the environment in Cayman when it sells tours going to these same places? Don’t you think they would have prior knowledge about such scientific knowledge about impacts of wave, wind, dredging, impacts on Coral reefs etc? Come on people think!!

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    • Deep Thought says:

      @ 1:42. If you think billion dollar companies give a hoot about Caymanians, your thinker is not working. Get real!

  8. Anonymous says:

    why doesn’t the Government (Alden and Kirkconnell) sit down with the people who know about the dangers to the dredging? do they fully understand the ramifications to Hog Sty Bay? and eventually the whole of the West Bay Beach? Listen to people who are learned in this field and stop the pomposity.

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  9. Nemo says:

    What is mind boggling is if there is the potential for the reefs being destroyed, why would one chance building a port? If the port is built and the reefs and seven mile beach are both gone, what are the tourists both from the port and stay over, where will they dive? If no where, then the dive business will be closed, the taxi and tour operators will have to close and then the ships will not come here anymore. They are already complaining it’s too expensive and are on the verge of missing us all together and go to cheaper ports of call. What is interesting, the envorinmentalist such as the National Trust and Guy Harvey to name a few are very, very, quiet. I wonder why?

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      9:04 pm , because some of them would be beneficiary of the big numbers of cruise ship visitors, that why they’re quiet.

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      • Anonymous says:

        If you are to believe the CI Port Stats with 100% capacity boat landings all last year, the 1.5mln cruise ship passengers they claim for landings last year brought in peanuts. $3mln in port fees (which then would go to someone else for 80 years), and limited benefits to a short list of attractions, boat operators, and bus companies – while DETRACTING APPEAL to stay over guests and residents whose shunning has all but annexed George Town. The only way to increase cruise arrivals from the USA s to expand an already mature cruise market already trying its best with cruise free inducements and still failing to fill the capacity. After CCL’s 3x 180K GT’s, all destined for other markets, there is nothing bigger than the 6 or 7 150k GT’s already happily calling on Grand Cayman with 100% tendering (as in many other markets).

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    • Anonymous says:

      NEMO if you built a house did you not destroy some of the land ( think)

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      • Ron Ebanks says:

        No dunce when you build a house, you’re developing the property, but when you build a cruise ship pier / big project in the ocean . There’s going to be significant amount of the environment that is at stake for destruction , because of many different reasons . Some of these reasons is why I think that government is trying to do this pier project so secretly .

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  10. Anonymous says:

    If it was up to Ezzard and Arden we’d be independent and the country would be screwed.

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  11. Ron Ebanks says:

    You go Ezzard hold those public meetings , and you people help him , because it is YOURS and the Environment FUTURE he is looking after . And stop thinking that he’s against PPM AGENDA , because PPM AGENDA is not looking at YOU AND THE ENVIRONMENT FUTURE .

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  12. Anonymous says:

    This is such a facade. What a political stunt. They’re going to try to ruin thousands of caymanian jobs. I hope most of these are from North side and east end so these goons have to explain to their districts after

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s the PPM who is trying to ruin thousands of Caymanians jobs by destroying the environment where people dive and live. Go figure. Those Caymanians who have jobs from diving, taxis,tour buses, hotels and restaurants will still have jobs. Don’t you have jobs from these industries with the port operating as is. Why don’t they tell you that many tourist have been complaining for years because too many of them are dumped in such a small area for four or five hours with hardly anything to do or see. Also a lot of tourist don’t like the huge ships for the same reason, too many people in one place. Spend money on giving people loans at a low interest rate to create tourist activities like farm to table restaurants, butterfly farms, aviaries in the other districts, especially in the interior where eco- interested tourist can visit and enjoy. You have allowed seven mile beach to be ruined so get creative and come up with some nice and tasteful things that fits with cayman’s environment. Start thinking outside the box and spread the wealth around.

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    • Anonymous says:

      “Thousands of caymanian jobs”? Thousands? Explain that one to me.

  13. Anonymous says:

    More like two hot air balloons on a clown show of mis information!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Definitely, how could Moses and Alden willingly risk the economic tourism engine of the country which is 7 mile beach by building another white elephant. Their past over built, over paid for projects have been disasters. They cannot even give and accurate price tag for this mess and want the people to give them a blank check and some people are really that naïve.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    They changed the plan because they were trying to appease the environmentalists. Thats why it went out to sea deeper and it cost more. Marine engineers already know they can build piers miles away from land deeper then 100 feet.
    I have watched the video about the george Town reefs are dying. So I’m concerned about whay can be done about it? But its happening all over the world. Do we understand that? So whether a cruise ship is built anywhere around Grand Cayman it really won’t make a difference. The sea level is rising all over the planet. So the beach will be going also. Whats PLAN B?
    A referendum should be had after the piers are built to ask the question how are we going to build another high School for over CI$100 million dollars and pay for it?
    When children graduated last year did they all find jobs? Did they go to University? Did they come back to Cayman and get a job? Were they private or public schools? How many actually could read,write, add,subtract, multiply and divide after 12 years of school? We need to find out.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe the private sector who has been raking in the tourist dollars could offer some Cayman child a scholarship

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Why would Moses continue to push for this dock knowing all the problems as highlighted in this article. Have they all lost their minds? It is clear that Hog Sty Bay is not the right place for this monstrosity. As a matter of fact nowhere in Cayman can accommodate that.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    PPM UNITY = GOVERNMENT WE DISTRUST!!

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  17. Anonymous says:

    55 acres lol, There is a shipwreck there that has been blown apart by dynamite years ago because its in the shipping lane. lets save the scattered scrap metal thats already all over that area!

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  18. Anonymous says:

    There needs to be an updated EIA before any deal is signed and it must be shared with the public

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    • Anonymous says:

      There are alot of missing things and faulty assumptions…like a business case that makes sense; or a credible threat to cruise tourism; or an emergence of Cuba as a competing destination (not even close); or an engineering study for this technical marvel in over 80 feet of bluewater ocean (like nowhere else on Earth); or a geological study with test drilling to determine where it can actually hold in the fractured and cavernous limestone outlined in the original EIA; or the acoustic and temperature impacts on marine life; or the need to continue to maintenance dredge forever to warranty depth – and who pays for that; or who is going to insure these engineering marvels against damage or catastrophic failure/loss; or that we are only using 80% of current port capacity; or the effects of acoustic and temperature changes, and reef suffocating particulate for all of Seven Mile Beach and the West Wall…drifting out to sea for miles…of course, non of these things have to do with cash payouts, so please don’t ask!

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      There’s no need for any EIA , what is needed is common sense and stop the stupid idea of a cruise ship pier . Do everyone see the destruction to the marine environment that this project will cause , if it is started .

      In George town harbour , if a pier is put in , it would have to go to the north of the cargo dock , then there will be all the anchorage taken up by the pier , then there would have to be new anchorage established for other ships/boats , and there goes more destruction to the marine environment in this area to the north of . Cayman and George town harbour is too small for such huge projects .

      I just think that the Government is getting too greedy , and is not looking at the Tourism industry in the right way . Do we remember reading a comment from a very long time visitors , that said they will not be returning to the Cayman Islands , because of the mess the Island is in with cruise ship tourist today . Then if they could make that decision on that reason, what will stop other long time visitors from making the same decision NOT TO RETURN TO CAYMAN ISLANDS .

      IF we look at just that one family long time visitors that spends over US $20,000. for say 2 weeks vacation on the Islands . How many cruise ship families leaves that kind of money on their visits ? Maybe 2 in a 100 , and whose pocket did they leave most of that money in ?

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      • Anonymous says:

        I think the government should do like what they did with the west bay road, just do it
        Ever thing will be fine after!

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    • George Churchill says:

      There needs to be a referendum, If we have a democracy, let the people vote!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Campaign for caymanians jobs please. Unemployment is on its way down..but the opposition can work with the Government to get it to 4%. Now that would be worth a road show . By the way how many jobs will the Port project generate.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Get some new skills. Having a certificate doesn’t cut it.

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Anonymous 3:04 pm , this cruise ship pier issue is not about jobs, but why aren’t these rich politicians taking some of their money to help create more jobs .NO , they would rather save it for when things go bad they can go somewhere else and live happily after , while you have to stay and pay the bills .

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Changed the design? Won’t show the plans? Brings in CHEC? Claims the cruise ships will all leave? Claims there is no nepotism? Claims the process is transparent? Time for the Minister and his side-kick to resign.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    What a tangle web we weave. I believe that they would have gone ahead with destroying all that coral just to have their way even though they knew it would not be good for the environment. How come we are just now hearing this? These technocrats cannot be trusted. There must be some good reason why this port development cannot get done, every which way they turn it it ain’t working. Good karma perhaps?????? Do not twist the arm of fate to get your way at our expense and detriment to what is good with the port as it stands.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Good job…sign the petition!!

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Oh goody, the circus is in town.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    So they changed the design, what else has changed and we have not been told about? This is exactly why we need referendum. Not to stop the dock but to see exactly what is going on and then decide if this is good or not. I don’t want the dock because of the way government is going about it and the impact on the environment but I do want the dock for the possible economic benefit but not at the expense of the environment.

    Give us the information. If it truly is a good deal and won’t destroy the environment then I would be all for it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree. I think Government keeps missing the point that people are less opposed to the impact of the additional tourists than the impact on the environment and surrounding businesses.

      We really need the referendum.

      Let’s put all of the capital projects to a vote by order of priority and dictate to Government as we see it. After all, they work for US! We put them in office not the other way around.

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      • Anonymous says:

        a lot of these referendum people are saying that they are not against the dock
        that means its the government they are against

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      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t think people really knows what they are doing at election time
        You are putting people in charge.

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    • nauticalone says:

      Well said! I agree completely.

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