Prime Minster Dr. Keith Mitchell has signalled his attention to write his Australian counterpart, Tony Abbott about the decision of his to withdraw the funding pledge made for the building of a new multi-million dollar Parliament for the Spice Isle.
Dr. Mitchell made the disclosure during his appearance on a GIS television programme last week Wednesday.
During celebrations to mark Grenada’s 40th anniversary of independence on February 7, the Mitchell-led government received notice from Australia that it had decided to renege on the promise made to contribute 5 million Australian dollars towards the stadium project.
The pledge was made in 2009 to former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas at a Commonwealth Heads of Government conference in Trinidad & Tobago by the then Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd.
A disappointed Dr. Mitchell seemed to be at odds with the decision taken by the new government in Canberra.
“Any country that makes a commitment to another country must stand and honour what they say, and clearly I will be writing my counterpart in Australia about what I saw if that situation holds up. That is not the best face for the Australian Government, he said.
Dr Mitchell added that he also received correspondence from the Australian embassy in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad stating that they regret having to make that decision on the Grenada project.
The Prime Minister also accused the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) of rejoicing over the withdrawal of the funds.
He said the NDC seems to put politics above the country’s interest but that his government did nothing to cause the problem.
Dr. Mitchell indicated that the withdrawal of funds by the Australian Government is due to its decision of reducing aid to the Caribbean and Latin American region.
Congress has been dropping hints that the Australian decision could have been influenced by its inability to get the new leaders in St. George’s to appoint former Chief Technical Officer in the Ministry of works, Cecil Harris to become the Project Manager for the Parliament building.
York House which is located on Church Street, St. George’s was used as the Houses of Parliament until it was destroyed by hurricane Ivan in September 2004.
Sittings of Parliamentary are now being facilitated at the Grenada Trade Center, Grand Anse, St. George’s.
Prime Minister Mitchell also used the occasion to re-iterate his call for national unity.
However, he said he is not hopeful that the current leadership of the NDC will buy into his call for national unity which he made during his Independence Day message.
He was critical of the party’s new Political Leader, Nazim Burke, the former Minister of Finance.
“I think that under that present leadership we would never see that, I don’t think so… I hope that we can see a change and I would be the first one to thank God my brothers are now recognising that we must work together. I will continue to throw out the olive branch”, he said.
In the past, Dr. Mitchell has been very critical of Burke, accusing him to be the worst Minister of Finance in the history of the country.
The Prime Minister once lashed out at Burke calling him, “Bound to lie” and the new NDC boss retorted back that he was not “Bound to Thief”.