The Grenada Technical and Allied Workers’ Union has observed the National Debate on the sale, privatisation or relocation of the Camerhogne Park.
We have heard mixed official announcements of whether a decision on the matter has been made by the Government or the Investor as to the fate of this National instillation.
This uncertainty is causing as much concern as the actual idea of no public access to this part of the famous Grand Anse Beach, a right which even the British Administrators in the late 50’s and early 60’s thought was a right of the local populace.
This was even before there was significant development in the area and was done by ensuring there were paved access roads between every lot that was being made available for development.
Considering the following:
(1). The Park is the only public access area on Grand Anse Beach with reasonable amenities.
(2). There is no other available area of comparable size that the Park can be relocated to.
(3). The thousands of users of the Park on a yearly basis to include the local populace, tourists from hotels and guest houses not located on the beach, tourists from the cruise ships, visitors from the diaspora (one of the most lucrative segments of the tourist market) can certify its value to the purpose it was created.
(4). Studies have indicated an over saturation of development on the lands adjoining the Beach.
(5). The disastrous utilisation of the land area adjoining the beach and flat lands surrounding.
(6). The questionable privatisation of the land which Carifta Cottages were built on.
(7). If sold or if it is to be sold, what price per square foot will the developer pay for the land? This question is in the context that Governments in the past have given away valuable real estate assets in that area and sold some at prices less than the cost for residential lands in the outer parishes (E.C.$12.00) even if lands in the area were conservatively valued at more than 10 times that value.
(8). The blunders of the Grand Beach/Louis Hamilton affair.
(9). The Rex Grenadian “Concrete Strip” (Magazine Beach) exchange matter.
(10). The deplorable records of all post-1967 Governments in relation to the disposal, privatisation or grants of the Nation’s property in particular when dealing with foreign nationals.
The Union is demanding that a hold be put on all decisions surrounding the sale, lease, transfer or relocation of the Park until the populace is aware of the details of what the Government’s intended action is or what agreement has already been made with the Investor in relation to the Park.
We refer to the Grenada Trades’ Union Council Charter of the last two election cycles which suggested a format for privatisation and disposal of Government assets which would have averted the present debacle had the suggestion been taken on board by the relevant authorities.
In that line, we recommend a totally independent multi-partite review commission with representation from Government, Political Entities, Private Sector, Labour Movement and Civil Society is immediately engaged to consider all matters relating to the proposed sale/relocation of the Park.