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Re: Judgment of Justice Indra H. Charles In The Matter of the Judicial Review of the Consultation Process Conducted by the Hawksbill Creek Agreement Review Committee

We refer to the recent judgment handed down by Justice Indra H. Charles in respect of the Application for Judicial Review filed on behalf of Messrs. Frederick Smith QC and Carey Leonard challenging the manner in which the consultation process was conducted by the Hawksbill Creek Agreement Review Committee.

The Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited intervened in this action to ensure that the interests of all licensees were properly represented and because it had likewise earlier conveyed to the Hawksbill Creek Committee, on several occasions, fundamental concerns regarding their consultation exercise being undertaken without disclosure of the McKinsey Report to the community.

In our view, the judgment is a fair one having regard to the issues which were brought before the court, the evidence and the applicable legal principles, and will serve to helpfully inform future public consultation exercises.

The Judgment does not have a derailing effect on the progressive dialogue and negotiations which ensued between The Bahamas Government, the Port Authority and the relevant stakeholders of Freeport after the completion of the hearing before the Supreme Court.

Notwithstanding our differences concerning the consultation process, in the full spirit of cooperation, The Bahamas Government and the Port Authority and major licensees continued fruitful discussions for the implementation of arrangements to bring significant growth and  job creation to the economy of Freeport and we are pleased that, prior to the delivery of this Judgment, the Government, the Port Authority and other major stakeholders successfully concluded an agreement on the way forward.

The Grand Bahama Port Authority wishes to thank The Right Honourable Prime Minister Perry Christie for his leadership and focused approach to the discussions and we are confident that the agreement that has been concluded will inure to the benefit of all licensees and lead to the continued development of Freeport for the benefit of the entire island of Grand Bahama.

ABOUT GBPA


The Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) gave GBPA responsibility for the development, administration and management, and provision of services within an area called the 'Port Area' (230 sq. miles). GBPA was mandated by this Agreement to build a deep water harbour, an industrial community and required infrastructure for the City.

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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE


GBPA has achieved an astonishing amount since its inception in 1955.  When first created it was a Grand Bahamian business conglomerate charged not only with land and commercial development but also with all the regulatory and administrative functions of the Freeport/Lucaya.

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THE WAY FORWARD


Firstly, I wish to thank Joan Albury and the Counsellors for this platform enabling us to share with the Grand Bahama community, the outlook for our island! 2015 marks the 60th year of the birth of Freeport and the Hawksbill Creek Agreement; 60 years of a partnership between The Government of The Bahamas and The Grand Bahama Port Authority. I'm here to raise hopes for 2015 and to lay a few popular myths to rest - For those who don't know me, I am Sarah St George.

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