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FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT BY THE HON. CARL W. BETHEL, ATTORNEY GENERAL WITH THE GRAND BAHAMA PORT AUTHORITY

The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) Vice Chairman, Sarah St George (centre), and GBPA President, Ian Rolle (second right), were pleased to welcome Senator the Hon. Carl W. Bethel QC (second left), Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, on his first official visit to Grand Bahama, together with Senator the Hon. Kwasi Thompson, Minister of State for Grand Bahama (far right) and the Hon. Elsworth N. Johnson MP, Minister of State for Legal Affairs (far left). Also present were Garvin Gaskin, Director of Public Prosecutions, Antionette Bonamy, Director of Legal Affairs, Marco Rolle, Permanent Secretary to the Office of the Attorney General, Deann Seymour, GBPA Chief Financial officer, and Nakira Wilchcombe, Director of GBPA Building & Development Services.

The Hon. Carl Bethel and Sarah St George both reaffirmed the commitment of the Government and GBPA to work together for the benefit of Freeport's licensees, and to strengthen and streamline their public/private sector partnership under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement, in order to stimulate jobs and economic growth on the entire island of Grand Bahama.

Vice Chairman Sarah St George said; "We are simply delighted to work hand in hand with the Attorney General and his office, as a matter of priority, on the proposed improved Investment Incentive legislation. The aim is to ensure those particular HCA tax concessions, that expired, are extended for a further 20 years to all GBPA licensees, in a smooth transition process". The Hon Carl Bethel indicated a new stimulus package and one-stop shop will be tabled amongst other initiatives, and promised "a shot of adrenaline" to the Grand Bahama economy.

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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