Southlands owners beg to get on Ewart Brown's gravy train
Southlands' owners gagged on land swap deal
Craig Christensen , Brian Duperrault and Nelson Hunt owners of t Southlands
The owners of Southlands have agreed to a request from Government not to talk to the press about the Morgan's Point land swap deal.
The confidentiality condition was imposed yesterday after Brian Duperreault, Craig Christensen and Nelson Hunt presented their detailed plan for a luxury resort at the former US Naval Annex to Cabinet and other Progressive Labour Party politicians.
It comes after weeks of public bickering between the three Southlands Ltd. directors and Government over their stalled agreement to exchange the 37-acre Southlands estate for 80 acres of public land at Morgan's Point. Yesterday's Cabinet session was extended to include Government backbenchers and junior ministers who would not normally attend, including former Premier Alex Scott, Dale Butler, Terry Lister, Randy Horton, Wayne Perinchief and Walton Brown.
Mr. Scott told The Royal Gazette "It was a very helpful and comprehensive presentation. I can't speak for the [PLP] caucus but certainly among my colleagues on the backbench, we were impressed with the scope and depth of the Southlands/Morgan's Point team.
"He would not divulge details of the plan but said it had been amended following criticism from Premier Ewart Brown about there being "too much concrete"."It made it a very helpful exercise," he said. "I'm hoping that it turns out to be a successful day for all involved.
"It was myself that recommended that Southlands approach Government about the quid pro quo of exchanging their property for possible relocation of their project at Morgan's Point."I personally hope that it goes forward, as I think most Bermudians want to see progress, not only with this project but progress on the tourism front."A source at yesterday's meeting said the Southlands team was "grilled" by parliamentarians.
"The presentation was very impressive; they explained every single question, from financing to planning, layout and density. "People were impressed with what they had to say.
The backbenchers were all in support of it and various members of Cabinet are."The source, who asked not to be named, said the latest proposed development for Morgan's Point would take up less than nine percent of the footprint of the 240-acre former base land on the Southampton/Sandys border.
They said Southlands Ltd. indicated it would consider cleaning up the polluted site if asked; Government has previously said taxpayers would foot the bill.Southlands Ltd. had arranged to show the plans for Morgan's Point to this newspaper after the Cabinet presentation but withdrew the offer yesterday afternoon.Global insurance chief Mr. Duperreault told The Royal Gazett "We were asked not to talk to the press while they have a chance to deliberate and we said that that is a fair request."While we are waiting for an answer, that is what we have to do. We want to do what's right. When the time comes, we would love to talk to you."
He would not answer further questions.The source at yesterday's meeting said Works and Engineering Minister Derrick Burgess stressed the importance of confidentiality.
"Minister Burgess got a bit testy about information not getting out," said the source. "Some thought it was impertinent to remind these people of confidentiality when they have carried out this kind of work all over the world
." Other organisations did get to see the plans yesterday at meetings with Southlands Ltd., including the United Bermuda Party, Bermuda Democratic Alliance, Bermuda Environmental and Sustainability Taskforce (BEST) and Greenrock. All were asked not to disclose any information to the press.
Shadow Tourism Minister Michael Dunkley said: "They asked us to come to a meeting where they would explain what was going on and what they wanted to do up there.
They asked for some confidentiality in this issue."BDA member Michael Fahy said it would be premature to comment before leader Craig Cannonier and MP Donte Hunt, who attended the meeting, reported back to the party.BEST chairman Stuart Hayward said: "I really can't say anything."Greenrock president Andrew Vaucrosson said "I didn't attend myself.
I can't comment until have had a debriefing from those who did attend."Asked about the presentation, Cabinet Secretary Marc Telemaque said: "There will be no comment."UBP leader Kim Swan yesterday criticised Junior Tourism Minister Marc Bean for calling BEST a "muppet show" on Monday after it relaunched its campaign to save the Southlands estate amid fears the land swap would fall through.
Mr. Swan said: "His demeaning words represent the most bankrupt form of political engagement, whereby insults are used to attack people instead of debating the substance of their concerns."BEST is one of the few organisations actively speaking for careful stewardship of Bermuda's environment. Its views are welcome and should be respected because they reflect genuine concern for the island. "Sen. Bean's cheap words are an affront to BEST and a disincentive to anyone who wants to express concerns in public on any given issue."
The Southlands' owners came up with a fast one and thought they were on Brown's gravy train.
They had no time for BEST when they got their SDO,now they are crying for
BEST and the sustainability and conservation groups support.
see these Facebook groups
The Southlands project is just wrong
Bermudians Against Government Corruption (BAGC)
Senator calls BEST 'discredited' and a 'muppet show'" from today's RG.
"Senator" Bean, a Rastafarian former taxi driver, another paid consultant,race pimp in Ewart Brown's gestapo,is just saying what he is paid to do, if he wants them checks to keep coming in!
just in case you forgot, the inconvenient truth, that is more or less what current "victim", former UBP, switched to PLP , investor,Nelson Hunt called Southlands /BEST protesters in August , 2007
Hunt calling one local resident a "stupid bitch" ..
Mr. Hunt was heard to say: "You want to be an asshole too?
You people are completely out of order.....You're like a bunch of beggars".