Some persons have been arguing that this port will cost us too much and that it will place a burden on future generations.
I agree that it will place a significant burden on future generations, but only if we do not proceed with the port. Lets consider both scenarios:
If we do not proceed with this port:
• We will save approximately 5 acres of coral which is located in an area which should be designated as a port area for our main port (and bear in mind that some of this will be relocated or restored if the port is built so the potential loss is a lot smaller than 5 acres)
• The private owners of the tender boats will continue to make around US$10 million per year and employ around 40 to 50 persons.
However, we stand to lose a lot more if we do not proceed with the project.
We will likely lose several hundred thousand cruise tourists, not immediately but over the coming years. Our cruise tourism sector could be cut in half and this is what the independent experts say, not the government. Instead of maintaining 40 to 50 jobs we will lose hundreds.
Our cargo port, which is currently handling about 10 times more cargo than what it was originally built for in the 1970s, is headed for disaster with serious safety and capacity issues as directly reported by port officials, again not by the government.
We will eventually have to build a new port and at that stage it will cost us a lot more. In fact this will be the major burden on future generations because it will be almost impossible to find a partner to give us the financial terms we are getting now.
The local businesses that benefit from cruise tourism will continue to face lower revenues in the summer months instead of gaining additional cruise visitors during this period as that is when we will see the majority of the increase from the larger ships.
We all need to properly consider the merits and issues before making this very important decision. The true facts are more important than campaign points.
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