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Aug 16, 2006

P.M. expresses strong support for Ara Macaw …

Story PictureAra Macao … Spanish for Scarlet Macaw. The large scale tourism project has been a long simmering and controversial issue for residents of the Placencia Peninsula–and by extension the entire nation. With a decision on its environmental impact assessment due shortly, today Prime Minister Said Musa, appearing on Love FM’s Morning Show, took the opportunity to give the effort an unequivocal endorsement.

Prime Minister Said Musa
?I was asked about the Ara Macao project, and let me say very openly that I support that project. I believe that we need to take in to account all the environmental concerns, but they have had sufficient time to go through these things. I think the time has come for the NEAC, which is the responsible authority under the law to make a decision, so that this project can move ahead. I have seen petitions coming from various communities around the area in support, including Seine Bight and other communities. We should not allow a few people–very vociferous individuals who may in some cases have challenges because of the competition that this institution will provide to them–to sabotage what I perceive will be a good project for the development of this country. In terms of tourism and in terms of creating jobs for our people. So I make no bones about that. I am in full support of that and I think it is time that we move ahead with that project.?

Despite the Prime Minister’s cheerleading, the Ara Macao proposal, which includes the dredging of a huge marina and two wide channels through the public beach, does present some very serious environmental concerns and is opposed by many area residents. Under the law, those issues will be considered by the National Environmental Appraisal Committee, which will make its recommendation to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, John Briceno.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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