Failure to heed calls by the public for clarity and dialogue on “unacceptable sections” of the Desert Star Holding (DSH) project agreement, will prompt the main opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) to bring their protest to the streets, according to political leader of the SLP, Philip J. Pierre.
In a press conference today, Pierre disclosed that there are still many unanswered questions regarding the agreement, while noting that a formal signing ceremony has been planned for March 8 and preliminary works have started at Beausejour, Vieux-Fort.
Below is Pierre’s full statement on the project:
Over the last few weeks, we have witnessed a sustained campaign from civil society for the UWP Government to be more accountable by providing more detailed information on the proposed DSH project. The Labour Party has been very clear in its pronouncements that there should be no DSH Project unless the Agreements are renegotiated.
The UWP Government has indicated that it is attempting to renegotiate parts of the Agreement. We have heard certain Government Ministers agree that there are clauses which are unacceptable. The Government has indicated that it has finalised the Agreement for Phase One which is the race track. However, there has been no information on whether the concerns expressed by the Labour Party and civil society were addressed.
We have been informed that there will be a formal signing ceremony on March 8th and preliminary works have started at Beausejour in Vieux-Fort.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party calls on the Government to answer the following:
Will the land for the race track be leased for US$1 per acre for 99 years?
Has an environmental impact assessment been completed and accepted by Government?
Has the race track received Development Control Authority (DCA) approval?
The Framework Agreement provided for the establishment of an Escrow Account in a foreign jurisdiction, has the Government listened to the public outcry and required that the Escrow account be held in Saint Lucia?
The Framework Account provides for the holding of CIP monies by the developer in the Escrow account to fund races and pay for the operations of the race track, has the Government listened to the public and rejected that the sale of our passports be used for the Developer to operate the race track?
If the Escrow Account is to hold CIP money as stated in the Framework Agreement, has the race track been given CIP approval?
How much finance is the developer contributing to the Project and how much is requested as CIP financing?
The Saint Lucia Labour Party is once more calling on the government to dialogue with the people of the island on the unacceptable sections of the agreement, we reserve the right to bring our protest to the streets if government fails to heed to our just requests.