Cabinet focuses on
Sister Islands with news of housing and new projects
Hon Kurt Tibbetts, Leader of
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Hon Kurt Tibbetts, Leader of Government Business
and Minister of District Administration, Planning, Agriculture &
Housing, has revealed that the Affordable Housing issue was likely
to be sorted out in Cayman Brac sooner than in Grand
Recently he said that the Government still had
“a matter of weeks” to wait for recommendations from the new Board
of the National Housing Community Development Trust (NHCDT) on the
way forward for Affordable Housing on Grand Cayman.
However at Friday’s press briefing 23 September
he said that Cabinet was “in the process of finalising plans for
affordable housing on Cayman Brac”.
He said that Cabinet had recently approved the
establishment of a company in relation to this and more information
would be available in only a few short weeks.
A ship-to-ship transfer project was also
announced for Cayman Brac, a project raised by the Leader of
Government business some time ago. He said that proposals were just
about coming in and the Government was reviewing proposals and draft
contracts were being assessed, and he expressed the hope that the
Government would be able to move quickly on this project.
This could be a significant revenue earner for
the Brac when the Island becomes a meeting place for ships, in some
cases very large ones as well as the smaller ones used to transfer
loads from the huge cargo ships.
In short under such a project smaller ships take
loads into areas the larger vessels cannot go. The Brac would then
earn royalties based on the number of barrels
In addition, Cayman Brac would be the fuel and
supply stop for these vessels.
The Islands is said to be ideal for this project
because the waters surrounding the Brac have very little continental
shelf and larger ships are able to come right in to the
Minister of Health and Human Services, Hon
Anthony Eden, spoke about Faith Hospital on the Brac and said that
dialysis services should be available there by December
“The dialysis machine is at Cayman Islands
Hospital and the nurse has commenced her four-month training there.
If the HSA is successful in recruiting more trained dialysis nurses,
the service at Faith Hospital can be started earlier.”
Minister of Communications, Works and
Infrastructure, Hon Arden McLean revealed an incentive programme to
encourage growth in the media industry on the Brac. He said that
Cabinet had agreed to reduce fees to media entities on the Islands
by as much as 75 percent.
He also said that the 6 per cent regulatory fee
charged on gross advertising revenues would be waived in relation to
Minister of Tourism, Environment, Investment
& Commerce, Hon Charles Clifford, revealed that the Cayman
Islands Investment Bureau had developed an investor targeting
strategy for the Sister Islands as well.
The focus on the Brac wes welcomed, especially
as most of the projects announced by the Cabinet Members were areas
of potential revenue stream.
Income sources are still troubling issues for
the Government with the shortfall of $25 million still looming over
Speaking about the budget Mr Tibbetts pointed
out that the first step in finding the additional income needed
involved going through the existing revenue streams and closely
He pointed out that, “While anything is
possible, it is not anticipated that the extraordinary expenditure
needed throughout this year and last year would be needed on a
However, as far as identifying specific sources
for additional income for this period Mr Tibbetts pointed to the
Local Companies Licence and revenue from licensing agreements with
private companies that lease space on Government towers.
Apart from those sources, Mr Tibbetts said he
did not want to “pre-empt discussions by pointing fingers in any one
Traditionally, environmental care is good news
for everyone in the Cayman Islands – especially against the
background of the significant role tourism plays in the economy here
– and Mr Clifford brought news on the upcoming coral reef
Hurricane Ivan had some amount of negative
impact on reefs locally and regionally. In an effort to assist the
recovery of reefs that have been affected, successful restoration
programmes have been carried out and a lot of the science and
methodology is now clearly understood.
Mr Clifford said that during the next two weeks
the Department of Environment (DOE) would be working with The Reef
Ball Foundation to do a training and experimental coral restoration
programme in waters offshore the Seven Mile Beach. He said that the
Foundation “is a public, non-profit charity, based in the United
States that works to restore aquatic ecosystems worldwide and has
conducted 5000 projects in 50 countries.”
The Foundation’s world renowned Coral Team is
essentially a volunteer network of hundreds of specially trained
experts in the field of coral propagation, coral rescue and coral
“The DOE staff can join a five-day training and
experimental reef restoration programme under the instruction of the
“The work will be carried out at the existing
Marriott Hotel Reef Ball site and at a second site further offshore
of the Seven Mile Beach.
“The project will only use imperilled corals,
that is, corals that would otherwise die within a year if left
alone. The project will also utilise coral propagation rather than
transplanting. That is, new coral colonies are actually made so that
even with some fragment losses, the original colonies survive and
are multiplied,” he said.
In such a project, very small coral fragments
are used, typically the size that would fit into a 35mm film
canister. This means that thousands of coral colonies can be created
from very small amounts of imperilled colonies.