FREEPORT, Grand Bahama — Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey says the 2023-2024 budget for the island of Grand Bahama is a step in the right direction “and it remains people-focused to bring relief to our people who are in need and to develop programs and initiatives that empower our people, in collaboration with local and international organizations, to enhance the quality of life for our people and improve communities.”
During her presentation in the House of Assembly on Monday, June 19, 2023, during the Budget Debate, Minister Moxey pointed out that the budget of over $17 million for the Ministry for Grand Bahama, represents the highest proposed budget for that Ministry, since its establishment in 2021. She noted that it represents a level of commitment by the Government to the people of Grand Bahama.
“The supplemental budget made some variations for an estimated spend of $19 million, attributed to the Beautiful Grand Bahama program,” explained Minister Moxey. “The 2022-2023 proposed budget, presented a year ago, was over $13 million. This increase is primarily attributed to the special employment program that included the Beautiful Grand Bahama participants at 4.7 million and increased utilities and overall supplies that have been consolidated with the Ministry for Grand Bahama as the distributing ministry.
“The capital budget, however, has decreased from $1.8 million to $500,000, so I will be relying on the member from Fort Charlotte, because we have some work to do for Grand Bahama Island and we’re going to need some of that capital expenditure.”
The Grand Bahama Minister explained that some seven hundred thousand of the funds for Collab for the 2023 budget had been reassigned to the special employment project, considering that most of the Collab budget was utilized by the Beautiful Grand Bahama program. She said there has been a slight increase in marketing and promotions, as the Ministry made good on its promise to deliver on its mandate to promote Grand Bahama as a tourism and industrial center.
She thanked her team of employees within the Ministry for Grand Bahama for all of their hard work and dedication in helping to bring about all of the achievements and success and helping to empower more Grand Bahamians. She said the Ministry has been working expeditiously to “fix” Grand Bahama, through collaboration with various agencies and corporations in Grand Bahama one project at a time.
“We’ve established collab partnerships for development and many corporate partners are coming on board to support, like Doctors Hospital, Linx, Delta-Sigma, GBPA and Hutchison,” said Minister Moxey. “We worked feverishly to push the Evidence Amendment Act to bring closure to families of victims of Hurricane Dorian. We are creating touristic experiences and opportunities to empower our people.
“We’ve help to put bread on the tables for hundreds of Grand Bahamians. People who haven’t worked in three to four years. Crime went down. These are the real stories that people don’t often hear about. The proof is there. The results are there. Those lives impacted in a positive way tells the real story.
“When we saw that the event promoters were having challenges, we reached out to them, met with them and addressed the matter head-on and fixed it. Through Beautiful Grand Bahama, we started the revitalization of touristic sites, beaches, and parks, which was a catalyst for the highly impressive events calendar for Grand Bahama.
“When Grand Bahama had very little blood available in the blood bank, we collectively got together, collaborated and made history with the largest amount of blood collected on a single day in the country.”
Outlining some of the success stories as a result of collaboration, Minister Moxey pointed out that her Ministry has partnered with many companies on a range of social and business development projects. Together, they have been able to renovate government buildings, restore touristic and memorial sites and generally made it a more beautiful Grand Bahama.
They’ve renovated dilapidated government-owned structures to serve as transition homes to those in need; partnered with the Royal Bahamas Police force for the assignment of a safe house and have built three beautiful Memorials in Freetown, High Rock and McLean’s Town to commemorate the lives of those lost during Hurricane Dorian.
Minister Moxey noted that fixing Grand Bahama takes innovation; it takes grit, and it takes stickability. So, as Minister for Grand Bahama, she had to find creative ways to tap into resources to get things done. The Ministry for Grand Bahama began working with the Grand Bahama Port Authority on a number of issues, including road paving, removing derelict buildings, and establishing the ease of doing business. They liaised with the industrial sector and appealed to the conscience of the corporate community to partner on social programs.
“We connected with the international community on partnerships for development and we connected stakholders to resolve issues for social and economic development,” said Minister Moxey. “We took advantage of every opportunity to promote Grand Bahama Island as an ideal place for investment. And we have had some big wins. Making significant progress, creating the framework to catapult Grand Bahama as the grand island that it is and letting Grand Bahamians know that it is time to return home.
“We are reminding Bahamians throughout The Bahamas and the diaspora, that Grand Bahama awaits you. The opportunities are there for those who are innovative. Grand Bahama is in good hands with this Davis/Cooper administration. We have done much to be proud of, but there is still so much more to do. The future for Grand Bahama is bright. I am more excited now than I was before.
“Everything is lined up. I truly believe that when all is revealed, everyone who wants to own a business or get a job, will be able to do this in the new Grand Bahama, made possible by this new day administration.
“The reality is, Grand Bahama is bouncing back. It is rebounding. We are fixing legacy issues. It is the ideal place for growth and to raise a family. The opportunities on the horizon are vast. It’s very encouraging.”