Philipsburg, St. Maarten, -– With the Mullet Bay beach very much in the news lately, MP Sarah Wescot-Williams is attempting to get answers to her questions which were evaded by the Minister of VROMI in the public meetings dealing with Government’s policies on the granting of long lease land.
In her letter to the Minister, the MP reminded the Minister of her attempts to get some clarity with respect to what is taking place at Mullet Bay beach. “During the sessions of public meeting no. 2, which commenced on September 23rd, amongst my questions to the Minister of VROMI were questions regarding Mullet Bay beach and (operating) licenses granted by Government to individuals and companies. In first instance the Minister answered with providing a brief number of the businesses on aforementioned beach. My subsequent questions regarding this topic were conveniently overlooked or just not answered. I specifically asked regarding the fenced-in area on the beach of Mullet Bay. Again, no reply.”
“In recent days activities at Mullet Bay have been very much in the limelight . Via social media one could have seen the developments on this beach, some of which should definitely raise a red flag. “This is the beach this governing coalition wanted to “give back to the people”. It would appear that with the speed developments on and around the Mullet Bay beach are taking place, by the time the Government does attempt to make good on their promise, if they had ever planned to, we, the people will be holding the empty bag.”
Locals who follow all the relevant procedures, are being neglected, while a chosen few seems to be able to do as they please. MP Wescot-Williams has again, now in writing, posed the following questions to the Minister of VROMI:
Is Government acting in conformity with the beach policy at Mullet Bay Beach? If not, why not? If yes, please explain.
How many permits have been granted for the Mullet Bay beach and what type of permits?
Please provide a map of the beach with location, size and description of the permits.
How many of the permit holders are sole proprietors and how many NVs?
What is the cost of the trenching being done to lay cables and at whose expense is this work being done?
Are permit holders expected to contribute to this cost and if so, for how much and based on what?
In addition to these questions, the MP has also asked the Mullet Bay Inquiry Committee of Parliament to apprise the people of its actions, if any.
By decision dated November 5, of the Parliament, the Mullet Bay Inquiry was established under the catchy caption of “Giving Mullet Back to the People”. The legal basis for this/an inquiry can be found in the National Ordinance Parliamentary Inquiry.
“Before arriving at this decision, the Parliament was informed of the objectives of the inquiry, by the presenters, namely MP Brison and former MP Richardson.This presentation was made public during the meetings of Parliament. Interestingly, the meeting to formalize this inquiry was requested by the (then) members Jacobs, Doran, Richardson, Irion, Marlin, Brison and Emmanuel, so this matter should be known to the current Minister of VROMI”, MP Wescot explained.
“During the Central Committee meeting on the topic of Mullet Bay, several pertinent questions were put to the Government by Members of Parliament. “As far as I have been able to ascertain, these were never answered. Also in accordance with the aforementioned law, the Committee/Parliament is supposed to formally present the budget for an inquiry for inclusion in the budget of the country. We are approximately 2 years further and it behooved me to ask the following questions of this parliamentary committee, chaired by MP Rolando Brison”.
1. Have any action been undertaken by this committee in accordance with its mandate? If so, what actions and when?
2. Has the Government responded to the questions put forward by Members of Parliament on this topic? If so, when?
3. Has a detailed budget been submitted for the Mullet Bay Inquiry in accordance with the national ordinance? If so, has this ever been included in the country’s budget? If not, why not? Has the committee made any expenses? If so, for what?
4. Has the Government apprised the Parliament Committee of its activities and those of third parties on the Mullet Bay property and specifically the beach area? If so, what are these activities?
5. Has the Government acted in accordance with the Civil Code in allowing activities on the public beach?
I look forward to receiving the answers from the Minister of VROMI and the Committee chairperson. In fact, I think the governing coalition under the leadership of the Prime Minister should address this matter, MP Wescot concluded.