By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
GRAND Bahama Minister Ginger Moxey says she will work diligently to deliver “immediate” social relief to Grand Bahamians and reconstruction on the island.
She spoke to reporters after she arrived in Freeport on Friday to a warm welcome from her supporters at the Grand Bahama International Airport.
Ms Moxey, the first woman to hold the position, said she is excited about going to work to rebuild Grand Bahama and provide relief to people.
“I am going straight to work to the office,” she said. “People have been hurting in the Grand Bahama community for so long. People are still mashed up since (Hurricane) Dorian, and we recognised how much people are in need of relief.”
She indicated that there are many projects that need to be tackled, including the hospital, airport, and the Grand Lucayan hotel.
“We have the situation at the hospital,” she said. “And the Minister of Health and Wellness (Dr Michael Darville) has been here to the Rand Memorial Hospital. Also, we have the situation with the airport. It was sold to the government, but we are going to really get the ball rolling with that and begin to develop a master plan for the airport.”
Ms Moxey indicated that the Grand Lucayan is another project they are looking to tackle.
The Minnis administration purchased the hotel during its term with the intent to sell it, however the sale of the property has not yet been finalised.
“We talked about that during the campaign and what was so wrong about that,” she said. “And so, we are going to again be meeting on the status of that and where that is at, and really begin again to get the ball rolling.”
Ms Moxey also noted that Grand Bahama has been dealt with the blows of natural disasters and a strained economy for too long and in spite of these challenges, residents have remained resilient.
“As your minister, I am excited to journey with you as we recover, rebuild, and revolutionise the island of Grand Bahama,” she said.
She noted that the Davis administration has strategic plans to achieve that goal.
“I vow to work with diligence to begin delivering immediate social relief to Grand Bahamians and much-needed reconstruction on the island. It is envisioned that this will, in turn, assist our mission to stabilise the economy and create opportunities for Bahamians to thrive,” she said.
Ms Moxey stressed that collaboration with stakeholders is the key to achieving progress for the island but said it will not be an overnight fix.
“It will take some time, the country has been through a lot,” she said. “We have just been elected to office, and we don’t know exactly what we are facing, and so we have to kind of check a lot of contracts signed and re-evaluate them.
“What I can say is that we will—I am about creating systems that allow the Ministry of Grand Bahama to cause Grand Bahama to thrive. We know these are very challenging times for people, and so patience is required.”
When asked about the International Bazaar area, Ms Moxey said: “I’ve always held the Bazaar near and dear to my heart, and I know there were talks about reopening the road. We cannot continue to allow (the Bazaar) to remain in the condition that it is."
Ms Moxey thanked Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis for appointing her to the role.
“I am also particularly proud to be the first woman to hold the title of minister for Grand Bahama and hope to inspire the future of women in leadership,” she said. “I thank the Grand Bahama community for your support, and I look forward to serving you.”