‘Great initiative’ to expand National Parks

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  • First speech: Justin Mathias (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    First speech: Justin Mathias (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Legislation to expand the list of national parks and amend park fees were today approved in the Senate.

Legislation to expand the list of national parks and amend park fees was yesterday approved in the Senate.

The Bermuda National Parks Amendment Act makes changes to the number of parks and nature reserves, as well as the composition of the Parks Commission.

Included in the amendment is the official recognition of Southlands as a national park.

The Warwick property had been earmarked as the site of a hotel development, but after a public outcry the Government organised a land swap with Morgan’s Point in Southampton to protect the site.

The Bermuda National Parks Amendment (No 2) Act “makes amendments to provide for the validation of fees and provides a provision for the minister to order to waive fees due to impromptu or in exceptional circumstances”.

Both amendments were approved by senators after a brief debate.

New Opposition senator Justin Mathias delivered his maiden speech in the Upper Chamber on the first Bill, noting it had the support of the One Bermuda Alliance. Of the second piece of legislation, he said: “I believe that this is a great initiative.”

Junior public works minister Vance Campbell said the aim of the new fee structure was not to enable Government to make a profit from parks but to ensure it represented the true value of services provided.

“The public has been consistently charged for the services offered by the Department of Parks,” he said. “They already have an expectation of and are accustomed to paying a fee.”

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Published Dec 14, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 14, 2017 at 6:37 am)

‘Great initiative’ to expand National Parks

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