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Burt calls for independent evaluation of airport plans

Opposition leader David Burt (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

As Parliament faces a long day’s debate of airport legislation, Opposition leader David Burt has called on Heather Jacobs Matthews, the Auditor-General, to independently assess the Government’s proposal before it can be passed.

The proposal for a new terminal at LF Wade International Airport cannot proceed until the Airport Redevelopment Concession Act and the Bermuda Airport Authority Act are approved.

According to Mr Burt, a value for money report, commissioned by the Government from the firm Steer Davies Gleave, does not prove the project’s financial worth, since its conclusions were based on projects of different sizes to the terminal proposed.

Saying that MPs have yet to be presented with “a simple analysis” to guide their debate, Mr Burt told the House that it made no sense for the Government to “use their majority and ram it down our throats” when future reports by the Auditor-General might fault the deal.

Speaking during Monday’s night’s motion to adjourn, the Progressive Labour Party leader said he planned to meet tomorrow with Michael Dunkley, the Premier, to discuss the proposal for a fresh evaluation.

Both pieces of legislation are expected to go before MPs during Friday’s sitting of the House of Assembly.