Arch Cot folk want answers, Mr Minister
“As far as we understand it, it is still the responsibility of the Ministry of Transport and Works to keep that area clear. One of the first things Cabinet decided was that the area should be fenced. Eight years after it not being done is a surprise to me.” – Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Gayle Francis-Vaughan, on the $300 000 set aside in 2009 to secure the Arch Cot cave-in site. – Quotes For The Keeping, Weekend Nation September 22.
When apprised of this legitimate concern by people living in the affected area,
Minister Michael Lashley’s dismissive response was, in summary, “We will get to it, but I don’t know when.”
Such an arrogantly dismissive attitude to legitimate public concerns is a hallmark of this Democratic Labour Party administration. Come next year’s election, such condescension will be one of the chief reasons for what I predict will be a massive defeat for the DLP.
Might I be so bold, as just one of this country’s hoi polloi, to offer a bit of advice to my superiors in Parliament? To “respond” is to “answer”. Correspondingly, to be “responsible” is to be “answerable” or to be accountable.
After eight years, Arch Cot residents want two seemingly simple answers to two questions: When will this project get under way? Has the allotted $300 000 for the project been used elsewhere?
It is time for some accountability, Minister Lashley.
– CHARLES KNIGHTON