THE PRIME Minister on Monday outlined measures to assist former Petrotrin employees, including priority housing, agriculture incentives and possible regularisation for those on Petrotrin lands. He stressed, however, that was not a licence for squatting.
Dr Rowley made the announcement during a statement in Parliament.
Rowley said the first measure for ex-Petrotrin workers is the opportunity to own serviced housing. He reported sites would be added to the Aided Self Help Housing Programme and made available on a priority basis to former Petrotrin workers.
He also said Government has identified suitable agricultural land for former Petrotrin workers who are either already in agriculture and wish to expand or those who have an interest, some experience or a business plan for agri-business. These lands are in Chatham, Felicity and a number of other areas.
He recalled in September 2018, at a meeting in Marabella, he promised Government would ensure the Petrotrin land is available around the South for those who can access land for housing.
“We are doing much more than that,” he said.
Rowley also reported that, for who meet the requirements of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), the Government will support the ADB in providing a special financial support package of up to $500,000 for former Petrotrin employees.
He also announced that former Petrotrin workers who currently live on or carry on agriculture or other activity on state land or land owned by a state entity, the Government, through Palo Seco Agricultural Enterprises Ltd and the Land Settlement Agency, “will give priority attention to assessing each situation and where it does not infringe on exploration and production activities or other planning strictures or ownership interests, the Government will deal expeditiously with the issue of regularisation where such occupancy can be shown to have been in existence before December 1, 2018.”
The Government believed this was the right direction, he said, “And we believe that this is what we as a country must do. The wealth distribution and the widespread economic activities that will flow from these initiatives, over time, will benefit families in all the areas mentioned and the wider national community as a whole.”
Monday 17 December 2018 Julien Neaves