Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2023. 9:07 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Anthony Paul Hunt, Senior, a founder of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) and tourism and business pioneer, has been appointed by the Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management Orlando Habet to serve on the Tribunal for the review of the decision of the Department of the Environment as it relates to the Port Expansion and Cruise Tourism Project.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Minister confirmed the departure of Lucy Fleming, who declined the appointment for personal reasons, and the appointment of Hunt as his chosen representative of the private sector.
Hunt’s career includes serving on the board of Programme for Belize, the Kolbe Foundation and Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), and past chairman of the village council on St George’s Caye.
Judge of the High Court Patricia Farnese and Professor Terry Hughes of Australia as environmental expert round out the panel. However, the appointment of Hughes and attempt to appoint Fleming are the subject of a fixed date claim against Minister Habet and the Attorney General filed by Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith on behalf of Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited, the developers of the proposed cruise port and cargo terminal.
In the claim, Waterloo is challenging the recently amended Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations regarding the composition of the tribunal scheduled to hear its appeal of the Department of the Environment’s rejection of its EIA for the proposed cruise ship and expanded cargo facility project at the Port of Belize Limited.
The claim seeks declarations that the Regulations were amended in bad faith and for an improper purpose, specifically to put Waterloo at a disadvantage in the hearing; that the (proposed) appointments of Lucy Fleming as private sector representative and Professor Terry Hughes as environmental expert are improper as both are tainted with bias; that the claimants are denied protection under the law by these decisions; and that the Regulations as amended should be overturned, and costs.
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