Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Minister Vincent Wheatley gave updates on the finger pier and dock at Red Bay, the planned restroom facility at Long Bay, Beef Island, and unencumbered Crown land in response to questions from Opposition Leader Marlon Penn at the House of Assembly sitting on Monday.

Plans are in motion to construct the dock facility at Red Bay, which was allocated $300,000 in the 2019 budget, he said, adding that he would have a more concrete timeline for the project after a Tuesday meeting with contractors.

“After eight years if we have to wait a little bit more I’m sure it wouldn’t be a problem,” Mr. Wheatley (R-D9) joked after Mr. Penn (R-D8) pressed him on specifics.

Beef Island restroom

He also said that “requisite authorities” have approved plans to construct a restroom facility at Long Bay beach on Beef Island, which received $143,000 in funding in the 2019 budget.

He added that he expects the project to commence by July 2019 and to be completed within four months.

Crown land

In response to another question, Mr. Wheatley said that government currently owns 1,216 acres of unencumbered Crown land, and he provided the geographic locations and specific acreage for each property in response to questions from Mr. Penn.

He added that his ministry has identified properties that will become part of the first-time homeowners’ housing programme but that development has not begun yet because of the rocky nature of a portion of the area.

The ministry, he said, is looking to determine how much of the property can be subdivided and will work closely with the Ministry of Transportation, Works and Utilities to bring the project to completion and minimise costs.