Gov’t threatens robust response to any further injunction

Minister Melford Nicholas (file photo)
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The government will stage what it is calling a robust response to any further request for an injunction to stop construction on the Barbuda airport.

Information Minister Melford Nicholas failed to say exactly what form that approach would take. But he did say that the government will defend its position.

“These matters cannot be trifled with. It is easy for persons who are motivated by whatever reasons to make these interventions but the government is certainly going to defend its position,” Nicholas said.

The injunction that stood in the way of the construction of a new airport terminal in Barbuda was lifted on September 11, paving the way for work to resume on the project.

Prior to that, it was on August 2, High Court Judge Rosalyn E. Wilkinson instructed that all construction be halted immediately until further notice.

The ruling at the time was in favour of Marine Biologist John Mussington and Jacklyn Frank, both of Barbuda, who filed the civil case challenging the construction for a number of reasons, including a claim that the Department of Environment warned the government of environmental risks, yet the Development Control Authority and the the government went ahead with the construction of the airport

The order of costs was not assessed, but the government says it is estimated that more than EC $1.3 million was lost due to the actions of the two Barbudans who filed for the injunction.

Nicholas said there appears to be a level of immorality at the base of some of the actions of people in Barbuda.
“I think this time around, you will see that the government will ask persons to consider cost,” Nicholas said.

He added, “You cannot create a wave of cost and if your claim fails you move away and look for another opportunity to create mischief.”

Nicholas said that if the Barbudans file once more for an injunction, they will be asked to explain how they will meet the damages which their actions have caused.

A hearing for judicial review will take place on September 26, 2018.