GOVERNMENT is looking ahead to acquire two new fast ferries from Australia to replace the TT Spirit and TT Express. The Prime Minister made this disclosure at yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s.
While attending the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London last week, Rowley said, he discussed with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull “the possibility of us getting Australian help in procuring new ferries to replace the ferries that we have.” Rowley said it was a fact that the Express and Spirit both have a “limited sea life.”
He said a government-to-government arrangement with Australia would provide a level of certainty in acquiring reliable vessels for the seabridge, noting that the Spirit and Express are both Incat/Austal category vessels made in Australia. He said Government was being proactive because it does not want a repeat of “what happened in the last year” on the seabridge.
Rowley said TT was well represented at various meetings in and outside CHOGM by Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dennis Moses, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young and himself. Young’s discussions with British security agencies, he said, would greatly help TT’s efforts to deal with issues such as crime, terrorism, human trafficking and cybercrime.
Rowley described the request by the queen for Commonwealth leaders to agree to Prince Charles replacing her as head of the Commonwealth as “unique,” saying the leaders unanimously agreed to the request. He said the British press sought his opinions on this issue, he gave his views and “the die is cast.