Lack of investment crippling Region 2’s economy – Chairman

first_img…calls for integrated approach to tackle high unemploymentBy Lakhram BhagiratRegion Two, Pomeroon-Supenaam, has for more than two years not seen any major investment to boost its crippling economy—which is plagued by issues affecting the rice industry.This is according to Region Two Chairman, Devanand Ramdatt, who, in an interview with this newspaper, said that the crippling economy is due to the lack of consultation and engagement of the administration and residents of Region Two.He explained that for the predominantly farming community, the lack of markets for produce has been severely affecting the investment opportunities in the region.“In the case of Pomeroon, the farmers were affected due to lack of market for their produce, especially those persons who produce fruits; and that is a direct link due to the loss of the contract by a local company to supply juice, because most likely some of those produce came from the Pomeroon,” he detailed.“We visited a lot of the communities, and we have seen farmers having their produce deteriorating in their fields, and their explanation is pointing us to the direction of a lack of market,” Ramdatt noted.He opined that there ought to be a more holistic approach in dealing with the lack of investment and the high unemployment rates. He added that the Government, through its agencies, has to formulate a developmental plan to address the economic woes affecting the region.“We have not had, also, (any) major expansion or development of any new sector in the region — no new development; and there are very high levels of unemployment. More and more, qualified persons are not getting jobs. We are having more persons coming back from Venezuela, and they, too, would add to that level of unemployment, and that high percentage of unemployment will increase. We had absolutely no new investment in Region Two,” Ramdatt explained.He added that Central Government, through its agencies like GO-Invest and the Ministry of Business, can engage the region and its people to formulate a developmental plan to help the region’s struggling economy. “In many communities, we have students not going to school because of the negative impact of the economy. We have challenges (in regard) to youth unemployment. We want new investment opportunity to develop our people, and we need it now,” he added.In 2015, the sod was turned for the Institute of Applied Science and Technology’s (IAST) $100 million rice cereal factory, which later came into operation. The factory was expected to create more than 200 jobs for Essequibians by utilising rice from the Region. However, the Regional Chairman explained, the factory operated for a while, but has now ceased operation for unknown reasons.He added that as far as the statistics show, the factory made very little impact in terms of the unemployment rate and its contribution to the overall economic development of the region.He said the region previously had the Aurora Land Development Project. “That project utilized thousands of acres of land in the southern part of the region, being developed to have crop production so that many of our farmers can have an area that has useful infrastructure to deal with crop production,” Ramdatt related.He said he is hopeful that the project would be developed again, so that it could be an investment opportunity for the region. He related that Government should also provide more assistance for the development of the Pomeroon coconut industry, noting that it has unexplored potential.Tourism sectorIn relation to the region’s tourism sector, the Region Two Chairman noted that more needs to be done to further develop the sector, since the infrastructure leading to two of its major attractions are in deplorable state.Ramdatt explained that while the Regional Administration maintains the roads leading to Lakes Mainstay and Capoey, more needs to be done, since it requires the construction of a proper road network to access the sites.On the issue of roads, Ramdatt said the region’s main road is in dire need of rehabilitation to help curb the high accident rate. He said the road has outlived its time and it is beginning to sink in some parts, creating unexpected “drops” for motorists utilising the mostly unlit stretch of road. Quite often, the unexpected drops result in drivers losing control of their vehicles and running into ditches, or even colliding with other vehicles or utility poles, he said.This publication ventured to the Charity Market Centre on Thursday, and vendors operating there reported that they have seen a decline in sales for the entire 2017.“We know January is a hard month, but for the whole of last year business take blows… Them people ah save them money and not spending like before,” vendor Andrew reported.Collectively, the vendors are contending that not enough is being done to boost the economy in the region, so that residents would spend more.last_img read more

Discovery Parks launches a new water park in Barmera

first_imgDiscovery Parks launches a new water park in BarmeraDiscovery Parks launches a new water park in BarmeraWith it set to be a glorious summer in South Australia, families will be excited to hear that there’s a  new waterpark in town! Thanks to Adelaide-based Discovery Parks, locals and travellers alike can now look forward to an exciting new attraction in the area to help stay cool this summer. Visitors can find this unique family holiday destination on the banks of Lake Bonney in South Australia’s Riverland.This new waterpark is being built at Discovery Parks – Lake Bonney and will be illuminated to extend the fun beyond sundown. Featuring three slides, a huge tipping bucket, water cannons and several spray zones, it is sure to provide endless hours of fun for the whole family and thrill-seekers alike. The  500sqm waterpark will be themed to reflect the beauty of the Murray River and the local citrus growers.Discovery Parks – Lake Bonney will also introduce 16 brand new two-bedroom cabins which will comfortably accommodate up to six people. The cabins will feature all of the comforts you would expect to find at home and are suitable for families, corporate travellers and large group bookings.“Perfectly positioned next to Barmera’s magnificent Lake Bonney, our park is all about lakeside relaxing and water sports. Visitors can experience a huge range of family-friendly activities in the freshwater at the front door of our caravan park. With the development of this new waterpark, we are  confident that the park will be the go-to destination for families this summer,” Sharon Bottrell, Park Manager of Discovery Parks – Lake Bonney said.This waterpark is part of Discovery Parks’ $14 million investment across six properties in the lead up to Christmas. It follows a recent announcement from the business around its new structure and focus on further investing in its people, place and process as part of a strategic plan to support the business for scalable growth to 2020 and beyond.“This investment is us putting money where our mouth is. All the developments are built on our extensive customer knowledge. We are confident that they will fulfil the demand at each location and create an even better experience for our customers,” said CEO of Discovery Parks, Grant Wilckens.Discovery Parks – Lake Bonney will continue to operate as usual with the waterpark and new cabins to be launched in time for summer.Source = Discovery Parkslast_img read more