(CMR) Former Deputy Premier Chris Saunders has again come with serious allegations against the Government after last week claiming racism by the Governor. This time the former Minister for Finance and Economic Development and Minister for Employment and Border Control said there were some “material differences” between him and Premier Wayne Panton on the ReGen Project.
CMR understands that Mr. Saunders, who claimed he resigned, was actually fired by Premier Wayne Panton last week. This has resulted in him leveling serious allegations against the PACT Administration.
In a message obtained by CMR, Mr. Saunders said, “I am not going to leave you in suspense any further to wonder what is really going on and where there were material differences between Premier Panton and me.”
He went on to state that “the first major difference is the Integrated Solid Waste Management System, otherwise known as ISWMS. Some of you may know it as the Dump Project.”
The former deputy further stated, “If you want the truth to what is really going on, I implore you to ask the Hon. Premier, Wayne Panton, to release the report from the Office of the Auditor General on the ReGen project.”
He said the Auditor General sent the report to the Premier on Saturday, the 4th of December 2021, at 12:30 pm.
“If the report is released to the public, you will know the truth and everything will be made clear to youIf the report is not released, I suspect that, as usual, the excuse will be ‘Commercial Sensitivity.' If that happens, I would suggest that the Premier be asked the nature of the Commercial Sensitivity and whose Commercial interest is being protected over and above the public's interest,” he stated.
Mr. Saunders said that based on the last set of numbers that he saw, this project was unaffordable for the public purse, and he would not have signed off on the project when he was Minister of Finance.
“I see that there are already efforts in the public domain to promote that project and I implore you to reach out to your Members of Parliament and insist the Government does not move forward until the country knows the full costs. The last number that I saw for the project was around $2.0 BILLION Dollars,” he continued.
He suggested that if the Government does not want to release the report the public should ask for the amount of the winning bid at that time.
“The difference between those two numbers will surprise you. Like you, I too agree that the Dump needs to be remediated and a long-term solution to waste management found. I just don't believe we need to mortgage the entire country and an entire generation to pay for it,” he stated.
Mr. Saunders said sending his message wasn't easy as he expected it to bring more personal attacks.
“I am a big boy, I can take it. But I cannot afford to sit by and watch our children and grandchildren be saddled with a tax burden that they will not be able to afford,” he continued.
He encouraged the public not to let his warning go unheeded.
“We already have challenges on Healthcare costs that are rising rapidly and we have a responsibility to educate and prepare our children for the future. If we had this ISWMS project, in its current form, to that burden, our children and grandchildren will never forgive us,” he concluded.