Realtors blast wrong bill

| 27/02/2009

(CNS): It seems that the Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association (CIREBA) has jumped the gun in its goal to campaign against the promised National Conservation Bill, which has yet to come to the Legislative Assembly in its final form. In the association’s eagerness to shout down the law that aims to protect Cayman’s natural resources it has taken out advertisements in the local press criticising the wrong bill – one that was drafted before and not after consultation.

Moreover,the DoE has also noted that even while the bill has changed and will certainly address some of the brokers concerns, the group has also misunderstood the original draft in the first place particularly their belief that the bill would ruin their industry, which the DoE has stated is seriously misplaced.

CIREBA, which says it looks after the interests of realtors, issued a statement yesterday saying that after communicating with the Ministry responsible for the Environment it has now decided to suspend the planned campaign against the law as it has learned that the campaign was based on the wrong bill.
“Following receipt of this notification by CIREBA, the permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism Environment, Development and Commerce contacted the President of CIREBA and informed him that the current bill, which is going to be proposed, varies substantially from the paper on which CIREBA’s comments were based,” CIREBA stated.

The realtors noted that it would be more appropriate for CIREBA to review the final bill before making any further comment and it agreed to halt the campaign pending receipt of the revised bill. However, the association said that by the time it was contacted by the government the deadline to pull the first advertorial from some of the media had passed, so the ad based on the bill which has since been changed is now running in the local press

The DoE is now concerned that the public will me misinformed, not only because the group has criticised a bill that doesn’t exist but because the criticisms were also misplaced and based on an inaccurate interpretation of the proposed law. In the first part of its campaign the group not only said the bill would destroy their industry but said that the law gives the director of the Department of Environment and the enforcement officers extensive powers exceeding that of elected members of government to prohibit or restrict any development he or she perceives to bedetrimental to the environment.

The current director, Gina Ebanks-Petrie, refuted the claims made by the group over the powers of the office and stated that the new law confers no greater powers on the director or enforcement officers than currently exists under the marine conservation law.

“I categorically refute the claims made by CIREBA that whoever holds my position will have such power. It is simply not the case and a misleading statement,” she said. “The department’s officers will be enforcing the new law when it is enacted in exactly the same way as we have enforced the marine conservation law.”

CIREBA has also called for the revised bill to be placed in the public domain, a call echoed by many of the bill’s supporters who believe the misinformation regarding the bill needs to be addressed, but more importantly, with absolutely no environmental or conservation protection, the National Conservation Bill is long overdue.

Environment Minister Charles Clifford promised Cayman that he would bring forth legislation to protect Cayman’s natural habitat but there is still no sign of the law and only three weeks left before the Legislative Assembly will be dissolved in time for the next General Election. With aspiraitonal rights to environmental protection written into the new proposed Constitution’s Bill of Rights, Cayman will need legislation to honour that commitment before those rights can be realised.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    You know it stands to reason that if less land like oil is available Cireba can finally justify those rip off prices that they are expecting people to pay for land and property. Preservation has to be a part of the market dynamics.Their room to play is so large and they are looking for unlimited space now. Watch they will be prodding what ever government to fix this issue because it is limiting investment in such hard economics times will be the excuse. A word of caution people watch these Big business political candidates they are the worse.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Some have raped and pillaged this island’s land resources for so long they think its a national pastime or hobby .what happen this time ? They probable did not get their case of Beluga Caviar . Ooooh what a shame we have so many greedy people on this island.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Given the continued development all around the island I don’t know what the future holds for the real estate market.

    With the roll over foreigners aren’t going to buy anything knowing they are gone in a couple of years.

    Sure hope I am wrong.

  4. Anonymous says:

     Has anyone seen the new bill yet? – it is not on their website

  5. Anonymous says:

    Grow a brain people – nobody forced anyone to sell land in cayman. 

    • Anonymous says:

      How do you grow a brain…it would be useful knowledge around here.

      Beam me up Scotty…

      Party at Next Level anyone?

      • Anonymous says:

        I guess the only answer the CIREBA people is that everybody else is stupid. May be we are for you letting you get away with what you have for so long.

    • Anonymous says:

      No one is physically forced to sell land but realtors typically exploit situations to their own advantage.  They are relentless in trying to buy and sell, they use mass mailing (junk mailing) to reach their objectives.  I continually find my mailbox full of junk mail from realtors trying to sell or buy property. Ocassionally my privacy is invaded with junk e-mail too.  I have no time for them at all and have never used one in buying or selling property,  They do little work for their money as far as I am concerned.  Post offices now provide garbage cans for us to deposit the junk mail in and most of it is from realtors!  CIREBA has only their own interest at heart not that of the future of the Cayman Islands or the people that reside here.  Money is their prime objective – nothing else.

  6. Anonymous says:

    CIREBA has maintained price fixing and inflated fees for too long.  They have brought nothing but greed to this island and added little value to this country.  Anything CIREBA opposes has my vote.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Whatever the bill is, and I confess I am ignorant, I am certain in my mind that CIREBA only has one interest at heart and that is to develop and as much land as possible in the name of the almighty dollar.  These was a time you could drive down West Bay road and sea the beautiful beach, but not so anymore, just a mass of concrete and views only to be enjoyed by those that can afford it.   The public acess to the beach is all we have left, and as we know it is a contentious issue and the public are often intimidated to leave the beach.

    I myself have had to go down to the beach and inform security people (when my daughter was told to leave the beach as it was private property), that she has every right to enjoy it.

    There are just not enough public places for all of us to enjoy and I fully support preventing development just for the purpose of making money.  We must consider the future generations.  There is a saying that says;

    "We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors: we borrow it from our children."

     I think is important to remember this.

  8. Redbayer says:

    Any Bill/proposed Law that is opposed by CIREBA will automatically have my support!

  9. Anonymous says:

    The development industry has scant regard for conservation measures currently in place, as is seen by the typical approach of clear land without approval, and then simply put up hands and say sorry after the damage has been done.  Development is not a given right, it is a right to be gained if there are no overriding factors against it, and the development industry in Cayman seems to forgotten this important point.