Augustine wants Tobago’s autonomy to be addressed in new session of Parliament

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Augustine wants Tobago’s autonomy to be addressed in new session of Parliament

Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Farley Augustine says it’s about time that Tobago’s autonomy is dealt with and he hopes the issue will be raised in the new session of Parliament.

Speaking to media at the ceremonial opening of Parliament on Monday, Augustine said he felt that President Christine Kangaloo should have added that issue to her list of parliamentary wishes which she spoke of during her address yesterday.

“I think it is about time. Although the President didn’t make it one of her five wishes, I am hoping that it would be the wish of the current session of Parliament for us to revive autonomy for Tobago because all of that would treat with issues such as inter-island transportation service, healthcare, and so many other issues that the average Tobagonian experiences daily, that the average Trinidadian might be oblivious to,” said Augustine, who was in attendance at the ceremonial opening.

“Notwithstanding that, we hope for the best in this parliamentary session and we hope that the Parliament would be more productive in this session than they were in the last session,” he added.

Augustine also said it was high time inter-island transportation is seen as an essential service, in reference to the challenges currently being faced.

“The inter-island transportation system is perhaps our single most important issue on the island at the moment,” he said.

“And I have long argued that if the country is to be Trinidad and Tobago, and one cannot take a PTSC (Public Transport Service Corporation) bus from Port of Spain to Scarborough, as you can from Port of Spain to further south and east Trinidad, then both the inter-island ferry service and the airbridge must be treated as a public transportation commodity,” he said.

“We have not treated the service as an essential service,” Augustine stated.

He described the current temporary measures to service the seabridge as “woefully inadequate” and said he hoped the Cabo Star returns to service as scheduled.