Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley on Sun­day bashed the for­mer ad­min­is­tra­tion for leav­ing the plans for the Diego Mar­tin Sport­ing Com­plex on the back burn­er dur­ing their time in of­fice.

The $115 mil­lion fa­cil­i­ty was opened at Sa­van­nah Ter­race in Bagatelle, and Row­ley used his plat­form to warn the at­ten­dees to use their vote for the par­ty that worked for them.

“I was in Par­lia­ment when the de­ci­sion was tak­en to build this fa­cil­i­ty. I sim­ply want to say to you that the com­ple­tion of this fa­cil­i­ty to­day is the graph­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the max­im that pol­i­tics is about in­ter­est, mean­ing if you do not vote in de­fence of your in­ter­est, you may very well end up be­ing ir­rel­e­vant in the po­lit­i­cal space,” he said.

“To­day, I must tell you that the foun­da­tion for this space was com­plet­ed by 2010 and the next time that a work­man ap­peared on this scene was in 2016,” he said.

“Be­cause the Gov­ern­ment of the day de­ter­mined for five years that this fa­cil­i­ty was not nec­es­sary and was not a pri­or­i­ty,” he said.

Min­is­ter of Sport and Youth Af­fairs Sham­fa Cud­joe, MP for Diego Mar­tin North East Colm Im­bert, MP for Diego Mar­tin Cen­tral Dar­ryl Smith, Hous­ing Min­is­ter Ed­mund Dil­lon and chair­man Noel Gar­cia from the Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion of Trinidad and To­ba­go all at­tend­ed the open­ing of the fa­cil­i­ty.

“If you do not vote in de­fence of your in­ter­est you would be ir­rel­e­vant on the po­lit­i­cal stage,” he said.

Row­ley said that the project be­gan in 2007 and the foun­da­tion was com­plet­ed by 2010. He said that the en­tire project had be re­done.

“We could eas­i­ly have said we didn’t have the mon­ey to fin­ish the fa­cil­i­ty but noth­ing hap­pens be­fore its time,” he said.

He said the de­lay was a good thing for Diego Mar­tin be­cause the pre­vi­ous plans were scrapped, re­designed and up­grad­ed.

“Out of evil cometh good be­cause the orig­i­nal plan was to build some­thing far in­fe­ri­or,” he said.

He said that the Gov­ern­ment had al­ready award­ed the sec­ond phase of the con­tract which in­clud­ed a foot­ball field, a swim­ming pool and in­door fa­cil­i­ty.

“All these are on the draw­ing board and ta­ble for Diego Mar­tin,” he said.