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HoA approves Cruise Pier loan motion amid Opposition silence

- Minister for Communications & Works Hon Mark H. Vanterpool seeks to justify cost overruns
The House of Assembly today July 6, 2015 approved a motion for the loan of an additional $15 million for the completion of the landside phase of the controversial cruise pier development project. Photo: BVIPA
The debate took place today July 6, 2015 during the Second Sitting of the First Session of the Third House of Assembly. Photo: VINO/File
The debate took place today July 6, 2015 during the Second Sitting of the First Session of the Third House of Assembly. Photo: VINO/File
Dr the Hon Hubert O'Neal (R9). Photo: VINO
Dr the Hon Hubert O'Neal (R9). Photo: VINO
Hon Melvin 'Mitch' Turnbull (R2). Photo: VINO/File
Hon Melvin 'Mitch' Turnbull (R2). Photo: VINO/File
Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4)
Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4)
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The House of Assembly today July 6, 2015 approved a motion for the loan of an additional $15 million for the completion of the landside phase of the controversial cruise pier development project.

However, during the debate today in the Second Sitting of the First Session of the Third House of Assembly on the motion the two-man Opposition made no contribution.

It is noted that the House of Assembly has met for the second time without a Leader of the Opposition yet in place as the impasse continues between the two members of the Opposition: Honourable Julian Fraser RA (R3) and Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1).

Cost overruns

In making a case for the loan, subject Minister for the project Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) explained that it was natural with projects of such magnitude that there is the occasional cost overrun.

"This project...though we looked at it being in the region of $51 million or $52 million, any project of this size will have additional overruns and additional things that we didn't envisage we would want to put in," he said.

The Works Minister noted that some $2.5 million was spent on some new bollards, noting that with the bollards that were there before the ropes of the ships would have been interfering with the movement of passengers.

Hon Vanterpool said too that, because of the size of ships that will be using the pier, safety groups suggested that the mooring dolphins that were originally used needed to be stronger and in a better cluster and therefore another few millions were spent to upgrade them.

Employment opportunities

The Minister said that there will be opportunities for employment as a result of the development. "There will be jobs and opportunities to be tour guides at these sites and to explain what they are about," he said.

According to the Minister, the groups from Norwegian Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line said the most important thing that their guests want is an explanation of the history of the Virgin Islands and all of the culture here that is different from anywhere else they might have visited.

"Therefore it is important for us to couch these opportunities and develop them and create new employment opportunities for the territory," he said.

We must invest what is necessary

Territorial representative on the Government benches Honourable Archibald C. Christian said that the investment by government is a necessary one as private individuals are making smaller investments into specialised tour boats to enhance the visitor experience to these shores.

"So Madam Speaker we have to invest what is necessary to ensure that the cruise pier development is completed and in that regard I am in support of the motion," said Honourable Christian.

Completion of port project a boon to Ninth District

Lending his support to the motion, Representative for the Ninth District Dr The Honourable Hubert O'Neal called his district the centre of tourism in the territory and that the enhancement of the pier is important for his district.

He said he would always consider ways of improving tourism especially during the slow months between May and November each year.

"It affects the economy of my district of Virgin Gorda in particular. Now that the pier is being expanded are we are seeing larger ships and more tourism arrival it means that tourism should improve during be summer months of each year," he said. He added that he is experiencing increases in arrivals to places in Virgin Gorda.

Tourism in the Second District will also benefit

Speaking in support of the motion, Second District Representative Honourable Melvin 'Mitch' Turnbull also noted the importance of his district to the territory in terms of tourism and stressed the impact the completed cruise pier project will have on that district.

"I am in complete support of the borrowing of the 15 million [dollars] to complete this project for what it would for the Second District," said Hon Turnbull.

The remarks by the newcomers to the HoA were also their very first contribution towards a motion in Parliament after being elected to office in the general elections of June 8, 2015.

Meanwhile, the additional $15M will be borrowed by the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) from First Caribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited. This is in addition to the $35M the BVIPA took out last year to finance the controversial ports development project.

23 Responses to “HoA approves Cruise Pier loan motion amid Opposition silence”

  • 123 (06/07/2015, 15:13) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well may bouy
  • Just saying (06/07/2015, 15:31) Like (22) Dislike (10) Reply
    Hubert and Mitch just sound like two puppets... have something of worth to contribute please, else be quiet and let the big boys do their work
    • political snitch (06/07/2015, 17:58) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
      Seems like they are already programmed to speak one behind the next.
    • Just saying (06/07/2015, 18:55) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
      SILLY STATEMENT WONDER HOW THE OTHER CANDIDATE FOR THE 9TH DISTRICT WOULD HAVE SOUNDED LIKE YOU ALL SICKENING.
    • wize up (07/07/2015, 07:42) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ just saying: so thats why fahie and fraser said nothing because they had nothing of worth to contribute ( I got your point now!!!)
  • shaw (06/07/2015, 15:34) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    What is HoA going to say? no?? If Herbert knew anything about the types of tourists in his district, they don't want anything to do with the less affluent cruise ship people. AND guess what? visitors want to know about the BVI HISTORY and what makes it different. So why are we trying to look like every place else on the cruise ship itinerary?
    And we still need an audit to see where this money is going. That is a basic request of any responsible government.
  • builder (06/07/2015, 15:35) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    WOW--WOW--WOW! Now I think we need an investigation, not to convict, or condemn, but for us to understand. Why?
  • Huh! (06/07/2015, 15:38) Like (25) Dislike (1) Reply
    The opposition had t[a right to be quiet because this is what the people voted for.
    • Let The People say.... (06/07/2015, 16:43) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
      Amen!
    • Ram Goat (06/07/2015, 17:12) Like (18) Dislike (2) Reply

      A vote for NDP is a vote for the right to thief so ram goat m**k go bot dem down daddy. All the money is yours wid you sweet talk, HELLO!

      I laughing after the people of the BVI baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

  • Yes (06/07/2015, 16:28) Like (26) Dislike (0) Reply
    If I was VIP I would be quiet to. Let them dig a deeper hole. The people voted to let the rats guard the cheese so let them at it!
  • wize up (06/07/2015, 16:31) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    OK

  • just saying.. (06/07/2015, 16:47) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    More loans we need that COI ON THE PORTS
  • Trek Dat (06/07/2015, 17:04) Like (40) Dislike (5) Reply

    Ayo tek DAT in ayo R@$$$$$$$! A vote for NDP to put the country more in debt on ayo back.

    Soon every man, woman, and child will have to cock up to make a living to survive in dis damn place.

    Dem NDP boys laughing at ayo and you know what, I don't hate dem because dis is what ago wanted. More debt and more tax to pay while thrushes flying out and a supermarket running wild wid our tax dollars and a education monster catering for the so call big boys.

    I hope he cater for them when the all end up in Balsom Gut also.

  • ABC (06/07/2015, 17:58) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Can you imagine, an over run of this magnitude which is an indication that all is not well and no one is interested in knowing where the leaks are? Something is desperately wrong. Multi million dollar NO BID contracts being issued by individuals and this is considered acceptable? two thousand years ago the Temple was cleansed by one man with a whip. When will the cleansing process start in the BVI.
  • CSC (06/07/2015, 18:22) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    what about the name of the person who is brnging the itilain resturant? is that conflict of interst or what?
  • voter (06/07/2015, 18:38) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    11:2 is all the transparency and accountability we need it seems. I agree with Trek Dat we will eventually need a whole new political wing in Ballo
  • Resign Doc (06/07/2015, 18:59) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    I know Doc Smith and a few of his back benchers not happy with all these non-sense. Health, Agriculture, Port and Labour. I think doc Smith should just resign and Save his good name- he is just going along against his conscience. not good.
  • usa (06/07/2015, 19:03) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    What the VIP is doing is rite . Reason the people had spoke in. Now y well two man go and fight for a country what we mean the don't care about cost if we had care we won't have vote 11 to 2 so guys don't have much to say let . The vote ? Them .........
  • liberal (07/07/2015, 08:29) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    Our country broke as broke as can be and these boys still ain't see them playing right into the Governor's hands for London to come and take control..
    • Yes (07/07/2015, 18:57) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      London don't care. Its not their money. The part that London is interested in is allowing us to default on the loans because now as a British territory the would become responsible. So then they can come in take over and put their people in place. It may take awhile. But people remember what I say to you here today when 20 years from now everything is run by whites or blacks put in place by whites because of the actions of our politicians today.
  • under the bus (07/07/2015, 23:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    No transparency ever.
  • egg face (07/07/2015, 23:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am having doubts about the business plan/viability of this project and its payback given these escalating costs


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