Gov’t shouldn’t be re-elected with dysfunctional incinerator
Opposition Leader Julian Fraser has suggested that legislators in government should not be re-elected amid existing health hazards such as the continued burning at the Pockwood Pond dump site and non-functional Burt Point sewerage treatment plant.
The incinerator suffered a catastrophic fire in February last year but has been malfunctioning for years before that. This has meant residents on the western end of Tortola have been forced to endure years of open dumping at the Pockwood Pond dumpsite, as well as random occurrences of spontaneous combustion which have resulted in huge fires.
“I am a critic of the incinerator and I want to preface any statement that I make about the incinerator by saying that … [it] is in no way an indictment of the people that work at the incinerator,” Fraser said at a community meeting in West End last evening.
“Those people are being placed in a situation where their hands are tied behind their backs and they are asked to execute. They have no choice but to do what they can do in the best-case scenario and I sympathise with them, I feel for them,” he added.
Fraser pointed out that there are numerous issues — including poor road infrastructure in the territory — that require urgent attention but he said certain unnamed officials prefer to talk about juicier subjects instead of focusing on these areas.
“These things are the things that need to be spoken about day in and day out. The governments can do better,” Fraser said. “No government should be re-elected to office with a sewerage treatment plant at Burt Point that has been out of commission since the hurricanes. I mean, give me a break, an incinerator that’s non-functional?”
“These are the things you should talk about. People contract all kinds of diseases because of these things,” the Opposition Leader added.
The veteran legislator said anyone who wants to seek public office should make a promise to residents that they will fix these things. “If you don’t fix them, don’t come back,” he stated.
Fraser pointed out that although the territory has a $430 million budget, it still has challenges getting simple things done such as bush cutting and maintenance within the various districts.