National Democratic Party (NDP) candidate for the Ninth Electoral District, Dr Hubert O’Neal, said he intends to make good on his 2015 election promise and provide emergency helicopter services for his district if re-elected into office for a second consecutive term.
O’Neal who was speaking at the Valley, Virgin Gorda on Saturday described his tenure as district representative as a ‘most turbulent time’.
He said among other catastrophes that befell his district were hundreds of job losses firstly because of the closure of a few high-end resorts and secondly because of the September 2017 hurricanes.
“As I promised you when I first ran for elected office, I intend to provide a modern, rapid, medevac ambulance/helicopter,” he said.
Dr O’Neal said the chopper will provide rescue services to the sister and outer islands, as well as to conduct at-sea rescues.
“Something like this can be a joint venture, it doesn’t have to be done by the government. It can be done in a public-private partnership with some interested local entrepreneur.”
“So, I’m asking you, my people, to re-elect me and the new NDP team and this will become a reality,” Dr O’Neal added.
He said a second term in office would also see separate ferry and cargo traffic areas created on Virgin Gorda. Dr O’Neal said he would also push to end landfilling and open burning on the island.
He said Virgin Gorda would move towards a modernised waste management programme that would use waste to generate electricity. The first-term legislator plans to kick off his environment conscious campaign by establishing an eco-park in the Valley.
In the area of sports, Dr O’Neal said negotiations are already underway with international football body, FIFA, to convert the recreational ground on Virgin Gorda into a soccer field with a rubberised track similar to the recently opened stadium on Tortola.
Additionally, O’Neal said he would advocate for the low-income housing programme for first-time homeowners to commence on Virgin Gorda. The first leg of that project briefly started at Joe’s Hill in 2017.
On Anegada, Dr O’Neal promised to turn the Setting Point Jetty into an official port of entry equipped with Customs and Immigration offices.
He reasoned that, in so doing, persons would not have to travel to Tortola or Virgin Gorda to legally enter Anegada.
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