Representative of the Ninth Electoral District Dr Hubert O’Neal said most members of the BVI Investment Club are linked to the Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP), suggesting that such fact lessens the likelihood of conflict of interest in relation to a major project being undertaken on Virgin Gorda.
There has been controversy over the fact that no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was done before commencement of the project to develop the privately owned Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour.
The project is being undertaken by the BVI Investment Club.
A female resident, during a public meeting in Virgin Gorda last evening (March 29), questioned if conflict of interest would impact any future decision regarding an EIA in relation to the project.
She said: “’I don’t know much about the BVI Investment Club, but I’ve been told by people that it’s made up of many members of the government holding governmental positions. And so, are they the ones who are going to be appointing the people to do the environmental assessment? And, is there not a conflict of interest there?”
Amid loud applause from other residents, who clearly supported the question posed, Dr O’Neal declared that he is not a member of the Investment Club.
He added that, to his knowledge, at least one Government member has an interest in the Club.
“I am not a a member of the BVI Investment Club; I want you to know that off the bat. I would have liked to be a member, but I was not invited.”
“You question about whether members of the government are part of the Club – there are one or two I think I know who are members,” Dr O’Neal continued.
“But actually most of the Investment Club is comprised of members of the Opposition party – believe it or not, VIP. So, when you hear rumours of this and conflict of interest, is there but check the opposition party as well. They have more interest in this Club than the governing party has,” added Dr O’Neal.
Meanwhile, two representatives of the Investment Club – Dr Heskith Vanterpool and Romney Penn – were in earshot when the question was asked, but they did not respond.
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