Territorial At-Large Representative, Hon. Archibald Christian defended his constant drive for a cleaner BVI by explaining the risks of property devaluation littering poses, and also announced that he is well aware that there are some who think that he is only focused on territorial cleanup.
During his address to the House in the Private Members Business section, the Legislator said: “it is well known and well documented that the way we treat our Territory with respect to waste is something that I am very passionate about and Madame Speaker I make no apologies to persons who think that, that is the only thing that I am focused on.”
Hon. Christian said he wanted to address the House to give the persons who state that he seems mainly focused on cleanup an indication of how important the matter is to the Territory’s economic survival. Mr. Christian pointed out that his note about the Territory being kept clean, comes on the heels of the Minister’s statement regarding Solid Waste Management strategy for the prevention illegal dumping.
The Territorial At-Large Representative congratulated Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie Skelton as well as the persons involved in Waste Management for their efforts to ensure that the Territory is kept clean.
“It is not that it is something that I just want to be talking about. The economic benefits of keeping the Territory clean is something that all of us will benefit from… The real estate industry is an economic boast for our economy. It provides jobs and opportunities, visitors continue to come to the Territory; many of us invest in real estate,” he stated.
Hon. Christian explained how illegal dumping undervalues properties: “The devaluing of real estate in regards to illegal dumping go hand in hand.…In our line of business we have something called depreciation, and depreciation comes in three forms — it could be physically, it could be functional and it could be external; and the external part comes in relation to what is happening around my property. What activity is taking place that is negatively impacting my property.”
“…when I continue to say to people that we have to treat the BVI as if it is paradise, it is because I understand that every single one of us who has an asset called real estate must pay keen attention to what takes place around us, in our neighbourhood. If government erected dumpsters those dumpsters have signs. You are not supposed to dispose at these dumpsters items such as beds, refrigerators etc, then further down the road we have persons dragging boats along the side of the road, trailers along the side of the road. The point I am trying to make is that we have continued to develop, and we now have activities such as illegal dumping and disposal of garbage in our neigbourhood [these activities] are negatively impacting those neighbourhoods and as a result negatively impacting our properties.”