Godwin Friday and the NDP have taken a stand against the disrespect and arrogance shown to the Chateaubelair community in the Rayneau Quarry Scandal.
We are calling for an immediate halt to all works on the site, until fundamental questions are answered by the Gonsalves Government and
these issues resolved. It is simply unacceptable to sell Vincentian lands for “pennies” and then secretly begin work, without consulting the local community – who face all of the downsides like the devastating impact on local tourism, noise, dust, flooding risk, and possible explosives use.
The people do not get any advantages as most of what is quarried will be shipped overseas, while the workers are shipped in!
Throughout this whole process, the Government has treated Chateaubelair, and indeed all Vincentians, with nothing but disrespect. After 21 years in power, they have grown arrogant and complacent – now they have their “five in ah row” they do not care about Chateaubelair.
Here’s a reminder of the facts:
- The first time anyone in Chateaubelair knew the quarry was approved, was when heavy machinery arrived and began bulldozing
local farmers’ crops.
- No EIS was done for the project – which means the impact on the community and environment was not considered.
- No community consultation was conducted.
- There was not, and still has not been, any analysis of the flood risk to Chateaubelair
- There has been no thought of the damage to tourism, particularly the Richmond Vale Center
- There has been no thought for the risks of explosive use to homes and on geological activity just a few miles from an active volcano
- No consideration or compensation for local fisherfolk and stone miners who will be affected by the exclusive-use jetty built for the quarry.
- The government has confirmed that they leased the land for just $230 a week to the developers – less than it costs to rent many homes.
- More than 90% of the product from the quarry will be exported and will be of no benefit to Vincentians
- The developer is a foreign-owned company
- Most of the jobs for the project have gone to imported labour, with little benefit to locals
Instead, North Leeward will be left with a huge scar in the hill damaging the tourism industry and future growth.
They will be left with dust and noise (only months after enduring dust and noise of La Soufriere).
They will be left with worry about the next time it rains and flooding from the hillside denuded of trees and grass.
Join us in saying #StopTheQuarry until the Gonsalves Government has:
- Explained why Vincentian land is being shipped off from under our feet and the local environment damaged beyond recognition for
less than $230 a week in rent.
- Compensated the farmers whose livelihoods were bulldozed without notice, including their established crops.
- Proven that the removal of the topsoil and plants won’t cause the flooding of Chateaubelair come the first good downpour.
- Explained to the community exactly how many jobs will be made available to local people
- Rule out the use of explosives with the risk to the structural integrity of local homes, and the risk of triggering volcanic activity
- Answered the question of how much the developers donated to the ULP at the last election, or have donated since.