JET accuses government of withholding information on logistics hub

The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) is accusing the government that, despite earlier promises that information about the transshipment port and the proposed development plans for Jamaica would be widely available, this has not been forthcoming. JET is claiming that its efforts to get information on several aspects of the development plans have been denied.

This news comes as Dr. Omar Davies, Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, is scheduled to address Parliament this Tuesday afternoon about the Goat Islands project.

Diana McCaulay, Chief Executive Officer of JET, explained that official requests have been met with roadblocks.

“We did an Access to Information request to several ministries and agencies for a whole range of information relating to the logistics hub transshipment port, particularly Goat Islands. We heard from most of them who either said they had nothing or transferred it (the request) to another agency. On Friday we heard from one remaining agency, which is the Port Authority which denied us access to most of what we asked for,” said Mrs. MaCaulay.

She explained that much of the information denied relate to the MOU between the Government of Jamaica and the Chinese investors interested in developing the transshipment port.

She added that, for a development of such magnitude, more information is needed by all stakeholders.

“My concern at this point is that we say we are committed to access to information, engaging stakeholders, openness and transparency, but in fact there is an unwillingness to release information,” said added.

Dr. Davies is expected to reveal the findings of an environment and feasibility study commissioned by the Port Authority of Jamaica about the Goat Islands project when he addresses Parliament on Tuesday. The study was undertaken to assess the feasibility of such a development, and the possible impact it will have on the environment.

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