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Holness teases East Portland business leaders with goodies

Published:Thursday | March 28, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has promised a bag of goodies for constituents in East Portland as the April 4 by-election nears.

Holness, who was meeting with the business community in Port Antonio last evening, said his Government would be ensuring that housing, tourism, and infrastructural investments flowed their way in short order.

“Now is the perfect time for the Government to make certain investments in the parish and in your town,” he said, mentioning that the town’s infrastructure has not improved over years.

“Port Antonio needs a proper town centre. You need other buildings that can deliver other government services far more conveniently. You need other buildings that can accommodate the expansion of commerce in an orderly way,” Holness said.

He said that the Government would be developing five acres of land to create a new town centre in East Portland.

The prime minister said that the constituency would get significant attention in terms of improvement in the water infrastructure out of monies allocated in the Budget for rural water, adding that four communities were being looked at for works.

Also in Holness’ bag of goodies is an improvement in tourism activity for the parish, with the promise of a link between Port Royal and the northeastern town of Port Antonio.

“We are developing Port Royal, and that will have an impact here. Once you start to get a lot of cruise ship visitors coming here, they don’t want to come and just stay in the marina. They want to go and see; they want to go and experience; interact with people. ... What are you going to show them?”

He told the gathering of business leaders that he had asked Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke for an allocation to help with the improvement of some of the old buildings in the area to serve as attractions. He also revealed that Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett had already presented him with a draft of a tourism development plan for the parish to inform policy.