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Recent developments in proposed Goat Islands project worrying - JET

Published:Friday | August 8, 2014 | 3:59 PM

Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), Diana McCauley says recent developments in the proposed Goat Islands project are worrying.

Confusion was created yesterday following reports in the media that a final Framework Agreement had been signed on Tuesday between the Government and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) for the company to begin the works.

The reports were subsequently withdrawn.

Late yesterday evening Information Minister, Senator Sandrea Falconer issued a statement indicating that the signing was simply a re-statement of the Initial Non-Binding Framework Agreement which was signed on March 28.

She further stated the non-binding Framework Agreement details - the terms and conditions that will form the basis for the negotiations of the Concession Agreement.

Meanwhile, in an interview on Nationwide radio yesterday Transport Minister Dr Omar Davies said the signing ceremony was a marketing tool to allow CHEC to seek out investors to finance the project.

The JET CEO says she’s taken aback by the entire affair.

She says the situation further highlights the persistent lack of information on the Goat Island project from the Government.

Meanwhile, the JET CEO says the environment lobby will be keeping a close watch on the activities of CHEC in the Portland Bight area.

The company has been granted a beach licence to carry out a geo-technical survey, which includes activities such as drilling holes in the sea floor to determine depth.

McCauley says JET has taken note that equipment have been moved into the area to begin the works and the environment lobby group will be closing monitoring these activities.

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Jamaica Gleaner