JIS News

Prime Minister Bruce Golding indicated yesterday (Sept. 28), that there were plans to construct a new Parliament building, which would be done over the next five years. Mr. Golding informed that the Government would acquire parcels of land in close proximity to Gordon House, to construct the new building.
“This one is 48 years old. Its inadequacies are unanimously acknowledged. The need for a new Parliament has not been an issue that is in dispute,”Mr. Golding said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the opening of the new session and swearing-in ceremony of the Senate and House of Representatives, held at Gordon House.
He said that if there is consensus, he wanted the government to “proceed as quickly as possible to acquire the land that it does not now own within this quadrangle, bounded on the north by Charles Street and the south by Beeston Street, on the west by Mark Lane and on the east by John’s Lane.”
“There are in fact nine parcels (of land) in all. I have asked the National Land Agency to give me some clarification on three that we are not quite clear on. The Government owns some of the lands, but some are privately owned,” Mr. Golding noted.
The Prime Minister said that for the next fiscal year, “we (will) do the planning and design work for a new Parliament, and commit ourselves that before the life of this Parliament comes to an end, we have a new Parliament building that is appropriate to the quality of service that we are obliged to give the people.”
Mr. Golding also stressed that there should be access to the records of the Houses of Parliament, by the public.
“I know the former Minister with responsibility for technology had actually set up a website for Parliament, but having set up the web page, he abandoned it. I want to give a commitment that we are going to provide state-of-the-art information technology to ensure that all official Parliamentary documents are online and available to the people of Jamaica,” the Prime Minister said.

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