JIS News

Information Minister, Senator Burchell Whiteman, has said that details of initiatives to be implemented to improve public order in the country, should be fully developed by March this year.
He said the projects would be implemented on a month-by-month, sector-by-sector basis and would be accompanied by a public education programme, “so that people will know what the objectives are, what is required of them and how they can be a part of the process of ensuring that there is public order in public spaces”.
Senator Whiteman, who was addressing yesterday’s (Feb. 2) post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, informed that already, Cabinet had approved legislative changes to the Mining and Quarries Regulations and the Quarries Control Act, to ensure order in the sector.
He said the amendments under the Mining Regulations were intended to ensure that optimal use was made of mined out lands and that restoration of the affected lands should take place within two years of the completion of the mining of any pit. Among other things, the amendments will also increase the penalties for failure to effect the restoration of lands after mining.
In the case of the changes to the Quarries Regulations, the intention is to update the fees, fines and penalties to bring them in line with current conditions and monetary values.
Penalties for aiding and abetting illicit quarrying and stockpiling will be introduced. It will also be an offence for quarry managers, operators as well as owners to breach the operating conditions of the licence. Penalties will also apply to the offence of failing to restore areas after quarrying.
Senator Whiteman said the measures represented part of the national programme to ensure and maintain public order in the country, proposed earlier by National Security Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips in his role as Chairman of the Public Order Sub-Committee of Cabinet. Several ministries and agencies will be contributing to the effort.
As part of the process, the Minister is expected to put forward a composite, which will ensure order in sectors such as Transportation and in areas where the public is impacted negatively by the lack of public order.

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