Senator Frazer-Binns and Shadow Minister on Mining and Energy, Mr Phillip Paulwell M.P met with a group of stakeholders from the Bengal area in St. Ann, where the controversial the mining is slated to take place. The serious concerns raised by the residents require that the Prime Minister should at minimum, put a hold on any activity until an amicable resolution reached.
The stakeholders want the Prime Minister to tell the country:
Which Minster heard the appeal?
Who are the persons/ entities that appeared at the appeal?
What factors were considered in making the decision?
When was the decision made?
Mr Paulwell, who will be tabled questions in Parliament on the matter, noted that "while we respect the legal right of persons to use their private property, this must be done in a way that does not cause harm or create a nuisance or negatively affect the life, well being, property and safety of other citizens. Any Government which allows a private citizen to use his property in a way that is harmful to others or the environment is irresponsible.”
In addition to the devastating effects on the environment, a proposal that would allow over 200 trucks in the area daily as part of the operation is extremely concerning. The damage from noise pollution, dust pollution, deforestation, the depletion of our flora and fauna and our natural resources and the aquifer, will be long lasting and irreparable.
Both Senator Frazer-Binns and Mr Paulwell, urge the Prime Minister to remember the Constitutional provision as embedded in the Bill of Rights that every citizen has a right to a clean environment. He must therefore consider whether his action gives effect to the Constitution of Jamaica.
We support the effort to expand our economy, but this must never be at a cost to the health of our people and the destruction of the environment.
Our people have a right to a clean environment and good health. The Opposition is resolute in this belief and will explore all options in an effort to protect our people and the environment.
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