Minister Andrew Holness has announced a special push by the Government to develop the eastern Jamaica parish of Portland.
Addressing a recent fund-raising function put on by Portland Western Member of Parliament (MP) Daryl Vaz and his wife Ann-Marie, who is the MP for Portland Eastern, Holness charged that the jewel which is Portland is not being utilised.
He said his Administration is determined to change that.
“We have a master plan for the development of Portland. I won’t say too much here, but it is starting to materialise and you will see the manifestation of it in the years to come,” Holness told business leaders, including Michael Lee-Chin who was recently inducted into the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica Hall of Fame and Jamaica-born multimillionaire Dr Trisha Bailey.
“What we have been trying to do as a Government is to realise the value of Portland… and you will see significant investments made in the road network and more to come, including a bypass for Port Antonio, which will be a development that will carry housing and commercial activity into the hinterlands of Portland for the benefit of the people of Portland,” added Holness as he declared that residents of the parish will not be left out under the Government’s master plan.
“Yes, we want more hotel rooms, but we also want more bedrooms for the people who live in Portland, we want more schools, we want more hospitals, and we want more facilities that the people will benefit from.
“We start from the premise that, if you make the environment liveable for the people who are the inhabitants of the area, then other people will want to come and enjoy the environment,” said Holness to applause from the Portlanders in the audience.
“That is why we are making the investment in Boundbrook, building a proper town centre for Port Antonio and for Portland. That is why we are making the investment in the development road and that is why when we are doing the development road we are putting in, from the start, water, sewage, and Internet connectivity,” said Holness.
Roads in Portland, from Port Antonio to Boston, are already being rehabilitated and improved under the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project.