Kingston 26 April 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says she’s optimistic about finding solutions to address the ongoing conflict between the police and promoters/producers of events.
Minister Grange was speaking today (Friday) after meeting the Minister of National Security, the Honourable Dr Horace Chang, the police, NEPA and other stakeholders to consider amendments to the Noise Abatement Act which regulates entertainment events.
According to Minister Grange, the meeting “looked at hours that would be approved, days, the extensions, entertainment zones, and other relevant matters. I’m happy to say that we have arrived at a framework within which we will work.”
Minister Chang noted that “we have been having major challenges in our entertainment activities throughout the country and some places are particularly difficult, especially places like Negril, because of the current law that controls entertainment.”
Dr Chang said today’s meeting was the beginning of a process to deal with the challenges.
Dr Chang said:
“Entertainment is one of our largest industries and an area [in which] we have more of our humble people with creative talent having the opportunity to develop and give individuals good income and improve their quality of life. And we have to ensure that we put Jamaica’s entertainment industry on a solid legal footing.”
The Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police, Fitz Bailey, who attended today’s meeting said he would discuss the proposals with the Commissioner, other members of the High Command as well as divisional commanders.
Mr Bailey said:
“We will have further dialogue because we believe that it’s a partnership approach that needs to be taken to treat with the issue of entertainment because it is important to the development of Jamaica.
We don’t want entertainers to see us as their enemies. We are friends. And we want to work as best as possible to resolve some of the issues that we are currently faced with.”
Minister Grange said the next step is for a small working group to “look at the immediate amendments that can be made to the noise abatement legislation and to see how we can, within the immediate future, address some of the problems and arrive at solutions in relation to events.”
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, advises that Cabinet has approved the tabling of the bill entitled the National Heroes and Other Freedom Fighters (Absolution from Criminal Liability in Respect of Specified Events) Act in the Houses of Parliament.