New Noise Abatement Act by January - Crawford
State Minister in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, Damion Crawford, recently told THE STAR that he is very close to achieve his goal of reforming the Noise Abatement Act.
According to Crawford, who has been working assiduously to relax the much-hated and controversial act over the last three years, the majority of the complications he has faced in the past have been worked out.
The Noise Abatement Act was last amended in 1997, but there has been much talk about the increased enforcement of the act in recent times. And the act remains one of the most hated systems imposed by the Jamaican government, as it has somewhat crippled several aspects of the entertainment industry. In some instances it has caused financial loss for vendors and promoters because of the cancellation of some events.
Crawford told THE STAR that the new policies are 99 per cent ready to be enforced.
"I am at 99 out of the 100 per cent, we are drafting the law right now. Some people are saying we should push it for next week before elections, but we want to ensure that the introduction isn't driven by anything other than solution and not by politics. But the law is being drafted and I can show a copy of what the law is going to be," he said.
Crawford also hopes to host another consultation with members of the entertainment industry so as to reach an agreement and mutual understanding. He also highlighted that with the new law persons will be able to get an extension for their event by applying to an extension committee which will be based in each parish.
"The committee will be able to look into your event and tell you if you are able to get an extension before your event. So don't put extra liquor pon ice if yuh know sey yuh don't have an extension or you can choose not to continue with the process if you think you cant make a profit without an extension," he said.
"If it's right beside a hospital, you might not get an extension and that makes logical sense. However, with the new law you can get an extension if the people in your community want the event. For example, Rae Town on a Sunday, they want it. So by January 2016 we should be good."