Environment, Planning and Infrastructure Minister Marc Bean said: "We expect to see a wider range of services at a higher quality for a decreased cost..." <em>*Photo by Kageaki Smith</em><br />
Environment, Planning and Infrastructure Minister Marc Bean said: "We expect to see a wider range of services at a higher quality for a decreased cost..." *Photo by Kageaki Smith

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24: The Ministry of Environment, Planning and Infrastructure saw its budget increase by $1.5 million to implement telecommunications reform.

Minister Marc Bean said: “As a result of reform, we expect to see a wider range of services at a higher quality for a decreased cost, to the benefit of both consumers and businesses.

“This allocation will enable us to bring order to the regulatory environment, by implementing the long awaited and much needed reform.

“No doubt you will be aware that the telecommunication marketplace has seen much disruption and rancor of late.

“The uncertainty that is created by the current transition period between regulatory regimes is providing opportunities for carriers to push the envelope.

“I can assure you that we will take all necessary steps to ensure that implementation is a success, including ensuring that no one provider obtains an unfair advantage over others.”

Mr Bean’s ministry is the smallest by budget size as well as staff size and was allocated a total of $15,745,000 in this year’s budget.

The Ministry is expected to bring in $17 million in the next fiscal year.

Mr Bean said that $483,000 would be put towards the development of a shore side facility for processing fish.

He added: “We will also seek to implement a licensing regime for international vessels who fish inside of our Exclusive Economic Zone.

“A critical component of such a regime will be the need for adequate enforcement of our EEZ.

“We are exploring options by which this enforcement will be effective, and I expect it will be through a combination of maritime and aerial capabilities.”