The following proposals for the establishment of bodies under my aegis are under consideration. The Aviation Regulation Bill, 2000, will establish a new statutory body, entitled the commission for aviation regulation. The Telecommunications (Infrastructure) Bill, 1999, contains proposals to establish a telecommunications infrastructure board on a statutory basis. I also intend to bring legislative proposals before Government to establish a commission for communications regulation on a statutory basis.
A statutory instrument, to be made in the near future, will provide for the establishment of an independent State company to act as the electricity transmission system operator. The company will be known as EirGrid.
On 31 July last, I announced that in the context of the development of a metro for Dublin, the Government had approved the drafting of legislation to establish an independent statutory agency with responsibility for the procurement, on a public-private partnership basis, of major rail based public transport projects. Preparation of the draft heads of the legislation is well advanced and I expect to bring proposals in that regard to Government for approval next month.
Legislation is currently being drafted to put in place a new framework for the regulation of railway safety, including the establishment of an independent railway safety regulatory body. I also propose to establish a statutory railway safety advisory council that will bring together railway operators, trades unions and representatives of the public interest to consider railway safety matters.
I have recently published a consultative document called A New Institutional and Regulatory Framework for Public Transport. Among the institutional changes being considered are the establishment of the following bodies, a railway infrastructure company, a railway operating company, a railway safety authority, referred to above, a national public transport authority and an interim public transport authority for bus services for the greater Dublin area, which will be established prior to the national body. All these bodies will be established on a statutory basis.