I welcome the Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Deputy Browne, who is taking the second Bill in a row. I accept the Bill is a brief one, although my Fine Gael colleague is seeking to make a major amendment to the principal Act. It is regrettable that we are only now, four years later, dealing with legislation dating from 2000. I believe one of the amendments changes "2001" to "2004". It is regrettable that important legislation such as this on dredging and the dumping materials at sea has been given such low priority.
There was considerable debate on Second Stage in which all parties participated. The wide-ranging discussion on the maintenance of the marine environment included issues such as Sellafield. It is regrettable that the Government, which has been in office from 2000 to the present, did not make it a priority to have the legislation passed as a number of issues were highlighted in the media.