I also oppose this amendment because the people I represent do not trust this Minister, who, with his predecessors, has been responsible for everything that happened to the Corrib gas field, despite never visiting the area. When will he meet the people involved? A TG4 survey revealed that 61% of respondents were in favour of Shell to Sea, 66% supported the stance of the Rossport five, while a survey conducted by the Mayo Advertiser indicated that 40% of people could not care less, only 15% were in favour of Shell’s actions and the remainder wanted Shell to go to sea.
In light of the Minister's responsibilities, when will he respond to the request made by Independent Deputies for a period of calm and the suspension of work at the Bellanaboy terminal in order that negotiations could be held? The Government will have to involve itself in this because, while the people of the area are all interested in negotiating, the Advantica report did not take account of the location of the pipeline and that remains the issue. The Minister has not responded to the statement issued by Deputy Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party, Deputy Healy and myself. Deputy Sargent, who visited the area yesterday, made a call for greater transparency from Shell and urged the Minister to respond. The Fianna Fáil candidate in the area, Councillor Frank Chambers, has joined the chorus of those seeking discussions on an alternative location.
Two engineers, Brian Coyle and Leo Corcoran, a former Bord Gáis employee, have asked the Minister to commission a report by Advantica on the optimum location for the gas terminal, which they believe to be central to the dispute over the onshore pipeline. Given that they are the Minister's people and that he has responsibility for the matter, when will he meet his people? While there is collective Government responsibility for this matter, if I were the Minister I would find it hard to admit I never stood down there and never met those people. The Minister has cast aspersions on those people. They are fine decent honourable people who have been heavily put upon. They are very disturbed and upset over what has happened to their area. They have legitimate fears that have never been addressed.
The location of the pipeline to the refinery is the problem, as has always been the case. The Minister continues to insist on Shell proceeding to lay this pipeline, which does not have permission and could have serious problems regarding cold venting of gas which have been admitted. Serious questions remain to be answered. Why does the Minister continue to ignore the people? Why will he not visit them? Everyone who has done so has received a warm welcome and a cup of tea, and has heard what this is all about. I do not know how the Minister can stand over all that is happening when he refuses to visit those people. When will he visit?
When will the Minister address the initiative seeking an alternative location for the terminal suggested by the Independent Deputies, Deputy Sargent, the leader of the Green Party, the Fianna Fáil councillor, Frank Chambers, and, I believe, Ian McAndrew from Fine Gael? When will the Minister address the report by the engineers, Leo Corcoran and Brian Coyle, which called for a study by Advantica Consultants, who did not investigate the location of the refinery? When will the Minister commission them to report on alternative locations?