Business of Joint Committee

Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe took the Chair.

I remind members to turn off their mobile phones completely because they interfere with the recording equipment.

Before we deal with the main business, I will deal with correspondence. No. 2018/281 is an email from Ms M. Daly of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport requesting a date for the chairperson designate of DAA, Mr. Basil Geoghegan, to appear before the joint committee. This meeting is scheduled for 13 June. Is that agreed? Agreed.

No. 2018/282 is a letter from the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Ross, forwarding further information on a number of items following a Revised Estimates meeting on 18 April. It is proposed to note this. Is that agreed? Agreed.

No. 2018/283 is an email from Mr. Kieran Delaney, dated 21 May, requesting that an invitation be issued to Mr. Dermot O'Leary, National Bus and Rail Union, for the final meeting regarding accessibility of public transport for people with disabilities. It is proposed to invite Mr. O'Leary to appear before the committee at its final wrap-up meeting. This meeting is on 13 June next. Is that agreed? Agreed.

No. 2018/284 is an email from Ms M. Bell of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board regarding queries raised by Deputy Troy at a meeting with Ms Cliona Cassidy, chairperson designate of the board, on 21 February. It is proposed to note this correspondence. Is that agreed? Agreed.

No. 2018/285A comprises a letter and attachment from the Minister, Deputy Ross, regarding the general scheme of a railway safety (amendment) Bill 2018. It is proposed to engage in pre-legislative scrutiny on this matter as soon as the committee's schedule permits. Is that agreed? Agreed.

On that point, would it be acceptable to ask the Minister, when he comes in, whether it is a priority for his Department given that we are waiting on legislation for an independent noise regulator and the variation in speed limits on the M50? I tabled a parliamentary question to the Minister and received an answer implying that, over the past five years, not one person has been found to be in breach of the railway safety order in the workplace. I wonder whether dealing with the Bill in question is a priority and efficient use of our time given that we have other legislation and a fairly comprehensive work programme. Various Members across the political divide have other issues they want to see on the agenda. I wonder, therefore, whether it is a priority at all.

What does the Deputy propose?

Is the Deputy proposing that he put that to the Minister?

I have no problem with that. The Deputy can include any question he wants.

We will put it to the Minister.

I do not see in the minutes a reference to the junket or trip to Germany last week. Could the committee be furnished with a report outlining its cost, the reasons for it and its benefits?

It related to a report on the International Transport Forum.

We will wait for the Minister before beginning our first session.