I remind Senators that on Report Stage they may speak only once, with the exception of the proposer of an amendment who may reply to the discussion on it. All amendments on Report Stage must be seconded.
Road Transport Bill, 1998: Report and Final Stages.
As I mentioned on Committee Stage, this amendment is a consequence of the acceptance of the new section 21 which amends the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road Act, 1998. Section 21 must be included with sections 17 and 18 as sections which should not be construed as part of the principal Act and this Act.
We have discussed the need for the new section 21. Section 21 amends the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road Act, 1998 and must be included with sections 17 and 18 as sections which should not be construed as part of the principal Act or this Act.
I thank Senators for their co-operation and courtesy in the important, albeit short, debate on this Bill. This legislation, in which we have all been instrumental, is very important. We are an island and an exporting country and our transport and haulage business is hugely important, particularly in the context of our growing economy. This legislation will result in a more efficient, effective, controlled and policed sector. Given the carnage on our roads, we have perhaps also done something which will save some lives. I thank my colleagues for their valuable and important input. I also acknowledge and appreciate the hard work, experience and expertise of my officials who were instrumental in putting this Bill together.
I thank the Minister of State for the constructive and reasonable spirit in which he introduced this Bill. He listened to our comments and there was no confrontation. Road transport will be a major issue in terms of our environmental policy and will have to be dealt with in the context of greenhouse gas emissions and general air quality throughout Europe. We will return to this issue in a range of areas.
I thank the Minister of State for introducing this Bill. Lest he was under the impression during the debate that I do not welcome the Bill, I assure him I do. I felt that certain aspects of it might be taken a stage further. As Senator Ryan said, I am sure these issues will come before us again and will be further modified. I thank the Minister of State for the succinct manner in which he responded to the suggestions made.
I also thank the Minister of State and acknowledge the work of the civil servants who put the Bill together. Perhaps a new Bill will be introduced in ten years' time but the current Bill is very welcome in terms of the transport business. I thank Members of the Opposition for the manner in which the Bill was debated. Go raibh míle maith agaibh.