I move amendment No. 1:
In page 6, to delete lines 17 to 20 and substitute the following:
""defective concrete blocks" means concrete blocks that contain excessive amounts of free or unbound muscovite mica or reactive pyrite or any deleterious material or combination of materials as may be prescribed under section 41;".
There is a lot of work to do here today and I do not intend to delay unduly or engage too much. There has been an extensive debate on these proposals, including in the Lower House and in committee.
Before setting out the rationale for this amendment, I want to correct the record for people outside the House. I received some correspondence indicating that a number of people are disappointed by the outcome of votes in the Seanad on this Bill. To be clear for anybody listening to this debate, I stand in solidarity with people. I share, as do many Members of this House, their genuine concerns. However, this is the first amendment to the Bill to be tabled and discussed in this House. Seanad Éireann has neither considered nor made any other amendments to date. It is important to clarify this because the information I was given is that we passed amendments and people were unhappy with them. We have not had any amendments to consider before today. I say this for the benefit of people outside the House listening to the debate. It is important they fully understand that no amendments have been either approved or rejected in the House at this point in time.
The rationale for this amendment arises from the need to ensure the definition of "defective concrete blocks" is inclusive. The definition in the legislation appears to be restrictive. The amendment will allow for greater flexibility within the approved redress scheme, as the Minister has set out. The amendment is based on suggestions from homeowners and their advocates in affected areas and counties. It is important that we take steps to ensure anyone whose home is damaged or made uninhabitable by excessive amounts of deleterious material is supported. I urge Senators to support the amendment and I look forward to the Minister's response.