Business of Select Committee.

I welcome the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Deputy Cullen, and his officials to the meeting.

It was the view of members at last week's meeting that we would sit until about 7.30 p.m. today. Are members happy with that arrangement? I will take suggestions from members as to how we should proceed after that.

Is it proposed that we should sit until 7.30 p.m. with a view to completing the business this evening? Members should give consideration to trying to finish the business tonight because we have already devoted two full days to consideration of the Bill and we will have a long meeting this evening, although in saying that I do not want to stifle or prevent debate. All members are entitled to speak on the amendments, but they should give favourable consideration to finishing the business this evening at some stage.

I second that proposal.

What is the proposal?

That we should attempt to complete the business at some stage this evening or tonight rather than sit tomorrow. A joint committee meeting has been arranged for 2.30 p.m. tomorrow. Therefore, I think we should try to finish our business this evening or tonight if possible.

Yes, it would be good if we could do so.

We are required to examine the Bill and we must exercise our function. The Chairman will recall that I did not contribute at great length on most of the amendments that were dealt with at our last meeting. Some major controversial issues arise later in the Bill and we should not restrict debate on those. I think the House is sitting tonight until 10 p.m. tonight. We will take a break at 7.30 p.m., but I have no difficulty resuming after that for a hour or two to make progress on the Bill. However, I would not like us to be left in a position whereby we would not have time to debate issues on which there might be a row.

We are happy to sit later. That is reasonable. Will we sit until 7.30 p.m. and——

We can review progress then.

I assume the room will be available.

I want to explain the position if we have to sit tomorrow to complete the Bill. Two Bills are already scheduled to be taken in Committee tomorrow and, under Standing Orders, a maximum of two Bills are allowed to be taken on the one day. In the event of our seeking to consider a third Bill in Committee, that would require the approval of the House. Such a proposal would have to be presented tomorrow morning on the Order of Business. I want to let members know that and to bear in mind that an ordinary meeting of the committee has been arranged for tomorrow afternoon. That would mean the earliest we could meet tomorrow to consider this Bill would be 4.30 p.m. We will proceed until 7.30 p.m. and——

Bearing in mind Deputy Gilmore's comments, we should proceed until 7.30 p.m. and review progress then. If we think at that stage we can complete the business tonight, we should do so.

We will review progress at 7.30 p.m.