Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Questions (49)

Michael D. Higgins


171 Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the main provisions of the proposed National Infrastructure Bill; if the heads of the Bill have yet been brought before Government and approved; when the Bill is likely to be published and brought before Dáil Éireann; if it is intended that incinerators will fall within the remit of the national infrastructure board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2860/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

I intend to bring draft legislative proposals to Government in the coming weeks to streamline the consent process for major infrastructure projects. I will be seeking priority for the drafting of the legislation, once approved by the Government, to ensure the Bill is published at the earliest possible opportunity this year.

In advance of the Government considering these proposals, it would be inappropriate to elaborate on their details, including details on the types of national infrastructure that might be included in the proposed legislation. In general terms however, it is intended to reduce the time required for obtaining development consent for necessary major public projects and to co-ordinate and streamline the different procedures now involved, while respecting the requirements of environment and heritage protection and the need for adequate public consultation.