Commemorative Events

Questions (18, 33)

Seamus Kirk

Question:

18. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the specific preparations that have been made to commemorate the centenary anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26147/13]

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Martin Ferris

Question:

33. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the amount of money his Department has allocated for the commemoration programme in 2013; if he will provide a detailed breakdown of the projects and events the money will be spent on; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26099/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 18 and 33 together.

At the outset, I would like to acknowledge the commitment and interest of the many bodies and individuals that have brought forward the diverse initiatives that comprise a great part of the Centenary commemorative programme. I place great importance on public engagement and participation at community level. There is a strengthening interest in this important period of our history which I believe will continue to grow in the coming years. I have made a priority commitment to facilitating exploration and discussion of the revolutionary period through the preparation of archives for public release and the production of a new online newspaper of contemporary reporting - Century Ireland – to build affinity with the issues and people of a hundred years ago.

The costs arising from official elements of the commemoration programme are largely being met from the existing resources allocated to the national cultural institutions and other bodies, complemented by the work of other Departments. Commemorative arrangements are also being developed through co-operation between the National Cultural Institutions, the Trade Unions, academic bodies, community and voluntary partners, most especially this year in relation to the 1913 Lockout.

The comprehensive programme for the Lockout has been primarily brought forward by a 1913 Commemoration Committee under the auspices of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. It includes a collaborative commemorative tapestry project, an oral history project, exhibitions, conferences, seminars, memorial church services, re-enactments and a schools programme developed in association with the National Cultural Institutions, academic bodies, community and voluntary partners. Recognising the centenary of the Lockout, the ‘One City, One Book’ programme of Dublin City Council has selected ‘Strumpet City ’ for 1913. Special commemorative stamps will be issued by An Post this year for The Lockout.

Without a substantial and dedicated fund to support commemorations, my Department seeks to provide assistance through accommodation, use of services and other supports. The National Museum will soon host an exhibition of the banners of the labour movement. The National Library will host a major exhibition in August entitled “Lockout!”, which will provide access to historical documents of the time. My Department has provided support for the 1913 tapestry project, which is being developed by a large group of volunteers under the supervision of the National College of Art and Design and artists Robert Ballagh and Cathy Henderson.

Special arrangements are also being made this year for the Centenary of the Irish Volunteers. Plans for events to take place in November are being prepared in partnership with the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces and will be announced shortly.

Insofar as funding can be provided this year by the Government to support commemorations, I believe priority should attach to a small number of capital projects that are under consideration in order that they might be completed in advance of the centenary of the Easter Rising. Project approval and the allocation of funding for these projects will be announced on an individual basis. I have approved financial support of approximately €150,00 Centenary commemorative projects in 2013. These allocations relate in the main to the recently launched Century Ireland and the 1916 Oral History projects. Subject to availability of resources within the approved Estimate for my Department, I hope to make some further allocations later this year.

Although the commemorative programme embraces the totality of our history in the years from the 3rd Home Rule Bill to the emergence of the Irish State, I am conscious of the particular interest in the Easter Rising and the Proclamation of the Republic and how these events might be commemorated. I had a welcome opportunity to discuss these issues with Senators last week. I indicated that I was interested to look beyond the ceremonial arrangements that will mark the anniversaries and that we should direct attention now towards initiatives that would enhance our understanding of the background, the principles and the vision of the revolutionary movement. In particular, I invited Senators to consider how we might explore the revolutionary age through its artistic legacy and how the arts might today give expression to our perspective on the Rising after the passing of a hundred years.

The Advisory Group on Commemorations has recently commenced a national consultation process with regard to expectations and arrangements. Following an initial meeting in Carlow, meetings are now being arranged to take place in Cork and Kerry. These meetings are arranged in partnership with the local authority and promoted through local media and the network of local history societies.

I am aware of the limited time remaining to 2016 and the desirability that all arrangements would soon be in place for the special initiatives relating to the Centenary of the Rising. The commemorative framework will be underpinned by official ceremonies and the continuing and special exhibitions by the national cultural institutions – particularly the digitisation and release of archival material, most especially the records of the Military Service Pensions Archive. With the official contribution substantially defined, I am keen next to engage with local authorities, universities and community groups in Ireland and abroad on their contributions and participation.

Departmental Staff Training

Questions (19)

Seán Crowe

Question:

19. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will give a detailed account of the amount of money spent by his Department in 2012 and in the year to date in 2013 on training and development in arts and heritage; if he will provide specific details of the way the money was spent; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26096/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

My Department does not directly provide training or development for people working in the arts or heritage sectors. In common with all other Departments, it supports the training and development of the Department's staff through formal training and development courses, in-house training, attendance at relevant conferences and seminars, refund of academic fees, and the reimbursement of professional membership fees.

Some €223,286 was spent on training and development in 2012, and a further €71,586 has been spent in 2013 to date. The formal training and development courses attended by officers in 2012 include: Job-Specific Training e.g. Abseil Access, ArcGIS Geographic Information Mapping Software, Biodiversity Identification, Quad, Raptor Poisoning, Rope Rescue Technician; Business Process Improvement; Health and Safety Training e.g. Fire Safety, Firearm Safety, Manual Handling, Occupational First Aid, Safe Pass, Signing, Lighting and Guarding at Roadworks, Crisis Prevention; Child Protection; Irish Language Skills; Courtroom Skills; ICT Training e.g. Microsoft Office Applications, Microsoft Sharepoint, Website Content Management; and Corporate, HR and Financial Training e.g. Financial Management, Interview Board, Management Development, Mediation, Procurement, Professional Services Withholding Tax, Public Speaking, Report Writing, Workplace Investigation.

Further training in these areas is being carried out during 2013. A number of these training and development courses are delivered in-house or by other public bodies which accrues no direct cost to my Department. Where such options are not available, my Department ensures that correct procedures in relation to procurement are followed.

Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge

Questions (20)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

20. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Jonathan O'Brien den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cathain a bhí an cruinniú deireanach ag an gCoiste Feidhmiúcháin atá freagrach as an Straitéis Fiche Bliain don Ghaeilge, cé chomh minic a tháinig siad le chéile le bliain anuas, cén dul chun cinn atá déanta ag an gcoiste sin; cén teanga oibre a úsáidtear sna cruinnithe [26256/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

Mar is eol don Teachta, is sa Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge 2010-2030 a leagtar amach polasaí an Rialtais maidir le cur chun cinn na Gaeilge. Sa chomhthéacs seo, tá sé ráite i gClár an Rialtais 2011-2016 go dtabharfaidh an Rialtas tacaíocht don Straitéis agus go ndéanfaidh sé na spriocanna indéanta atá luaite inti a sheachadadh.

Glacaim leis go bhfuil an Teachta ag déanamh tagairt don Choiste Rialtais ar an Ghaeilge agus ar an Ghaeltacht a bhfuil an Taoiseach ina chathaoirleach air. Tionóladh an cruinniú is déanaí den Choiste Rialtais seo ar an 15 Aibreán 2013 agus táthar ag súil an chéad chruinniú eile a reáchtáil go luath. Bhí 3 chruinniú ag an Choiste Rialtais seo le linn na bliana 2012. Déanann an Coiste Rialtais ar an Ghaeilge agus ar an Ghaeltacht maoirseacht ar bhonn leanúnach ar an dul chun cinn maidir le forfheidhmiú na Straitéise 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge. Is ar bhonn dátheangach a thionóltar na cruinnithe.

Job Creation

Questions (21, 165)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

21. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which he and his Department can fully exploit the potential for job creation throughout the arts sector; if he anticipates any increase in such employment in the current year over previous years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26244/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

165. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which the maximisation of job creation opportunities remain an objective of the promotion of arts and heritage events and or locations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26505/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 21 and 165 together.

Government policy on the arts is set out in the Programme for Government. The Government appreciates the importance of the arts, culture and the creative industries to both our society and to our economy. The arts sector continue to offer vital opportunities for the provision of important cultural, social and employment benefits to communities throughout the country. The nature of employment within the arts sector encompasses a very wide range of activities. It can include those engaged in the arts practice within specific artistic genres and can also encompass areas which flow from such artistic pursuits. It may also embody the whole industrial creative sectors, including the audiovisual production sector.

The Government appreciates and values the contribution the arts sector makes to the internationally renowned artistic reputation of this country. Within the current economic constraints, investment in the arts, culture and creative sectors is more important than ever, having regard to the employment intensity of the sector. In October 2012, the Arts Council published its latest update of the Assessment of the Economic Impact of the Arts in Ireland and it is available at http://www.artscouncil.ie/en/publications/research_publications.aspx. As the Deputy will be aware, in the Government's Action Plan for Jobs, there are 11 specific actions in the areas of arts, culture and creative enterprise which are to be undertaken by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the agencies under its remit. The relevant actions are set out in section 7 of the Plan and I look forward to continuing progress in relation to these actions in the period ahead.

Arts Promotion

Questions (22, 24, 28, 30, 171)

Dessie Ellis

Question:

22. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the amount of money his Department has allocated for 2013 for the arts in education programme; if he will provide specific details of the way the money will be spent; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26100/13]

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John McGuinness

Question:

24. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht his plans to require artists to donate their labour for free in order to receive State funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26125/13]

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Mick Wallace

Question:

28. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he has received any report from the high level implementation group set up to oversee the implementation of the arts in education charter; if he will publish the reports of the implementation group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26242/13]

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Mick Wallace

Question:

30. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the progress that has been made to date on the implementation of the arts in education charter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26241/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

171. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which he directly or bodies under his aegis have been successful in the promotion of the arts directly or through interaction with schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26511/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 22, 24, 28, 30 and 171 together.

In January last the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn, TD, and I jointly launched the Arts in Education Charter. This Charter places new responsibilities on Government Departments, agencies, cultural institutions and arts organisations in terms of providing and promoting arts education to children and young people. This Charter has been agreed by both Ministers. Minister Quinn and I believe passionately in arts education and want to see a joined-up Government approach across Departments, education agencies and arts organisations. The charter will see organisations like the Arts Council, the National Cultural Institutions, the Colleges of Education and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment working with both Departments in order to bring the arts into the classroom and learners into the institutes for the arts.

A High Level Implementation Group was established to oversee the implementation of the Art in Education Charter earlier in the year and it will report twice a year. The Implementation Group is chaired by Professor John Coolahan, Professor Emeritus, NUI Maynooth. It membership includes Orlaith McBride, Director of the Arts Council, Mary Nunan, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Alan Wall Director, Department of Education and Skills and Niall O Donnchú, Assistant Secretary, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

The Group has met on a number of occasions and has been proactive in meeting organisations from both the arts and education sectors. Progress is being made on a number of initiatives including developing a website / portal as a key communications and information channel for both the education and arts sectors. Suitable models for Art Rich Schools and for artists become involved in the programme are also being examined by the Arts Council and this Group.

There is no specific funding provision in my Department's Vote for arts in education this year. However, the Deputies may be aware that in May 2012 I announced the introduction of a new philanthropic initiative on a pilot basis for arts and culture organisations. The initiative - the Philanthropic Leverage Initiative - was designed to encourage philanthropic sponsorship and endowment of the arts from private sources. The initiative, established in 2012 provides an incentive to arts organisations to proactively seek new funding relationships with sponsors which deliver private sector financial support, thereby increasing overall funding available to the arts. The initiative proved very successful with a multiplier of 4.26 in philanthropic donations being leveraged for the arts. The arts got a boost of over €1 million last year, of which less than one-fifth came from the public purse.

This year, €210,000 will be available to arts organisations under the scheme and the majority of the Philanthropy Initiative funding will be directed towards arts and culture organisations seeking support for projects that include an education component. The application form includes a provision that in the event of multiple applications competing for limited grant allocation, priority will be given to Arts in Education projects aimed at disadvantaged (DEIS) schools. In 2013, it is hoped that the Philanthropy Initiative, while continuing to provide an incentive to arts organisations to engage in fund-raising, will also encourage arts and culture organisations to engage creatively with children and young people and add to their education.

Irish Language

Question No. 24 answered with Question No. 22.

Questions (23)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

23. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Peadar Tóibín den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta an leagfaidh sé amach plean, ina mbeidh spriocanna bliantúla, maidir le líon na n-aistritheoirí agus na n-ateangairí atá ag teastáil do na poist ar ardchaighdeán atá ar fáil ag Éirinn san Aontas Eorpach faoi 2016; má dhéanann sé sin, an bhfoilseoidh sé an plean seo chun go mbeidh na heagraíochtaí Gaeilge in ann cabhrú leis na spriocanna a bhaint amach agus chun go mbeidh an pobal ar an eolas faoi na deiseanna fostaíochta atá ar fáil san Aontas Eorpach [26246/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

I mí an Mheithimh 2005, chinn Comhairle na nAirí san Aontas Eorpach go mbeadh stádas mar theanga oifigiúil agus mar theanga oibre de chuid an Aontais ag an nGaeilge. Tháinig an cinneadh seo i bhfeidhm ar an 1 Eanáir 2007. Cuireadh maolú i bhfeidhm ón 1 Eanáir 2007 go dtí an 31 Nollaig 2011 maidir le húsáid na Gaeilge sna hinstitiúidí Eorpacha agus cuireadh síneadh 5 bliana leis an mhaolú seo go dtí an 31 Nollaig 2016 mar gheall ar na deacrachtaí dóthain foirne cáilithe a earcú sna hinstitiúidí Eorpacha.

Faoin mhaolú, níl dualgas ann gach téacs dlíthiúil de chuid an Aontais Eorpaigh a aistriú go Gaeilge. Ciallaíonn sé seo gur gá na dlíthe Eorpacha amháin a dhéantar faoin nós imeachta comhchinnidh a aistriú go Gaeilge. Ní miste a nótáil go bhfuil méadú suntasach tagtha ar líon na ndlíthe Eorpacha atá le haistriú go Gaeilge mar thoradh ar theacht i bhfeidhm Chonradh Liospóin ar an 1 Nollaig 2009, a chiallaíonn gurb é an nós imeachta comhchinnidh an gnás anois seachas an eisceacht i bpróiseas reachtaíochta na hEorpa.

Beidh cinneadh le tógáil faoi dheireadh na bliana 2015 maidir le todhchaí an mhaolaithe agus beidh an cheist seo le breithniú ag an Rialtas in am trátha. Sa chomhthéacs seo, ní miste a nótáil go bhfuil sé ráite sa Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge 2010-2030 go n-oibreoidh an Rialtas chun na himthosca a chruthú ina mbeidh go leor céimithe cáilithe ar fáil le freastal ar riachtanais earcaíochta an Aontais Eorpaigh le go bhféadfar deireadh a chur leis an mhaolú sin le linn ré na Straitéise, is é sin faoin mbliain 2030.

Táthar ag obair leis na hinstitiúidí Eorpacha ar bhonn leanúnach chun a chinntiú go mbeidh dóthain foirne cáilithe fostaithe sna hinstitiúidí chun freastal ar na riachtanais a bhaineann le stádas na Gaeilge san Eoraip. Mar shampla, tá ciste ar leith ag mo Roinnse chun maoiniú a chur ar fáil do shainchúrsaí tríú leibhéal i nGaeilge chun aistritheoirí, ateangairí agus dlítheangeolaithe a oiliúint. Ina theannta sin, tá mo Roinn ag cur maoiniú ar fáil do Fiontar in Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath chun téarmaíocht Ghaeilge a sholáthar do bhunachar sonraí téarmaíochta an Aontais Eorpaigh.

De réir mar a thuigtear ón bplé atá ar siúl leis na hinstitiúidí Eorpacha, theastódh méadú suntasach ar an líon foirne le Gaeilge chun deireadh a chur leis an mhaolú. Ní miste a nótáil go gcaithfidh cumas i dtrí theanga oifigiúla de chuid an Aontais Eorpaigh a bheith ag iarratasóirí ar phoist den chineál seo sna hinstitiúidí Eorpacha, is iad sin an Ghaeilge, an Béarla agus teanga oifigiúil eile. Scaiptear eolas go forleathan in Éirinn maidir leis na comórtais earcaíochta ábhartha a reáchtáiltear sna hinstitiúidí Eorpacha, lena n-áirítear eolas a chur ar fáil ar www.publicjobs.ie.

Cé go bhfuil go leor dúshlán le sárú chun dóthain daoine leis na cáilíochtaí cuí a oiliúint chun freastal ar riachtanais na Gaeilge san Aontas Eorpach, is féidir liom a rá go leanfar ag obair go dlúth leis na hinstitiúidí Eorpacha ar mhaithe le stádas na Gaeilge san Eoraip.

Question No. 24 answered with Question No. 22.

Irish Language

Questions (25)

Brian Stanley

Question:

25. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht his views on the latest annual report of the Coimisinéir Teanga his assertion that there is no secure stable basis to the system for confirming language schemes, on the widespread failure of public bodies who fall under the Official Languages Act to bring in and implement new language schemes; and his plans to ensure that more language schemes are agreed and implemented. [26245/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

Under the Official Languages Act 2003, the purpose of the language schemes is to increase over a period of time the quality and quantity of services available in Irish from public bodies. As Minister of State, my role is to agree language schemes with public bodies and the role of An Coimisinéir Teanga is to monitor the implementation of those schemes by the public bodies concerned. Language schemes remain in force for a period of 3 years or until a new scheme has been agreed. A total of 108 schemes have been agreed and are being implemented by public bodies. Those schemes cover a total of 194 public bodies. In addition, there are 122 draft schemes being prepared by public bodies that are currently the subject of active discussion with my Department. I am hopeful of a positive outcome with regard to those discussions and that, as a result, further schemes will be agreed during 2013.

Although there are approximately 600 public bodies covered under the First Schedule of the Official Languages Act, I am satisfied that the 108 schemes being implemented cover the majority of public bodies who have regular contact with the general public. I recognise that the preparation and implementation of schemes can be a challenging and complex process for public bodies, particularly in the current economic climate with the pressure on resources. The system of language schemes is being examined as part of the review of the Official Languages Act being undertaken by my Department.

Regarding the 2012 annual report of An Coimisinéir Teanga, I should point out that An Coimisinéir Teanga is independent in the fulfilment of his statutory functions. The Deputy will understand, therefore, that it would not be appropriate for me to express any view in relation to the work of An Coimisinéir Teanga. Further information on agreed schemes and draft schemes is available at www.coimisineir.ie.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (26)

Sandra McLellan

Question:

26. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will provide a detailed account of the amount of money spent by his Department on consultancy services and policy reviews in arts and heritage in 2012 and to date in 2013; if he will provide specific details on the way the money was spent; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26092/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

A total of €138,000 was allocated for Consultancy Services and Value for Money and Policy Reviews within my Department's Administrative Budget in 2012. That subhead provides for fees and expenses in respect of business consultancy assignments and other surveys and studies commissioned by my Department.

In line with Government policy, my Department endeavoured to reduce the use of business consultants as far as possible and succeeded in reducing the level of expenditure in 2012 to some €47,000. One consultancy relating to arts and heritage was funded from this provision during 2012: 1) Review of Dublin Contemporary (€10,961) - Dublin Contemporary (DC2011) was the largest contemporary visual art event of its kind and scale ever held in Ireland and attracted almost 180,000 visitors (179,331). My Department commissioned a full appraisal of all aspects of DC2011, from operational right through to artistic merit, in order to ensure that the experience and significant lessons derived from DC2011 will be taken on board for any future similar events that may transpire.

The 2013 allocation of €124,000 for consultancy services, value for money and policy reviews represents a decrease of 10% when compared against the 2012 allocation. In order to allow my Department to be in a position to respond to issues as they arise during the course of the year, the €124,000 is not yet fully committed and no expenditure has occurred to date. My Department will continue to minimise expenditure under this heading as far as possible and, as with 2013, I expect that savings will again be achieved against this allocation.

For completeness, I wish to bring to the Deputy's attention that from time to time my Department also commissions engineering or environmental experts to provide technical reports on specific issues as required. While the providers of these services are consultant engineers, environmental consultants or may describe themselves in other such terms, their work is not classified as "consultancy services and policy reviews" and is not funded from the Department's Administrative Budget.

Lough Leane Loop Trail

Question No. 28 answered with Question No. 22.

Questions (27)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

27. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will provide an update on the round Lough Lein trail, County Kerry; the anticipated timeline for the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26012/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

In July 2012 I convened a Steering Group involving representatives of the key stakeholders in the Lough Leane trail project and charged the Group with the planning and development of the trail. To date, the Group has met on six occasions, and a further meeting is scheduled next month.

Most of this trail will be inside the boundary of Killarney National Park and because of the associated ecological issues the task of delivering this project will require careful consideration and planning. To ensure that the project is delivered as efficiently and quickly as possible, it has been broken down into various modules which will allow the advancement of some sections of the trail while the necessary consultations, assessments and planning and any land acquisitions as may be required for the more complicated aspects of the plan are moved along in parallel.

Final completion of the trail will depend on the progress made on advancing all these issues and a final deadline has not been set at this stage. I am satisfied that significant progress is being made and, insofar as possible within the constraints of the public finances, I will seek to ensure that there are no avoidable delays in bringing the project to completion.

Question No. 28 answered with Question No. 22.