I propose to take Questions Nos. 835 to 838, inclusive, together.
The additional appointee is on the pay scale of a Research Officer in Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) which is €35,151 to €67,575 per annum.
The role of the appointee is to review the projects proposed on OPW channels and determine, in the first instance if they are appropriate. If the works are required, the appointee will prepare habitat enhancement plans that will increase the biodiversity of the riverine environment. The additional resource will also have a role in assisting with the supervision of the construction of the works necessary for the plan and in ad-hoc duties in support of the Project Management Office in delivering river channel enhancement projects.
There currently are a number of river habitat enhancement projects on OPW drained channels that have been allocated funding by IFI that are not making progress towards completion. IFI are engaging with the applicants for these projects to ascertain if they intend to or are able to make progress with the projects. If the applicants do not make progress with these projects it is IFI’s intention to withdraw the offer of funds from the applicants and determine what works are required at these sites to increase the biodiversity of those riverine habitats and the priority of those works to IFI. The appointee will develop plans for those sites where enhancement works are required. To that end, and in order to avoid possible delays to those projects arising from season critical factors, the additional resource has commenced reviews and surveys of those projects in advance of the withdrawal of funds. The projects are the Abbert River Spawning & Habitat Regeneration project, the Boycetown and Trimblestown project, the Deel Project Phase1, the Hartions Bridge Instream Work Project and the Navan Anglers O’Grady Phase 1 and 2 projects.
There are currently no plans to replace the temporary project management officer that recently resigned from IFI.