I move amendment No. 1:—
In sub-section (5), line 20, after the word "deposited" to insert the words "by consent of the owner."
Members of the Seanad and the Parliamentary Secretary will agree that the success of this Bill and the works to be carried out under it will largely depend on the co-operation of the farmers, the county councils and their staffs and the public in general. To get that co-operation from the farmer in particular I put it to the Parliamentary Secretary that there must be consultation and you must first avoid, so far as possible, entering on a farmer's land without giving him due notification and, secondly, when you do enter on his land you must give every guarantee that as little damage as possible will be done during the carrying out of the works.
Sub-section (5) provides:—
"Where any substance or thing is removed under this section from a watercourse, it may be deposited on land adjacent to the watercourse or the local authority may remove it, use it or dispose of it otherwise as they think fit."
My amendment seeks to provide that such depositing of material removed from a watercourse should be carried out only with the consent of the owner. In the case of drainage schemes throughout the country, we find that whether the work is done by machinery or otherwise the deposit is usually left on the brink of the river which has been cleaned, and in a very short time what has been removed from the river finds its way back again and the last position is much worse than the first. If the material taken from a watercourse is to be deposited on a man's land, I suggest that it should be done only with his consent and in a manner which meets his wishes. If that is done, the scheme will receive more general co-operation from the farmer and will be a greater success. The materials which may be removed include large trees or anything stopping the flow of water, and it would be unfair to give to the men engaged on this work authority to deposit such materials on a man's land in such a manner as not to conform with his wishes and probably to cause an obstruction. It is to overcome these difficulties that I have put down this amendment.