I am sure the local authority will make a decision on that as the appropriate body.
Senator Cullinane referred to Bausch & Lomb and the plight of the workers. The company is seeking 200 redundancies and a reduction of 20% in the wages of a further 900 people who are employed there. This is devastating news for the workers and their families as well as for Waterford and outlying areas. The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Deputy Richard Bruton, called a meeting with Oireachtas Members last week and outlined the situation to them. He set out the Government's commitment to provide any necessary assistance to the company. That is the position of the Minister. I spoke to the Minister today. Obviously, he is looking at developments in Waterford and is prepared to assist in any way possible to progress matters.
I had a meeting at which Senator Cullinane was present last evening with the vice president of Bausch & Lomb. It was a very constructive meeting. I wish the union and management every success in their very difficult negotiations. It is about protecting the employment in Waterford. There is commitment on both sides to achieving that. I wish them well in their endeavours in that regard. It is a matter of paramount importance that this issue is dealt with as Waterford has been hit harder than most places by unemployment. There is a need for greater investment and the establishment of a strategic development zone in Waterford and south-east generally given the difficulties being experienced there. This has been ongoing for the last number of years.
Senator Marie Moloney referred to the action of Aer Lingus in withdrawing discretionary travel concessions from staff and outlined her resistance to these moves.
I have dealt with the matter of the west-north-west hospital group, an issue also raised by Senator Marc MacSharry.
Senator Michael Mullins raised the question of the Taoiseach joining a trade mission to the USA. The Senator highlighted the recent report on small and medium-sized enterprises which outlined the vast improvement in conditions for these enterprises.
I note the points made by Senator James Heffernan when he spoke passionately on the issue of institutional abuse.
Senator Denis Landy referred to the response from the Irish Water helpline to public representatives. He outlined the position in Carrick-on-Suir which is subject to a "Boil Water" notice. The treatment meted out to the Senator and especially the people of Carrick-on-Suir is not acceptable. I suggest he seek to raise the matter on the Adjournment to receive a comprehensive answer from the Minister of State, Deputy Fergus O'Dowd.
Senator Paschal Mooney raised the issue of fracking and referred to the need to wait for the EPA's report. I think the Minister for Finance said it was premature to speak in May about the budget to be announced in October, but he did say the figures that would be released today would be evidence that the economic indicators were good and receipts would be ahead of target. It will all depend on what cuts, if any, will be necessary in October.
Senator Catherine Noone raised the question of childhood obesity, an issue to which Senator John Crown also alluded, and referred to the need for more physical education in schools. I will certainly seek to arrange a debate with the relevant Minister on the issue. We had a debate on it, but there is obviously a need for a further one.
Senator John Crown referred to the sewer system at the proposed National Children's Hospital. I understand a statement from the people in charge of the project indicates that it will not affect it materially, but it is a matter that will have to be dealt with eventually. We will check to see what the true position is.
Senator Aideen Hayden called for a debate on the economy. I will certainly try to have the Minister for Finance come to the Chamber for such a debate. We all wish him well.
Senator Paul Bradford noted the 25th anniversary of the massacre in Tiananmen Square and called for a debate on the matter.
Senator Terry Brennan raised the question of grants for various tourism projects in Dublin which would prove very beneficial.