Sinn Féin TD Jonathan O’Brien has welcomed the government’s decision to allow the Wind Turbine Regulation Bill 2014 to proceed to Committee Stage.
Speaking in the Dáil this evening Deputy O’Brien said the bill should proceed as a matter of urgency.
“Sinn Féin has welcomed the government’s decision to accept the Wind Turbine Regulation Bill 2014.
“It was our clear view that guidelines published by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government are inadequate and what is instead required is strict regulation of wind turbine developments.
“This was a view we have held consistently.
“Sinn Féin’s bill proposes that a minimum distance of ten times the height of the turbine from any dwelling must be observed.
“It also requires renewable energy that is produced in Ireland to be for the benefit of Irish energy consumers and this should form part of the wider debate on energy strategy. However, now that the Government has allowed it to proceed we must see action on the issue.
“Some more cynical political commentators may wryly observe that allowing this Bill to proceed was a political necessity for the Junior Coalition partners in the Labour Party. But I am not willing to write it off as an election stunt just yet.
“I am asking the Government to ensure that this proceeds to Committee Stage as a matter of urgency.
“This should not be treated in the same way that the Government treats Committee Reports that are produced in a cross-party environment. These reports contain recommendations, and then are left on the shelf to gather dust.
“County and regional managers should take note of this decision by government and any wind turbine development plans currently underway should reflect this.
“There are lots of communities affected by wind turbine developments who must be reassured that they will not have large scale turbine projects forced on them.
“These communities deserve much better than that. They deserve to be treated with respect and not have their views trampled on in the usual fashion of the government.”