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Strategic Infrastructure Bill an assault on democracy

16 February, 2006

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Heritage and Local Government Arthur Morgan T.D. has said that the Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Bill 2006, published this morning, is an assault on democracy and a response to communities who have valiantly stood up for their right not to have obnoxious developments, from incinerators to the Shell onshore terminal, imposed upon them.

Deputy Morgan said, “This Strategic Infrastructure Bill is the practical expression of this Government’s opposition to democracy.  The range of issues covered by this Bill is actually astounding – incinerators, landfills, thermal power stations, installations for the onshore extraction of oil and gas, oil and gas pipelines and associated terminals. 

“This is clearly a response to the communities across the state who have courageously fought to protect their health and safety.   This legislation will have appalling consequences for the people of Carranstown, Ringsend and Ringaskiddy who have been fighting against the imposition of poisonous incinerators.  Its has equally dire consequences for the people of Rossport, Co. Mayo who have been campaigning against a dangerous pipeline and onshore terminal in the midst of their community.   Those who have been campaigning against individual projects across the state need to coalesce in opposition to this legislation. 

“I am deeply concerned about the implications of this legislation and the type of projects which it is designed to fast track.   For example included in the infrastructure developments to be fast tracked is ‘an industrial installation for the production of electricity, steam or hot water with a heat output of 300 megawatts or more’.   Could a nuclear power station be fast tracked under this provision?  Had this legislation been in place in the 1970’s would we now have a deadly nuclear power station at Carransore Point? The public must be warned of the dangerous implications of this anti-democratic legislation”.   ENDS

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