Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Conor Murphy Speaks on motion 134

21 February, 2009

A Chairde agus Chomrádaithe.

I want to take this opportunity to present the progress our Party has made in the year since we last gathered at our Ard Fheis in Dublin.

Sinn Fein as Irish republicans are committed to delivering political, social and economic change.

We do not underestimate the challenges ahead.

As Minister for Transport, Roads and Infrastructure I have since our last gathering introduced;

• Taisteal saor in aisce do shaoranaigh 60+ chomh maith le maoiniu do phinsineiri fa choinne taistil uile-Eireann

• Free travel for those aged 60+ along with funding for Senior Citizens to travel free on an All-Ireland basis.

• The continued deferral this year of domestic water + sewerage contributions saving households around an average of £300

• An investment of around £1m per day in the modernisation of our water + sewerage infrastructure -- creating and sustaining jobs in the construction sector

• £150m to introduce a modern, high quality and affordable rapid transit system for Belfast city

• Increased funding for an urban door-to-door transport service for the disabled across 29 urban towns and cities and to over 9,000 users; and

• 30 new fully accessible buses delivering rural community transport across 18 rural areas

• A new central government policy for Rathlin as one of Ireland's unique off-shore Islands in the North-East

• The new M1/Westlink motorway upgrade has open; and there has been continued investment in bus, train and rail modernisation

I will continue to make progress on the some of the largest and most important road schemes ever undertaken in Ireland including both the A5 Aughnacloy to Derry road and the A8 Belfast to Larne through the All-Ireland Ministerial Council.

The importance of such projects and our strategic focus in delivering projects on an All-Ireland basis cannot be overstated.

Is e an focas staitiseach s'againn na tionscadail uile-Eireann a chur chun chinn i gconai.

I am taking forward a fundamental review of the North's Regional Development Strategy which will provide us with a unique opportunity to take decisive action.

Any new Strategy must include the North-West with Derry at its centre, Belfast as an economic driver as the islands second largest city, and also our rural communities which account for the vast area of this region who require sustainable growth including that of the border corridor.

This will open up enormous opportunities for economic development between Belfast and Derry and between Derry and Dublin.

I will also take forward a fundamental reform of our public transport services which will refashion how things are currently done, introducing less systematic bureaucracy, more efficiency and accountability ultimately delivering better transport provision for the travelling public who we will attract from the private car by providing an affordable, reliable and modern alternative.

These, comrades are the challenges that lie ahead. I am confident that this Party will continue to deliver for the people and communities now and in the future.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh go leor.

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