Deputy Thomas Pringle has said the country’s first National Marine Planning Framework deserves proper Dáil scrutiny, and more than the ‘paltry’ 55 minutes the Government has put aside for debate this week.
The deputy has also raised his concerns about the lack of Dáil debate on the framework in the Business Committee.
The Killybegs-based TD said: “This framework is about safeguarding our marine environment for the future. We’re talking about a region that is seven times the size of Ireland’s landmass.
Seventy-five per cent of Ireland’s people live in coastal communities.
“The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Heritage and Local Government has not yet concluded its consideration of the framework, and yet the Minister is pushing this motion through the Dáil.
“Surely this is something that should be debated thoroughly in the Dáil. But no, this is coming up on Thursday with just a paltry 55 minutes put aside for debate on this critical and wide-ranging framework. Even that concession came late – originally the motion was listed for no debate.
“The consultation draft of the framework is a report of nearly 200 pages that brings together all marine-based human activities. It addresses renewable energy, fisheries, ports, harbour and shipping, sport and recreation, tourism, and wastewater treatment and disposal.
“We have to get this right,” Deputy Pringle said.