28 June 2001
Waste Bill shows ``contempt for local democracy''
Speaking in the Dáil against the government's Waste Management Bill Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:
``Because some local authorities did not follow the orders of the Minister for the Environment and Local Government powers with regard to waste management are now to be taken away from elected members of all local authorities and placed in the hands of the unelected County and City Managers. On the day this Bill was published the government's commitment to local democracy was exposed as a complete sham.
``Sinn Fein is committed to ensuring that we have a comprehensive system of Waste Management throughout Ireland. As public representatives we take our responsibility very seriously both regionally and nationally. That was why, last year on behalf of the Sinn Fein Councillors in Counties Cavan, Louth, Meath and Monaghan my office published a comprehensive response to the Draft Waste Management Plan drawn up for the region by consultants MC O'Sullivan. We were the only political party to do so and ours was the most substantial and detailed response to the Plan. It contains constructive and viable proposals for managing waste in our region and beyond.
``At a time when many other countries are rejecting incinerators - halting new constructions and winding existing plants down -
there are big business interests at work trying to foist incinerators on the people of Ireland. This government has abdicated its responsibility and is placing waste management in this State in the hands of the powerful incineration lobby which is waiting in the wings to reap huge profits.
``The government has lightly dismissed public concern on the health and environmental dangers of incineration. In this Bill it has contemptuously dismissed local democracy. Fours years into its term of office it is now time for the electorate to dismiss this government.''
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