9th July 2002
Cullinane slams Cullen's incineration claims
Sinn Fein Waterford representative David Cullinane has strongly criticised Environment Minister Martin Cullen following his warning to local authorities that the ``option of thermal treatment will have to be introduced to tackle the waste crisis facing Ireland''.
Mr. Cullinane said ``I welcome the fact that Martin Cullen agrees that there is a waste crisis. However he omits from his remarks that this crisis is a result of years of neglect from successive governments and local authorities. What we have seen is years of miss-management of our waste disposal. The sad reality is Minister Cullen has failed to learn from mistakes of the past. He now wants to substitute the burying of waste for the burning of waste. What is needed is a sensible National Waste Management Strategy that deals with reducing and recycling of waste, not reaching out for so called quick fix solutions such as incineration.
``Minister Cullen also criticised Waterford County Council for failing to implement the South East Waste Management Strategy which provides for incineration for the region. Minister Cullen says he will ensure that local authorities such as Waterford County Council discharge their environmental enforcement function. The Minister is quite clearly questioning the right of Waterford County Council and its elected representatives to exercise their democratic right. He further makes a mockery of democracy by stating his intention to invoke the draconian powers afforded to him by the last government by taking the power of decision making out of the hands of locally elected representatives and into the hands of unelected city and county managers.''
``Martin Cullen's legacy as Minister of State with the O.P.W. is the proposed unfair toll charge on Waterford's long overdue second bridge. Is his legacy as Minister for the Environment to be incinerators all over the country including the southeast? His recent comments are nothing more that an affront to democracy.'' ENDS
For further info contact Joe Kelly, Sinn Fein Press Officer, Waterford. 051 876558
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