Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 21 September 2021
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Impact of Peat Shortages on the Horticultural Industry: Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage
I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Noonan. I will use my time to counter this hyperbolic narrative I am hearing from my colleagues on the committee which suggests that this is somehow related to the green agenda. I am glad that the Minister of State has said very clearly that this is not the green agenda but law, legislation and planning. This is what we are dealing with. A message should go out from this committee today that this is absolutely unrelated to the Green Party's agenda or the general green or environmental agenda. As the Minister of State said at the very outset, he is committed to the survival of the horticultural industry. There are very strong reasons for him, and the rest of us, to be so committed. I will use my time to say that. Will the Minister of State and Mr. Lucas, who has been before the committee a few times and who has been very helpful, elaborate further on the legislative bind we are in? That is what it is. This is not politics but a legislative bind and we have to work together to solve it. It is quite disingenuous of colleagues to label this as a case of the green agenda at play when it absolutely is not.