Thursday, 15 February 2007
My legislative priorities are the two Bills from this Department listed on the Government legislation programme for the spring session of 2007 — the Irish Sports Council (Amendment) Bill and the Bord na gCon (Amendment) Bill. The purpose of the Irish Sports Council (Amendment) Bill is to provide for the granting of powers to the Irish Sports Council to establish subsidiary companies.
The Bord na gCon (Amendment) Bill is intended to give effect to the recommendations of the recent Dalton report into certain matters affecting Bord na gCon. The Bill deals with the reconfiguration of the board, with particular reference to the number and tenure of ordinary board members and the tenure of the chairman, and the need to separate regulatory functions from promotional functions, both of which are now the responsibility of Bord na gCon.
Obviously, these are two important Bills. It is of the utmost importance that the measures in the Bord na gCon (Amendment) Bill are implemented as a matter of urgency. Obviously, determining the business of the House depends on the Whips. Can the Minister indicate when the Bord na gCon (Amendment) Bill will be introduced? Which of the Bills will be introduced first? Does he envisage that both of them will be completed this session? The Bord na gCon (Amendment) Bill has huge significance and everyone in the greyhound racing industry is seeking to have it completed as a matter of urgency.
I imagine the Irish Sports Council (Amendment) Bill, which is at an advanced stage of preparation with just a small number of technical issues to be resolved, will be the first to come before the House. It is difficult to know whether the legislation will be passed during the course of this Dáil. I think the time might be tight.