Seanad debates

Thursday, 20 December 2018

11:40 am

Photo of Tim LombardTim Lombard (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I want to wish everyone a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. It has been a very positive year so far, and hopefully we can end it on a positive note.

My colleague, Senator Kieran O'Donnell, made an interesting point about climate change and where we are going with that. I am a member of the Joint Committee on Climate Action which will publish a report on that issue by the end of January. On the publication of that report the Seanad should get involved, because there will be several recommendations. The report will be very interesting. An awful lot of work has been done on the report, but much more has to be done in the next four weeks. We are at a crossroads. We have to take society and the community with us. The industrial and agricultural communities and the transport sector, as well as the general public, must buy into this. This is an interesting time in our evolution towards a decarbonised society by 2050, which will involve a lot of work and the education of people to change their habits.

Some Members of this House were quite annoyed about the length of the debate last night on the Local Government Bill 2018. For those of us who are very active in that space it was a very important debate, and I thank the House for its courtesy towards me and other Deputies from Cork who had to debate very important issues involving the largest boundary change seen in the history of the State. The outcome is a stepping stone towards where we have to go. Some people have different views on that; indeed, I have different views from the Leader on this issue. That is the nature of politics. I acknowledge again the courtesy extended by the House. Hopefully, the Bill will ensure that Cork can drive forward and that, with this local government structure, it can deliver for the people.


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