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The Strategic Infrastructure Bill

Thursday March 02, 2006 00:33 by Martin Dier - Tara Heritage Preservation Group taraheritage at iolfree dot ie
Implications for democracy and rights
We are running a seminar on the “Strategic Infrastructure Bill”, its effect on our democratic rights and how best to coordinate a strong response.Many feel it is a further erosion of our rights. To explore this further we cordially invite you to the seminar.
The Strategic Infrastructure Bill A citizen’s alliance to understand the Bill’s implicationsand co-ordinate a national public responseDate: Sunday March 12thTime: 2.45pm – 5.45pmVenue: Taylor’s Hall, Back Lane, Dublin 8Why we are issuing this invitation We invite you to a working meeting to explore how to respond meaningfully to the Strategic Infrastructure Bill, which proposes to radically reform the current planning system. It will be brought before the Dáil shortly, and the Minister hopes to enact it in law by the summer. The Bill is intended to fast-track decision-making on projects that are considered to be of ‘strategic’ importance and if it is passed, it will limit public participation in the planning process for the most controversial projects. We believe there is a need for real concern about its consequences. There are many groups currently challenging projects considered to be ‘strategic’. These groups are already significantly disadvantaged by the current system. If passed, the Bill will restrict public engagement even further. Format and PurposeThis meeting will go beyond information and education. If people believe this is important, it is intended to co-ordinate a move to action on this Bill. We have invited a number of experts (legal, planning, EU law, etc) to give their opinion on the Bill from their perspective, and we will share these opinions in brief. Then time will be spent by the participants discussing its implications, considering if a national citizen’s response is needed, and if so what that might be and how we might co-ordinate it.Stronger TogetherThroughout Ireland, people are discovering how difficult it is to challenge planning decisions. These decisions are often discovered relatively late in the day. And those who try to challenge or modify them often find themselves without the know-how, information, or experience that could make their efforts more fruitful. There is an important gap in citizen’s capacity that needs to be filled if we are to be more effective.A number of us, representing different groups throughout Ireland, have been engaged in an exploratory conversation, considering how we might co-ordinate a more powerful and effective citizen’s voice in relation to these matters. We intend to bring our proposals to others, when these are more fully formed. However, the timing of this Bill is an opportunity to widen the conversation to include groups from all over Ireland who recognise, as we do, the potential to become stronger together. This Bill joins us together in common cause. If passed, it will render each one of our challenges meaningless. However, if we come together to understand it, respond to it, and shape it, we have the possibility to become more strategic in our efforts to influence development in our country. Please join us on Sunday March 12th. And please pass this invitation to other groups you are aware of who will benefit from this alliance and forward their email to us so we can begin a register of groups engaged in trying to shape the decisions that affect them.Further Information Martin Dier, 086 3375837,, Tara Heritage Preservation Group THPG, Teresa Mc Donnell, 085 7225659, , Rolestown St Margaret's Action Group RSMAG, Joan Mason, 087 9597662 , , Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment , CHASE, · Contact details for the meeting: Martin Dier 086 3375837 Claire Oakes 046 9028352· Please confirm your attendance to· Please read an article dated 17/02/06 by Frank McDonald, The Irish Times For a look at the Bill click on the following Link which is in .pdf format
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Posted Date: 
3 June 2006 - 1:40pm