Ramming through Forestry Bill that could have damaging implications for an already broken forestry model – totally unacceptable says Richard Boyd Barrett TD
In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, said that he would be objecting strenuously to the Forestry Bill being rammed through the Dáil without proper debate and scrutiny.
The Forestry (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, only published last week, purports to “streamline” the appeals process for forestry licences, but, according to many environmental groups, will lead to limiting democratic input in the licencing process and lead to an increase in felling.
Deputy Boyd Barrett said: “There is currently a very real danger that deforestation is actually happening, and this bill could accelerate that. Under the guise of streamlining the appeals process, it will actually make it harder to appeal and will limit democracy.
“The government claims that jobs depend on getting this bill through but if deforestation is actually happening this will undermine sustainable forest models and thus undermine jobs into the future.
“This bill is being rammed through the Dáil with the deadline for amendments being last Friday when the debate on second stage is only starting today. The government has insisted on only one round of speakers at second stage and a guillotine of 9.30 tomorrow night on committee and remaining stages, even though over 100 amendments have been submitted.
“The Fine Gael/Labour government of 2011 – 2016 rode rough shod over democracy by guillotining bills and limiting the input of the opposition. The “new politics” of the 2016-2020 Dáil meant that there was more respect and time given to the opposition, this new government is now rowing back on all of this “new politics” to ensure that the opposition is muzzled by reduced speaking times, reordering of speaking list and using the guillotine as a matter of course. We will continue to oppose this.”