28 Jul 2011
GOVERNMENT MUST STOP THE PRACTICE OF STERILISING VAST TRACTS OF LAND AND PREVENTING ON-FARM DEVELOPMENT – IFAEnvironment & Rural Affairs
IFA President John Bryan has called on the Government to immediately end the practice of announcing a new route for a motorway and providing no indication of the timeframe for actually building the road.
Speaking after a meeting with Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar, Mr. Bryan said, “The Department of Transport and the NRA must immediately end the practice of announcing these routes and sterilising vast tracts of land, despite the fact that no money is in place to build the roads. Farmers who are considering expanding their enterprises should not be hindered and instead must be supported by Government, because the agri-food exporting sector continues to lead the way in economic recovery. Minister Varadkar’s understanding of the issue is welcomed, however we now need decisions that will ensure farmers can farm their lands without any concerns from the NRA or Department of Transport.”
The IFA delegation, which included Roads Project Team Chairman Jer Bergin, Environment + Rural Affairs Chairman Pat Farrell, General Secretary Pat Smith and Environment Executive Thomas Ryan, outlined the Association’s response strategy to severe weather conditions, concerns regarding proposed legislation for the use of farm vehicles on public roads, concerns for farmers who have lost their entitlement to tow trailers on the licences and the need for a rural roads repair strategy.
Environment + Rural Affairs Chairman Pat Farrell said, “It is unacceptable that farmers can lose their rights to tow a trailer because of changes to the application form and the procedures. Many of these farmers are highly experienced and have being towing trailers all their lives. The Department of Transport must review this and restore farmers their entitlement to tow a trailer, where they previously had the right,”
“Many of the regional and local roads were in a deplorable state after the severe weather conditions and some still remain in a bad condition today. Each year over €1bn is collected in road tax and following a period of severe weather conditions an addition top up from this €1bn must be diverted to the Road Improvement Fund to repair the excessive damage caused.”<span> </span>