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Heritage Bill 2016: Report Stage (Continued)

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 971 No. 1

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Deputy Josepha Madigan: Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I move amendment No. 5:

In page 5, to delete lines 27 to 29 and substitute the following:
"(p) the charging and fixing of fees, tolls and charges in respect of the use by boats of the canals (including the use of locks on the canals and mooring on the canals) and the charging and fixing of fees in respect of the use by persons of the canals (including the taking of water from the canals);".

I am proposing an amendment to the text inserted by amendment on Committee Stage. I thank Deputy Ó Cuív for his amendment and his positive and constructive input to discussions and meetings. The text inserted on Committee Stage presents a number of difficulties. In the first place, "users" is very broad. The wording in brackets, which remains unaffected, clearly relates to users who are boaters and there is a disconnect between the broadness of the person who would be covered and the specificity of the matters mentioned in the brackets. This is being amended on the advice of the Office of Parliamentary Counsel. The amendment reinstates "use by boats" which fits with the wording in brackets and provides an amended wording which, I believe, reflects the intention of the Deputy's amendment on Committee Stage. Once again, I thank Deputy Ó Cuív for all his work.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív I have to say the elegance of the new wording is beyond reproach and replaces a more clumsy wording. I am pleased that the Minister accepted the spirit in which the amendment was put forward and that there was a change needed. Obviously, I would never argue with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel when it comes to good wording. I agree with this amendment.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív I move amendment No. 6:

In page 5, line 40, to delete "and" and substitute the following:
"(ii) develop a system whereby interested parties can register electronically with Waterways Ireland and be notified automatically of all bye-laws proposed to be made, and".

I put this amendment forward here so that we can have a brief debate. Good reasons were put in our discussions as to why this should not be pressed and I accept them. What was agreed, however, is that a system would be put in place that somebody could register with Waterways Ireland, although it would not be legally binding, and be notified of any by-laws. Otherwise, as I pointed out on Committee Stage, much of the time people would be looking for the one tree in the forest of paperwork. We need systems that are more user-friendly so that people can register and then be notified of any by-laws. For instance, a person could write to say he or she is only interested in by-laws pertaining to a certain area.

  I will withdraw the amendment on the basis that it is better done by management, agreement and protocols rather than primary legislation, but I ask the Minister to confirm that she would be favourable towards such an approach that would be put there de facto but not de jure.

Deputy Josepha Madigan: Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I thank Deputy Ó Cuív for withdrawing the amendment. The proposal is an operational matter for Waterways Ireland and is not appropriate for primary legislation. I accept what the Deputy says, however, and the Department will take a note of that.

  Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Amendments Nos. 7 and 9 to 11, inclusive, are related and may be discussed together.

Deputy Josepha Madigan: Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I move amendment No. 7:

In page 6, lines 22 and 23, to delete "Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs" and substitute "Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht".

This is a minor amendment to update the reference to the Minister to that of the Minister's current title.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív I move amendment No. 8:

In page 6, line 32, to delete "website." and substitute the following:
"website, and
(iii) ensure that Authorised Officers have access to a copy of the bye-laws (electronic or printed version) for presentation on request by a canal user.".

The amendment would ensure that the authorised officers would have access to the by-laws. I would like to hear the Minister's response to this one.

Deputy Josepha Madigan: Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I am not accepting this amendment. This proposal is unnecessary as the by-laws are available and accessible online. Other enforcement agencies and bodies, such as conservation rangers, gardaí and inland fisheries officers, operate in the same way. It is good practice for users of the waterways to become familiar with the legislation governing the waterways and the marine notices in place. It would confuse the role of the authorised officer. I thank the Deputy for his contribution. I understand that in the discussions and meetings with the Deputy, Waterways Ireland undertook to put a link to the legislation on its website.

In general, access to the by-laws is not an issue. They will be available on devices, such as smartphones or tablets. I cannot accept a situation, however, where temporary unavailability, such as a dropped phone or a gap in Internet signal, results in the authorised officer being unable to carry out his or her functions.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív On the basis that it is accepted that the officers in other positions whom the Minister mentioned do not have to carry the laws or by-laws that they are applying, I withdraw the amendment.

  Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Deputy Josepha Madigan: Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I move amendment No. 9:

In page 6, lines 39 and 40, to delete "Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs" and substitute "Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht".

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Josepha Madigan: Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I move amendment No. 10:

In page 7, line 1, to delete "Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs" and substitute "Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht".

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Josepha Madigan: Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I move amendment No. 11:

In page 7, line 9, to delete "subsection (4)" and substitute "subsection (6)".

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív I move amendment No. 12:

In page 9, between lines 12 and 13, to insert the following:
(iii) if the evidence requested under subparagraph (ii) is not available then an individual should be able to produce said evidence within a reasonable period of time and at a place as specified by bye-laws;".

This seeks to ensure that somebody would have an opportunity, if he or she did not have the required documentation on his or her person, to hand it in. I understand that is the practice. The Minister might reply to the amendment and I will consider it further then.

Deputy Josepha Madigan: Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I am not accepting this amendment as it is a material change to the provision. I am informed that this matter was discussed in the meetings the Deputy had with the waterway associations and my Department. I am also informed, as the Deputy mentioned, that Waterways Ireland has stated that this happens in practice. Waterways Ireland would know if a permit has been applied for and there is no need to specify this in the primary legislation.

  Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Deputy Josepha Madigan: Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I move amendment No. 13:

In page 9, line 28, to delete "persons on canal property" and substitute "owner of a boat".

I propose the deletion of this text inserted by amendment on Committee Stage and reverting to the initial wording. I appreciate Deputy Ó Cuív's input on this matter but the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel has advised that the Committee Stage amendment duplicates "persons on canal property" which is in lines 17 to 18 on page 9, and an unintended consequence of the Committee Stage amendment is that an authorised officer can no longer issue directions to the owner of a boat unless he or she is on the canal or on canal property at the time.

  I want to follow-up on a previous question raised by Deputy Ó Cuív on Committee Stage on the difference between subsection (6) and subsection (5)(iv). Subsection (6) is broader in that directions can relate to the authorised officer's functions generally and not only for the purposes of ensuring compliance and the care, management and maintenance of property. We should remember that the purpose of the legislation is to regulate the use of boats on the canals.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív I accept that there was a duplication here. A more careful reading shows what the Minister states is a fact, that the persons who are not boat owners are catered for but one might want to contact a boat owner when he or she is not on the canal. In other words, a boat owner might leave a boat on the canal. Therefore, the two subsections are slightly different. One is giving an order to somebody who is on the waterways. The other one is giving an order to somebody who might or might not be on the waterways but who has a boat that is on the property. On that basis, I agree with the amendment.

  Amendment agreed to.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Amendment No. 14 has been ruled out of order.

  Amendment No. 14 not moved.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Amendments Nos. 15 to 23, inclusive, are related. Amendments Nos. 16 to 23, inclusive, are physical alternatives to amendment No. 15. Amendment No. 17 is a physical alternative to amendment No. 16. Amendments Nos. 19 to 22, inclusive, are physical alternatives to amendment No. 18. Amendments Nos. 20 to 22, inclusive, are physical alternatives to amendment No. 19. Amendments Nos. 21 and 22 are physical alternatives to amendment No. 20. Amendments Nos. 15 to 23, inclusive, may be discussed together.

Deputy Peadar Tóibín: Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín I move amendment No. 15:

In page 12, to delete lines 1 to 22.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett Did the Ceann Comhairle state which ones were physical alternatives to amendment No. 15?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Amendments Nos. 16 to 23, inclusive, are physical alternatives to amendment No. 15.


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