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Order of Business (Resumed)

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Order of Business (Resumed)
Snippet Contents:

I can speak only for myself. Senator McFadden raised the Defence Forces and the Representative Association of Commissioned Officers, RACO. She is a constant voice for the Defence Forces, and outlined many issues. The Minister of State at the Department of Defence, Deputy Kehoe, should come in to discuss the issues which she and Senator Craughwell have raised on a regular basis. Senator Craughwell also raised issues with the White Paper which could be usefully discussed with the Minister of State responsible for the area.
Senator Reilly raised an issue about flooding in The Burrow, Portrane and families being discommoded. The Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Moran, who has responsibility for the Office of Public Works and flood relief is receptive and he has visited the area. It is an issue that might be served well by tabling a Commencement matter.
On the issue of Garda investigations for insurance fraud, I have dealt with much insurance litigation over the years and I found it frustrating as a lawyer to deal with cases where I know the plaintiff is clearly trying it on. For every one of those, there are plenty of genuine cases. However, that behaviour increases the overall cost. The Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Deputy D'Arcy, will have to come to the House to address that. Significant resources are needed by the Garda, as are training and innovative ways of dealing with insurance fraud. Everyone would welcome this from the point of view of bringing down the overall cost of insurance for businesses.
Senator Devine raised the issue of cervical cancer and the Scally review. She acknowledges Dr. Scally needs to be given the space and support from the HSE when it comes to the availability of documentation electronically, which was a frustration for him. I agree with her point about a clinical trial, which would make eminent sense. Such a trial would be the most cost-effective approach for women in those circumstances. It is something I would push for as well.
Senator Bacik proposed an amendment to the Order of Business and raised the GRECO report. I do not disagree with her that we should be given sight of that. She also raised the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018. I am not sure if that will be in the House before the end of term but I will inquire and revert to the Senator.
Senator Byrne also raised cervical cancer issue and backed a call for a trial drug that has been used by a county woman of hers to great effect. Any woman in a situation like that would like to have access to such a trial or the drug. I agree with her on that. She also mentioned a good news story about National Science Foundation awards. It is an initiative that is worth supporting, highlighting and building on.
Senator Gallagher also raised the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill. He then mentioned the councillors' terms and conditions, which have been raised on all sides of the House. Councillor Geoghegan from Waterford was on the radio this morning. I have come across many councillors who simply do not see the point in doing the job for the reasons the Senator outlined. We need to have a good conversation about the idea of wanting councillors to do a full-time job for a part-time wage. We should either make it a full-time job, or truly have a part-time expectation from the job. That would involve major review and change in how we approach local government. It would be worthwhile, and more meaningful than talking about terms and conditions, if debate how we should approach governance structurally.
Senator Humphreys raised the jobs initiative scheme, JI, and the services it provides in communities. It strikes me as a matter on which he might get a helpful answer through a Commencement matter. He would get a specific response from the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.