News & Media

Hedge cutting decision common sense move

17 July 2019

Statement by Senator Kevin Humphreys
Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport

Labour Senator Kevin Humphreys has welcomed the decision by the Minister for Culture and Hertigate not to implement extended hedge cutting periods allowed for under the Heritage Act (2018) but has criticised Minster Madigan for progressing the legislation in the first place. He has described the move as being 'electorally, not environmentally motivated". 
Senator Humphreys said:
"I am glad Minister Madigan has seen the error of her ways on this legislation. When it was first introduced into the Dáil, it was met with strong opposition from within and outside the house. All of the concerns which the Minister has presented today were laid out for her when she was fast-tracking this legislation through the Dáil and Seanad. 

"It is just a pity that the Minister felt the need to waste Oireachtas time on introducing these measures which she now has no plans to implement. Perhaps she wants to keep it in the back pocket for a time when environmental concerns fall off the agenda?

"Perhaps the Minister has taken the poll performance of Green candidates in recent elections more seriously than the concerns of the environmental lobby who fought against this legislation. This is just another example that its electoral concerns, not environmental ones, which are influencing this government's recent shift in focus to environmental issues. 
"Building a greener economy, and reducing our contribution to climate change cannot be sustained if our plans change on the whim of the Minister of the day. This government should do away with the discretionary power of the Minister to extend hedge cutting season and they should stop blocking opposition bills designed to protect our environment."