Raw Materials Committee is People’s Watchdog

The “Raw Materials” Dáil Committee is the People’s Watchdog for Big Energy Projects

Committee on Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture has
oversight responsibility for all of Ireland’s natural resources

Fine Gael TD for Wicklow and Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications,
Natural Resources and Agriculture, Andrew Doyle has outlined how he sees the role of the
Committee. Deputy Doyle made his comments to coincide with the release of the work programme
for the Committee for July to December of this year.

“With the new configuration of the Dáil Committees, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on
Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture, which I will chair, now has oversight for all
of Ireland’s natural resources. This includes not just oil and gas but also land use, agriculture,
forestry, wind, sea and also the crucial issue of modernising Ireland’s communications services.

“I am honoured to be elected Chairman of this new Dáil Committee which has been set up to
scrutinise government programmes and promote the sustainable development of Irish natural
resources. This committee assumes a major responsibility to oversee that the state benefits
adequately from its considerable natural resources.

“Ireland has massive potential for creating renewable energy from the wind and sea, an area which
is still relatively untapped. For example there is significant scope for foreign investment in Ireland’s
renewable energy potential which is the envy of the rest of Europe. This committee must work to
ensure that Ireland benefits adequately from any such investment and that the interests of local
communities are fully considered.

“Our agricultural sector is world class and is one of the main drivers of our thriving export
performance. We must endeavour that it becomes a driver for sustainable development and energy
production.

“I welcome the Minister’s move to streamline the five state employment rights bodies- which will
reduce the costs to the tax payer and cut bureaucratic red tape. This process is being initiated
with the appointment of Ger Deering, Director of NERA, who is responsible for coordinating the
streamlining process across the employment rights bodies; and Kieran Mulvey, Chief Executive
Officer of the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) who assumes leadership of NERA.

“I am delighted with the Minister’s recognition of how important this is. In 2009, while in opposition,
Deputy Michael Creed and myself published the ‘Consumer and Competition Bill’ which aimed to
amalgamate the National Consumer Agency and the Competition Authority. This included making
provision for a statutory code of practice for the grocery goods sector.

“I will do my best to ensure that the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Natural
Resources and Agriculture will fulfil its responsibilities. In the past the Oireachtas committee
system failed in their role of scrutiny and oversight. This was very much to the detriment of the
country. Oireachtas Committees in the 31st Dáil must be absolutely rigorous in carrying out their
role of scrutiny and oversight of legislation and the work of Government departments.”