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Allister expresses concern about Rose Energy delays

16 June 2011

TUV Leader Jim Allister MLA, a long-term supporter of the Rose Energy Project, has raised concerns in the Assembly over its delay and questioned whether the new DOE Minister, Alex Atwood, might have an ideological bias against such technology.


Mr Allister raised his concerns during questions to the DOE Minister when he asked:


Mr Allister: Minister, can you assure the House that you have no fixed ideological position on the matter? In particular, will you be mindful of the very special needs of the agriculture sector and, within that, the poultry sector? Will you take care not to fall into the trap of perpetual delay in reaching essential decisions? Will you remain mindful of the severe risk of EU infraction proceedings if we do not adequately deal with the poultry litter problem? 

The Minister had just talked about needing to await further ‘expert’ opinion, something which the TUV Leader sees as a stalling tactic, giving rise to his concern about further delay in tacking the poultry litter issue in circumstances where the EU will not hold off on infraction proceedings indefinitely.

In reply the Minister conceded he does hold ‘ideological positions’ and hinted he might yet commission another study of alternative means of treating poultry waste. Commenting, Jim Allister said such would cause further interminable delay, meanwhile the poultry sector is without a solution and breaches of EU rules will not be tolerated for ever.

“This flip-flopping within departments is one of the negatives of the present system of government where one day you can have a farmer-friendly DOE minister and the next, a city ideologue. I am, therefore, becoming concerned that after all the years of hard work to get a viable solution to poultry waste we could be going backwards with anti-incineration ministers in both DOE and DARD.”

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Agriculture and Environment