Dáil Éireann - Volume 639 - 16 October, 2007

Written Answers. - Afforestation Programme.

Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will honour the commitment given by her on 4 May 2007 in Donegal that she would remove the replanting obligation on forestry owners; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23748/07]

  Deputy Mary Coughlan: My Department has completed a comprehensive review of the Forestry Act 1946 and draft Heads of a new Forestry Bill have been prepared. The proposed legislation will address many of the issues raised during the extensive consultation process undertaken by my Department. Change of land use, which includes the question of replanting, is one such issue and in drawing up the new Bill it is proposed to take a more flexible approach on this matter. The draft Scheme of the new Forestry Bill will be submitted to Government shortly for approval to send to the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel for drafting.