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Passage of reservoir legislation matter of life and death, says Muir

The passage of legislation allowing the Infrastructure Minister to deal with a number of reservoirs where urgent interventions are required is a matter of life and death, Alliance MLA Andrew Muir has said.

The party’s Infrastructure spokesperson was speaking after the Transfers of Functions Bill was approved by MLAs in the Assembly today. It is designed to implement a safety regime for reservoirs across Northern Ireland. Members of the Infrastructure Committee have previously been told a delay in transferring the powers to the Minister meant urgent repairs required at nine reservoirs in unspecified locations here could not be implemented.

“I am pleased the Executive Office have finally passed this crucially important piece of legislation after years of needless delays,” said Mr Muir.

“This genuinely is a matter of life and death, and the Executive Office has failed in its duty to people by not bringing it forward earlier. In addition, the inaction has needlessly delayed planning applications across Northern Ireland, at a time where we should be doing everything we can to facilitate new homes and economic growth.

“This is only the first step in ensuring the urgent repairs at the nine reservoirs are implemented. The Infrastructure Minister now has to commence the Reservoirs Act and go through the correct legal procedures before the necessary remedial actions are taken. I urge her to move with the greatest possible speed.”