Fine Gael Cork South Central Senator, Jerry Buttimer, questioned the Government’s delay in publishing the Cork Docklands Development Forum report which he says has already been leaked to opposition politicians and a national newspaper.
“The Government that has had 11 months to peruse, deliberate on and arrive at an appropriate response to the report which, I was informed last October, when I raised the issue during an Adjournment debate, was submitted in July 2008. Subsequently, I was told that an interdepartmental group would meet and publish a response to the completed report which until now been languishing in a departmental drawer.
“Cork’s future growth rests on this report. Minister Gormley must come clean about what stage proceedings are at. Has the interdepartmental group met? What was the nature of the meeting? Has the group concluded its deliberations and has it reported to the Minister?
“The development of the Cork Docklands is critical in terms of infrastructure and employment. Cork is the country’s second city and, under the National Spatial Strategy, is a gateway city. This project has the potential to create in the region of 20,000 jobs in the city at a time when unemployment in the city is staggeringly high and through the construction of the eastern gateway bridge, the docklands would provide a vital stimulus to propel Cork forward.
“This development would afford us an opportunity to regenerate Cork, the only city with a decreasing population. What is Minister Gormley shying away from? Is the Government putting investment in Cork on the long finger once again? If journalists can secure a copy of the report, why can it not be published by the Government?
“At a time of economic recession, every opportunity must be taken to allow Cork to develop. This project is of paramount importance and investment is crucial. The Minister must publish the report at once and kick start rebirth of a failing Cork city.”