Wednesday, 22 February 1995
Dáil Éireann Debate
41. Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Marine when the recent submissions on coastal erosion from Galway County Council will be decided upon in view of the need for coastal protection works in County Galway. [3107/95]
Minister for the Marine (Mr. Coveney): In late November 1994, the Department of the Marine wrote to all maritime local authorities inviting them to submit details of their top four priority coast protection projects. The local authorities were advised that any projects submitted must be seen to support rural development, tourism, environmental protection or other activities which will contribute to increasing the economic potential of coastal regions. In line with this a cost-benefit type appraisal of projects was also requested. No funding will be available in respect of projects whose capital and maintenance costs over the life of the project are greater than the economic value of the benefits arising.
At the start of this month Galway County Council submitted its list of priority projects to the Department. At this stage Galway County Council is one of the few local authorities to have responded to the Department's request for submissions. I appreciate that it takes time for local authorities to evaluate priority projects and carry out the necessary cost-benefit appraisal, however, I am hopeful that all maritime local authorities will have responded shortly.
When all the submissions are received they will be examined by the Department.Future projects to be undertaken or grant aided by the Department will be chosen from the submissions received. That being said, no guarantee can be given that every maritime local authority area will benefit under the programme to be drawn up by the Department.
The funding available to the Department for coast protection works over  the period to 1999 is some £5.1 million. Given this limited level of funding it is essential that a “best mix” of projects be chosen. I can assure the Deputy that every effort will be made to ensure that only the most beneficial projects are undertaken.
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