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SDLP annual conference: Mark H Durkan says party can deliver change that Northern Ireland needs

Published 14/11/2015

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan

Environment Minister and Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan has told the party’s annual conference in Armagh that only SDLP Ministers can deliver the creative, bold and decisive change that Northern Ireland needs.

Mr Durkan said: "As stagnation has grown within the Executive and public discontent has grown with politics, it is the SDLP that has continued to pursue and ambitious and bold programme for change.

"I am currently working to bring forward legislation on Climate Change – certainly a better way to face this global challenge than a former Environment Minister who stuck his head in the sand and denied it was happening.

"I have taken bold decisions on Fracking – that have led to legal proceedings against me - and ensured that a presumption against Fracking is embedded in Strategic Planning Policy.

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"And I have bravely opened the debate about how we can tackle the scourge of bonfires – which not only cause huge damage to the environment, health and community relations but cost huge sums to the public purse to clean up.  I will bring forward proposals on this in the very near future.

"I am also making plans for a better way to ensure good environmental governance – through the development of an independent environment agency – as a first step towards an all-island environment protection agency.

"How much better could other departments work with the SDLP at the helm? And what ways would we find to make them work better?"

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