Waterford Chamber meets An Tanaiste

waterford chamber meets an tanaiste

Waterford Chamber welcomed the opportunity to meet with An Tanaiste, Minister Frances Fitzgerald today to lobby on behalf of members on a number of issues. Chamber President Paul Nolan, CEO Gerald Hurley and Deputy President Kathryn Kiely brought a number of matters to the table discussion, including the necessity for Government to invest in the North Quays and the urgent need for cardiac care at University Hospital Waterford.

Speaking after the meeting, Chamber President Paul Nolan said: “Waterford Chamber is all about job creation...it is one of our main focuses for the year ahead and that was very much to the fore with our meeting with An Tanaiste. We must congratulate Bausch + Lomb on their new development and job creation and now we need to see more of the same. It is tremendous that an outside organisation such as Al Hokair have the confidence to come to Waterford and that such a development will lead to 1,200 jobs in construction and at least 2,000 more once fully operational. The Government must invest to make this a reality as the obvious spin off in terms of tourism and back up services is paramount to the growth of the region. We impressed upon the Tanaiste, on her first official visit to the city as Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the need to prioritise opportunities for investment in Waterford in its position as the regional capital of the South East.”



Chamber welcomes Technological Universities Bill fast track

Waterford Chamber has welcomed Minister of Education and Skills John Bruton’s promise that the 2015 Technological Universities Bill will be fast-tracked when the Dail resumes in September. Waterford Chamber continues to be vocal on the need for University status for Waterford and responding to the latest development, Chamber President Paul Nolan said: “We welcome Minister Bruton’s acknowledgment of the urgent need for Universities to provide the necessary talent and innovation required for development within the regions. With the intended population growth and the continuous skills shortage, now is the time to act and we hope Minister Bruton and his team, including Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Minister Halligan will endeavour to get this bill passed without haste.”



Motorway of vital importance to regional growth

Chamber Chief Executives from across the South East are unified and clear in the message that available fiscal space should be focused on capital investment and addressing the urgent infrastructure needs across the region, namely the provision of a new motorway between Waterford and Limerick.

Re-iterating the importance of connectivity between the South Region region and the west, Gerald Hurley, CEO of Waterford Chamber said: “Budget 2018 is an opportunity for Government to deliver the resources necessary for infrastructure projects nationwide. It is clear to see the current planning regime is no longer fit for purpose and we welcome the ideology behind the National Planning Framework. Priority must be the development of motorway connectivity between Waterford to the M8 and onwards to Limerick. If that was completed, we would then have motorway connectivity between the cities of Waterford, Cork and Limerick and ultimately to Galway. This measure would greatly enable these four cities become real economic drivers for their respective regions and benefit close of 500,000 people in the South East. And of equal importance is the competitive value of the improved ‘just-in-time’ delivery services to Ireland’s vital export markets.”

South East Chambers are not alone in vocalising this issue, with the Small Firms Association endorsing the motorway, saying “It is vital to continue to develop road connections throughout the country, in particular to ‘join up’ regional cities, both existing and emerging. This would allow increasing volumes of passenger and freight traffic to move quickly around the country and improve access to services such as regional hospitals and educational institutions. A real motorway network could include a motorway connection between Wexford and Galway, giving easy access to Cork and Limerick.”

This comes on the back of the Chambers Ireland Executive Forum in Kildare this week, where delegates from across the country met to discuss the key issues of importance to Irish business ahead of Budget 2018. The overwhelming response from the meeting was that Chamber leaders want Government to recognise the important infrastructure challenges facing the economy.

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland said, “Through investment in vital infrastructure projects across the country, Ireland can tackle the major issues facing the economy. Serious deficits in transport and water infrastructure, housing shortages in urban areas and a digital divide in terms of broadband provision all require urgent and adequate investment. This can only be achieved through Government commitment to increase capital spending to at least 4% of GDP. Significant investment in such infrastructure will enable businesses to thrive and keep pace with the demands of our growing economy.”




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