Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Tuesday, 06 December 2011

Venue: Assembly Chamber

The Assembly met at 10.30am, the Principal Deputy Speaker (Mr Francie Molloy) in the Chair.

1.    Personal Prayer or Meditation

Members observed two minutes’ silence.

2.    Speaker’s Business

2.1   Public Petition - Opposition to Hydraulic Fracturing in Northern Ireland

Mr Stephen Agnew was granted leave, in accordance with Standing Order 22, to present a Public Petition relating to opposition to Hydraulic Fracturing in Northern Ireland.

3.    Executive Committee Business

3.1  Statement - “Connected Health” Issues

The Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Mr Edwin Poots, made a statement regarding “Connected Health” Issues, following which he replied to questions.

3.2  Statement - Launch of Health and Wealth Memorandum of Understanding

The Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Mrs Arlene Foster, made a statement regarding the launch of the Health and Wealth Memorandum of Understanding, following which she replied to questions. 

4.    Private Members’ Business

4.1  Motion: Hydraulic Fracturing

Proposed:

That this Assembly believes that a moratorium should be placed on the onshore and offshore exploration, development and production of shale gas by withdrawing licences for hydraulic fracturing (fracking), at least until the publication of a detailed environmental impact assessment into the practice; notes that hydraulic fracturing can put local water sources at risk of contamination; further notes that, amongst a variety of adverse environmental impacts, the process of fracking can cause serious well blowouts, which put both workers and local communities at risk; considers that the production of hard-to-reach fossil fuels is not compatible with efforts to achieve carbon reduction targets; and urges the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment to give greater support to the generation of energy from renewable sources instead.

Mr S Agnew
Ms A Lo
Mr C Lyttle
Mr S Dickson

Debate ensued.

The sitting was suspended at 11.39am because of disorder in the public gallery. It resumed at 11.41am and debate continued on the motion.

The sitting was suspended at 12.28pm.

The sitting resumed at 2.00pm, with the Deputy Speaker (Mr Beggs) in the Chair.  

5.    Question Time

5.1  Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister 

Questions were put to, and answered by, the deputy First Minister, Mr Martin McGuinness. Junior Minister, Ms Martina Anderson, also answered a number of questions.  

5.2  Social Development

Questions were put to, and answered by, the Minister for Social Development, Mr Nelson McCausland.

5.3  Assembly Commission

Questions were put to, and answered by, Members of the Assembly Commission.

6.    Private Members’ Business (Cont’d)

6.1  Motion - Hydraulic Fracturing

Debate resumed on the Motion.

The Speaker took the Chair.

The Question being put, the Motion was carried (Division 1).

6.2  Motion - Impact of the Introduction of the Welfare of Laying Hens Directive

Proposed:

That this Assembly notes that the Welfare of Laying Hens Directive is to come into effect from January 2012; recognises that the introduction of a ban on the use of battery cages has led to significant modifications on many farms; notes with concern that one third of Europe's egg industries will not be compliant with the new regulations by January 2012; and calls on the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development to detail how she will ensure that Northern Ireland's egg producers will not be disadvantaged by cheaper imports which derive from non-compliant producers.

Mrs J Dobson
Mr R Swann

Debate ensued.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr Dallat) took the Chair.

 The Question being put, the Motion was carried without division.

7.    Adjournment

Miss Michelle McIlveen spoke to her topic on the Regeneration of Portavogie.

The Speaker took the Chair.

Proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

The Speaker

The Assembly adjourned at 6.30pm.

Mr William Hay
The Speaker
6 December 2011

Northern Ireland Assembly

6 December 2011
Division 1

Hydraulic Fracturing - Motion

Proposed:

That this Assembly believes that a moratorium should be placed on the onshore and offshore exploration, development and production of shale gas by withdrawing licences for hydraulic fracturing (fracking), at least until the publication of a detailed environmental impact assessment into the practice; notes that hydraulic fracturing can put local water sources at risk of contamination; further notes that, amongst a variety of adverse environmental impacts, the process of fracking can cause serious well blowouts, which put both workers and local communities at risk; considers that the production of hard-to-reach fossil fuels is not compatible with efforts to achieve carbon reduction targets; and urges the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment to give greater support to the generation of energy from renewable sources instead.

Mr S Agnew
Ms A Lo
Mr C Lyttle
Mr S Dickson

The Question was put and the Assembly divided.

Ayes: 49
Noes: 30

Ayes

Mr Agnew, Ms M Anderson, Mr Attwood, Mr Boylan, Ms Boyle, Mr D Bradley, Mr Brady,
Mr Byrne, Mr W Clarke, Mrs Cochrane, Mr Dallat, Mr Dickson, Mr Doherty, Mr Durkan,
Mr Eastwood, Dr Farry, Mr Flanagan, Mr Ford, Ms Gildernew, Mrs D Kelly, Ms Lo, Mr Lunn,
Mr Lynch, Mr Lyttle, Mr F McCann, Ms J McCann, Mr McCarthy, Mr McCartney, Mr McClarty,
Mr McDevitt, Dr McDonnell, Mr McElduff, Mr McGlone, Mr M McGuinness, Mr McKay,
Mrs McKevitt, Mr McLaughlin, Mr McMullan, Mr A Maginness, Mr A Maskey, Mr P Maskey,
Mr Murphy, Ms Ní Chuilín, Mr Ó hOisín, Mr O’Dowd, Mrs O’Neill, Mr P Ramsey, Ms S Ramsey,
Mr Sheehan.

Tellers for the Ayes: Mr Agnew and Ms Lo.

Noes

Mr S Anderson, Mr Bell, Ms P Bradley, Mr Buchanan, Mr T Clarke, Mr Craig, Mr Douglas,
Mr Dunne, Mr Easton, Mrs Foster, Mr Frew, Mr Girvan, Mr Givan, Mrs Hale, Mr Hamilton,
Mr Hilditch, Mr Humphrey, Mr Irwin, Ms Lewis, Mr McCausland, Mr I McCrea, Mr D McIlveen, Miss M McIlveen, Lord Morrow, Mr Moutray, Mr Newton, Mr P Robinson, Mr Ross, Mr Spratt,
Mr Weir.

Tellers for the Noes: Mr S Anderson and Mr Dunne.

The following Members voted in both Lobbies and are therefore not counted in the result:
Mr Allister, Mr Copeland, Mr Cree, Mrs Dobson, Mr Elliott, Mr Gardiner,
Mr Kennedy, Mr Kinahan, Mr McCallister, Mr McGimpsey, Mr Nesbitt, Mrs Overend,
Mr Swann.

The Motion was carried.

Northern Ireland Assembly

Papers Presented to the Assembly on
6 December 2011

1.    Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly

2.    Bills of the Northern Ireland Assembly

3.    Orders in Council

4.    Publications Laid in the Northern Ireland Assembly

The Care and Treatment of Victims and Witnesses in the Criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland (DOJ)

5.    Assembly Reports

6.    Statutory Rules

(The department identified after each rule is for reference purposes only)

  • S.R. 2011/404 The Planning (General Development) (Amendment No.2) Order (Northern Ireland) 2011 (DOE)
  • Draft SR 2011 The Sunbeds (Fixed Penalty) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011 (DHSSPS)

7.    Written Ministerial Statements

8.    Consultation Documents

Proposal on Possible Exemption of Certain Categories of Historic Vehicles from MOT Testing (DOE)

A Consultation Document on the Department’s Proposals for Transitional Provisions (DOE)

A Consultation Document on the Department’s Proposals for Goods Vehicles Operators' Fees (DOE)

Support for Mortgage Interest - Informal Call for Evidence (DSD)

9.    Departmental Publications

10.  Agency Publications

11.  Westminster Publications

12. Miscellaneous Publications

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