Northern Ireland Assembly Flax Flower Logo

Northern Ireland Assembly

Monday 5 February 2001 (continued)

Traffic Congestion (Lindsay's Corner)


Mr J Wilson

asked the Minister for Regional Development to outline his plans to address traffic congestion during peak periods at the junction of the A57 Ballyclare-to-Templepatrick road and the B59 Ballyrobert-to-Doagh Road, known locally as Lindsay's Corner.

(AQO 677/00)

Mr Campbell:

The Roads Service plans to carry out a minor works scheme to improve the sight lines for motorists emerging onto the main A57 from the direction of Doagh village. Acquisition of the necessary land is being finalised and, subject to these legal formalities being completed, the Roads Service hopes to start work on the site during April 2001.

Mr J Wilson:

Can the Minister assure me that he will take immediate steps to bring this project forward, given that some potentially suicidal traffic manoeuvres are being made at this junction? As the Minister admitted in his answer, this junction has a high density of traffic and very heavy vehicles going to and from the Larne ferries. Drivers who want to get onto the main thoroughfare are stopping in the middle of the road on the white lines. I need the Minister's assurance that he will do everything possible to bring this scheme forward.

Mr Campbell:

I suppose the short answer is yes. The scheme that I mentioned was presented to Newtownabbey Borough Council in May 2000, following consultation in autumn 1999. The acquisition of the land necessary for the scheme took longer than was originally expected, but I hope that the scheme will be in place very shortly.

Mr Deputy Speaker:

The time is up. We will move on to questions to the Minister of the Environment.

Mr Kennedy:

On a point of order, in relation to your ruling against Mr McCarthy, Mr Deputy Speaker. Outside Question Time, how can Back-Bench Members ask important questions about issues affecting their constituencies?

Mr Deputy Speaker:

There is ample opportunity to put that question in writing to the Minister.

My point was that if a question is put with regard to a specific area, we could go round the Assembly, with each person asking about his constituency, and we would be unable to move down the list of questions.

Mr R Hutchinson:

There were 30 seconds left on the clock during which I could have asked my question. On several occasions the time has run out after a Minister has started to give an answer. Why was I not allowed to ask my question?

Mr Deputy Speaker:

Time will be lost for the next set of questions if we continue to run late, and that is unfair.

Rev Dr Ian Paisley:

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I do not understand why you are taking these points of order now. I was ruled out of order and was told that I had to wait until the end of Question Time. Can you bear with me for a minute or two - [Interruption]

Mr Deputy Speaker:

I cannot hear Dr Paisley because of the background noise.

Rev Dr Ian Paisley:

The boss told me when he was in the Chair that I would not be permitted to make my point of order until the end of Question Time. To my surprise he broke his ruling and allowed the Deputy First Minister to make a point of order which was completely out of order according to our rules - it should have been a ministerial statement. Having done that, he then would not let me speak. He said "No, you will have to wait until the end." Then suddenly you, Sir, more gracious, more compassionate, more full of mercy - because you are a Back Bencher and know that you need that facility - took Mr Kennedy's point and opened it up.

I have no objection; I think that points of order should be taken after questions. However, why should I, having put a question at the beginning, have to wait until the end? Mr Mallon wanted to run away and do other things. That is why he made his point of order and got away with it. I do not want to sit here listening to questions from Mr Maskey, for I am not a bit interested in them. I want to get my question answered.

Mr Deputy Speaker:

I must first thank the Member for his kind and gracious words. I understand, Dr Paisley, that you are quite right. I have always understood that points of order are taken on the half-hour at the end of each set of ministerial questions. If I am wrong on that, I will, of course, notify you, but that is my understanding of the way this House has operated in the past and should operate today.

Rev Dr Ian Paisley:

Does that mean that I cannot make my point of order? I was on my feet; I was ruled out of order by the boss and told that I would have to wait until the end to put it.

Mr Deputy Speaker:

I can only repeat what I have said already. You can put your point of order on the half-hour or at the end of Question Time.

Mr McCarthy:

I have a point of order. I feel mistreated. My question was not about specifics; it was a general question. Had it been about a specific area, I would have been out of order.

Mr Deputy Speaker:

Mr McCarthy, your points have been noted.

Mr Maskey:

I do not want to be taking up too much of Dr Paisley's time here. Will you explain something for me, Mr Deputy Speaker? You denied Ms Gildernew's request for a supplementary question because you said you were not taking supplementary questions from the same party. However, Mr Billy Armstrong had a question and was able to ask two supplementary questions.

Mr Deputy Speaker:

It is not normal for supplementary questions to be taken from the party that posed the original question. If that has happened, I will look at it and respond to you. [Interruption]

Mr Hutchinson, please sit down. I am taking no further points of order.

The Environment

Planning Applications


Mr Close

asked the Minister of the Environment to detail the progress he is making in clearing the backlog of planning applications.

(AQO 704/00)

The Minister of the Environment (Mr Foster):

The Department of the Environment has made good progress in reducing the backlog of planning applications. The latest complete set of statistics is for the end of December 2000, and it indicates that the backlog has been reduced by 11%. This represents significant progress towards the target in the draft Programme for Government to eliminate the backlog by the end of 2002 and represents good use of the additional funding I have been able to allocate to this work. The reduction has been achieved despite a further 4% increase in 1999 in the number of planning applications compared with the previous year.

Mr Close:

I welcome the progress that has been made to date. Can the Minister tell the House what progress has been made with the backlog of area plans, particularly the Lisburn area plan? Does he not agree that by the time this area plan is published, it may well be redundant, overtaken by the Belfast metropolitan area plan?

Mr Foster:

I do not want to make excuses, but although the Planning Service actively recruited during 2000, as we enter 2001 it still falls short of its full complement by 54 professional staff. In relation to area plans, the programme set out in the Planning Service's corporate and business plan provided for full coverage for all of Northern Ireland by 2005. We are on schedule to achieve this target, and I recently launched the Belfast metropolitan area programme, which will cover the Belfast, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Lisburn, Newtownabbey and North Down Council areas.

Mrs Courtney:

I have listened carefully to the Minister's response. Does he not agree that in the past developers have used, or have been forced to use, the Planning Appeals Commission as a means of accelerating their developments and that this has worked against the interests of third-party objectors, namely residents, and has often resulted in unnecessary friction between planners, developers and the local community? Can the Minister give an assurance that his Department will encourage local planners to make area decisions, thus avoiding lengthy planning appeals and ensuring that local economic development schemes are not held up unnecessarily?

Mr Foster:

Hold-ups are annoying, and we would like a fluid planning programme. It should be borne in mind that the determination of planning applications by the Planning Service also requires timely advice from key consultees such as the Roads Service, the Water Service and the Environment and Heritage Service. The Planning Service is actively working with its consultees to see how the consultation processes can be improved, especially by the use of new technology and by sharing information across Departments. We want to expedite all planning applications.

Mr B Bell:

In the Minister's response to Mr Close, I was pleased to hear him state that the backlog had been reduced by 11%. The Programme for Government commits the Executive to clearing the backlog by December 2002, which is less than 24 months away. Will the Minister give an assurance that this target will be met?

Mr Foster:

There are no absolutes in this world. The target in the draft Programme for Government is the end of 2002. I expect that this target will be met. However, it will depend on some stability in the number of applications received over the next two years and on the ability of the Planning Service to recruit planners.

Curran Bog


Rev Dr William McCrea

asked the Minister of the Environment if he will undertake to designate Curran Bog a special area of conservation (SAC) as it is one of the best bogs remaining outside the current SAC network and larger than any other bog.

(AQO 683/00)

4.00 pm

Mr Foster:

I have no plans at present to add Curran Bog to the UK's list of special areas of conservation. Those are selected on the basis that they represent sites of international importance for nature conservation. The UK Government propose to submit a total of 43 sites that include active raised bog habitat to the European Commission as candidates for areas of special conservation. Nine of those sites are in Northern Ireland.

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), which advises the UK Government on conservation matters, considers that this number of raised bog sites represents a sufficient proportion of the total resource, includes the most important sites and provides sufficient geographical coverage across the UK. Curran Bog has been designated as an area of special scientific interest (ASSI) and will continue to enjoy the protection that that brings.

As the Member knows, in the next few weeks I expect to publish a consultation paper on measures to strengthen the management and protection of ASSIs.

Rev Dr William McCrea:

Some time ago a private firm was given planning permission to excavate at the adjoining Ballynahone Bog. After representations from myself and others, planning permission had to be withdrawn, for which the Department had to pay several hundred thousand pounds in compensation. In light of the Ballynahone protection and the proximity of Curran to Ballynahone, is it not important that Curran is given the special protection that such a designation would entail?

Mr Foster:

The issue to which Dr McCrea refers was before my time in the Department - it was during direct rule. Therefore I cannot give him a direct answer. All I can say is that Curran Bog has not been selected as a candidate for designation as an area for special conservation because a high proportion of the bog has been cut for peat and also because of its close proximity to Ballynahone, which has a greater proportion of intact bog.

Mr Armstrong:

Further to the Minister's comments, has any thought been given to financial recompense for landowners on an annual basis? I draw his attention to the fact that farmers already receive money for habitat improvement. Perhaps a similar payment could be paid annually to the farmers who own the bog and the surrounding areas.

Mr Foster:

Just a short answer: we have no plans afoot to do as the Member requests.

Tree Preservation Orders


Ms Lewsley

asked the Minister of the Environment to detail the number of tree preservation orders made in the Lagan Valley constituency in each of the last five years for which figures are available.

(AQO 691/00)


Mr Wells

asked the Minister of the Environment to detail the number of tree preservation orders currently in effect in Northern Ireland.

(AQO 693/00)

Mr Foster:

Mr Deputy Speaker, with your permission I will take questions 3 and 12 together.

Since 1975 my Department has made a total of 219 tree preservation orders (TPOs), all of which currently remain in effect. My Department does not keep records of tree preservation orders made on a constituency basis. However, from the information available I can say that over the last five years two tree preservation orders were made in the Lisburn area, two in the Ballynahinch area, and one in the Dunmurry area.

Ms Lewsley:

I thank the Minister very much for his answer. Does he agree that there have been times when developers have felled trees to make way for new developments without asking for any expert opinion or report? If so, has his Department imposed any penalty on such people?

Mr Foster:

I am aware of weaknesses in current tree preservation order legislation, particularly with regard to enforcement powers. I am, however, considering proposals to strengthen those powers to ensure that courts, when determining the level of fine, have regard to any financial gain that has resulted from the offence.

Mr Wells:

Does the Minister share the concern that many people in the Province have about the slash and burn activities of many developers, who move in and destroy mature trees before lodging a planning application? The Minister wrote to me this morning to say that he had plans to update the legislation on TPOs. Can he tell me when will that happen and whether it will be by way of amendments to the planning legislation or by way of free-standing legislation, which the House can debate?

Mr Foster:

Articles 64 and 65 of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 give my Department discretionary powers to make tree preservation orders for a number of purposes, including the protection of woodland areas.

A tree preservation order prohibits cutting down, topping or lopping protected trees without the Department's consent. The proposals that we are putting forward shortly may include provisions to make it easier to use injunctions to prevent tree-cutting operations from continuing, and to make it an automatic requirement to replace trees protected by a tree preservation order that have been removed or destroyed without consent. Trees in a conservation area will also be given the same protection as trees covered by a tree preservation order. These amendments are being considered along with a range of other proposals affecting planning law in Northern Ireland. This legislation will be introduced at the earliest opportunity.

Mr Shannon:

Does the Minister agree that the present legislation is not capable of responding to those individuals and companies wishing to take down or remove trees? Further to his response to Mr Wells, I want to raise the issue of people who cut down trees at the weekend or at night. Can his Department respond quickly to circumstances like that and is it possible to ensure that sufficient officers will be available to carry out the work?

Mr Foster:

We abhor any trees under a preservation order being cut down - in fact, we abhor it anywhere that it is destroying the landscape. We take action when possible, but it is not always easy to accomplish that. I can assure the Member that we look at the matter pedantically and take action where and when we can. We do not agree with such destruction at all.

Mr Davis:

In answer to Ms Lewsley, the Minister made the point that he is looking at the current legislation. In answer to Mr Wells, he talked about bringing in legislation at the earliest opportunity. He talks about the earliest opportunity to improve enforcement. Can he not give us a more specific timescale?

Mr Foster:

It is very difficult to be absolute in these instances, and it would be wrong of me to give a specific time or date. I can assure the House that we will pursue this with utmost haste.

Redevelopment (Belfast):
Planning Application 2/2000/0520/F


Mr S Wilson

asked the Minister of the Environment if he intends to hold a public inquiry into planning application 2/2000/0520/F in respect of major redevelopment between Royal Avenue and Donegall Street.

(AQO 695/00)

Mr Foster:

This application was designated as a "major" under article 31 of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 on the grounds that, if permitted, it would affect the whole of a neighbourhood. This empowers the Department to cause a public local inquiry to be held and to hear representations from all interested parties before a decision is reached. Alternatively, the Department may issue a notice of opinion on this application, in which case the applicant is notified of the decision that the Department is proposing to take and is given the opportunity of a hearing before the Planning Appeals Commission prior to a final decision being issued. This case has raised many issues which need further consideration before a decision can be made on whether a public inquiry is necessary.

Mr S Wilson:

Is the Minister aware of the growing frustration with the way that the Planning Service of the Department of the Environment is holding up major developments in Belfast city centre, which has not had any major development for 15 years? Given that some article 31 applications have been with the Department for over two years, will the Minister now give an assurance that article 31 will not be used as a delaying tactic in this case? Also, will he assure the House that this application will not be judged by its likely affect on a scheme not yet submitted, as has been suggested by the Belfast Regeneration Office?

Mr Foster:

My Department does not endeavour to hold up any applications. There is a lot to go through when such applications come forth. There are four applications which affect Belfast city centre.

This application was received on 25 February 2000 from Dunloe Ewart (Cathedral Way) Ltd. An environmental impact assessment was requested on 8 March 2000. It was advertised on 25 August 2000 and neighbours notified on 24 August 2000. Due to changes in the application description, it was re-advertised on 20 October 2000 and neighbours were re-notified. Eight letters of objection were received following this advertisement process. It was designated as a "major" under article 31 of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 on 28 November 2000.

Solicitors acting for Dunloe Ewart (Cathedral Way) informed the Department by letter dated 21 December 2000 that it was their intention to seek a judicial review of the Department's decision to apply article 31 to this application. As far as I am concerned, this is the only application we have for planning permission in the city centre.

Brownfield and Greenfield Development


Ms Hanna

asked the Minister of the Environment to detail the proportion of houses built on (a) brownfield and (b) greenfield sites in each of the last five years, and the optimum target for brownfield development over the next five years.

(AQO 726/00)

Mr Foster:

No historical information is available on the proportion of houses built on brownfield or greenfield sites. The Department for Regional Development, in its response to the recommendations of the independent panel's public examination of the regional development strategy, considered that an aspirational target of 40% should be set for accommodating new housing on brownfield sites. This target, if it remains in the final regional development strategy, will be reflected by my Department in the provision of future housing and development plans. At that time appropriate systems will have to be put in place to monitor progress against this target.

Ms Hanna:

I thank the Minister for his answer. Does he share my concern that the target set in the Belfast metropolitan plan for development of brownfield sites is 40%, whereas in Great Britain it is being increased to 60%? Does he agree that the proposed 60% greenfield development in that plan is unsustainable?

Mr Foster:

A lot depends upon the regional development strategy, which we will have to work with. The advantages of brownfield developments include encouragement to reuse buildings - which I think the Member will accept - reduction of dereliction and discouragement of crime. It brings new households to ageing communities, thus adding new children to local schools, and new members to local clubs, churches and community organisations. It reduces the number of people commuting longer distances from the edge of over-expanding towns. It reinforces public transport services in towns. It reduces the consumption of greenfield sites and natural resources. There are great advantages in brownfield sites, and this is what we will be working on. Whatever is built on brownfield sites will help reduce the pressure on greenfield demand.

Mr Savage:

Does the Minister appreciate that improved protection for areas of special scientific interest - especially around those brownfield sites - is bound up, in the public mind, with interest in the right to roam around those brownfield areas and brownfield sites? Will he comment on that?

Mr Foster:

It is a difficult question. I am not sure what exactly the Member is getting at. The Planning Service is very pedantic and very objective in dealing with applications. I assure him that nothing is done in a reckless fashion.

Mr S Wilson:

I am alarmed with the answer the Minister has given to Ms Hanna's original question. He has outlined the virtues of brownfield sites, but he is telling the House that 84,000 new homes over the next 20 years are going to be built on greenfield sites. Will he tell the House what he intends to do to get the percentage of houses built on brownfield sites up to the same level as in the rest of the United Kingdom? Will he allow higher densities? Will he permit fewer car-parking spaces for houses in the inner city? What other measures does he intend to introduce to increase the number of properties on brownfield sites, which he told this House are advantageous to inner city communities?

Mr Foster:

I assure the Member that we do not take these things lightly. I cannot give him an absolute answer at this particular stage. However, planning applications are treated objectively and in context of what is happening around them. We will not take any applications in a light manner. These are difficulties which the Department faces at this particular time. They are not easy to solve, but we take decisions in a very objective and planned fashion.



Mrs Carson

asked the Minister of the Environment to detail the resources available for policing incidents of pollution.

(AQO 719/00)

4.15 pm

Mr Foster:

My Department's Environment and Heritage Service operates a 24-hour response to inland and coastal pollution throughout Northern Ireland. A Freephone pollution hotline allows the public to report pollution incidents. Key staff are on call at all times. The emergency pollution officer heads a team of six staff in Belfast, and he also has available to him the services of 41 field staff employed by fisheries boards and district councils across Northern Ireland. These field staff spend approximately 30% of their time on pollution response work.

These resources have increased significantly over recent years. The number of field staff employed by district councils has increased from nine to 29 over the last 10 or so years. The team of staff at headquarters, who deal specifically with pollution prevention and response work, has increased over the same period from three to six. A further three staff are due to join the team over the next few years in response to new pollution prevention and control responsibilities.

Of course, prevention is better than cure, and I have been significantly increasing the resources available for work in this area and in a number of related areas of activity in the water quality unit in the Environment and Heritage Service. Over the next two financial years, through budget increases and the retention of regulatory receipts, I plan to increase the size of the water quality unit in the Environment and Heritage Service by 33, thereby raising staff levels from 44 to 77, which is a considerable increase. These staff will be involved in a range of existing and new work areas in the unit. This will include activities such as pollution prevention and control, discharge regulation and monitoring of water quality.

Mrs Carson:

I thank the Minister for his extremely good reply. I am delighted to hear that staff numbers will increase from 44 to 77. That is really going to do something. The need for effective policing on the waterways was recently highlighted in my own constituency of Fermanagh and South Tyrone, where a considerable amount of farm slurry went into a swallow-hole near the scenic Marble Arch caves at the source of the Cladagh River. This resulted in thousands of fish, and the Erne and Melvin hatchery, being destroyed. It wiped out the brown trout native breeding stock as well.

Does the Minister believe that the present fines are enough to deter potential polluters? Is he satisfied that the penalties are strong enough? Will there be any educational programmes to make farmers and country users more aware of the effect that slurry, in particular, and other substances have on our river life and fish stocks?

Mr Foster:

The maximum fine for pollution is presently £20,000. In recent years the courts have demonstrated an increasing tendency to impose fines approaching this maximum for polluters found guilty of serious pollution offences. Polluters found guilty in court of causing pollution are liable for compensation costs, including the costs of restocking where a fish kill has occurred and of any clean up. These costs can be large and frequently exceed the fines imposed by the court. At this stage I am satisfied that the penalties available to the courts through both fines and costs are sufficient to act as a deterrent if rigorously used.

With regard to the education process, there are no plans as far as the Department is concerned to educate people. We hope that people show a degree of responsibility rather than irresponsibility.

I am very aware of the pollution incident in the Marble Arch area of Fermanagh, and I deplore it. Farm slurry which was dumped into a hole in the ground contaminated local streams, including one feeding a fish farm which was used primarily to breed native stock for the Erne system. Thousands of fish were killed, and there may be longer term effects on fish fry and breeding stocks. This is a major setback to restocking plans in the Erne system. Therefore I have instructed my officials to pursue their investigation of this incident vigorously. The farmer involved has been identified, and the statutory samples have been taken with a view to prosecution.

Mr ONeill

I also welcome the increase in public resources poured into this area. Does the Minister agree that this has perhaps been the worst year on record for pollution incidents in our rivers all over Northern Ireland and that the burden falling on staff is huge? Would he consider using some of this resource to help with the training and empowerment of voluntary bailiffs, who could report pollution incidents?

The evidence indicates that given the time from when an incident is discovered until it is reported and a sample is taken the chances are that the source will not be proven. If angling associations and groups of that nature had voluntary bailiffs who had the necessary training to take samples, and who could take those samples as incidents are detected, people could be brought to book more readily.

Mr Foster:

We would like to get to grips with those people who irresponsibly pollute waterways, wherever they might be. We have no plans at present to teach people or help voluntary groups. We feel that the Department, with the increase of staff I have referred to earlier, should help to ease the situation considerably.

Last year 2,573 pollution incidents were reported to the Environment and Heritage Service. On investigation, 1,699 were confirmed. The difference between reported and confirmed pollution incidents can be accounted for largely by natural phenomena being mistakenly reported as pollution or by the fact that some minor incidents can be so short-lived that, by the time pollution response staff arrive on site, any evidence of pollution has gone.

Environmental Protection Legislation: Consultation


Mr Gibson

asked the Minister of the Environment if he will make it his policy, in liaison with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, to ensure that the farming community will be consulted in relation to new legislation to protect the environment.

(AQO 669/00)

Mr Foster:

My Department enjoys an excellent working relationship with farmers, their representatives and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. In the past, it has consulted successfully with farming bodies on a range of policy proposals. Most recently farming representatives were fully involved in the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Advisory Group, which, last autumn, submitted proposals to me for a Northern Ireland biodiversity strategy. On 23 January I announced in the Assembly my intention to consult on measures to strengthen existing legislation for the protection and management of areas of special scientific interest (ASSIs).

I will ensure that farmers' representatives, landowners and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as others interested in protecting the environment, are fully consulted. The protection of sites in the future will be best achieved through partnership with landowners and other relevant interests. I will continue to apply the principles of full and open consultation with all interested parties on any further legislative proposals relating to the protection of the environment.

Mr Gibson:

I welcome the Minister's statement that he enjoys the support and encouragement of the farming community. The difficulties with regard to tree protection orders (TPOs), special areas of conservation (SACs) and those areas that are still designated ASSIs include identification of the locality and protection by fencing and the identification of the rare trees.

Very rare trees may be identified on a map, but developers and the men with the chainsaws normally do not carry maps. Therefore there must be other ways of identifying trees that are to be preserved. This was particularly relevant in the case of Knocknamoe in Omagh, where there were some specialist trees in the estate. What efforts will the Minister make in relation to identification and proper protection?

Mr Foster:

We will do all we can to ensure that people are aware of the special areas of control, whether they relate to trees, ASSIs, or otherwise.

A consultation paper will review the protection and management of ASSIs, and it will pose questions about the nature of management agreements, the continued payment of compensation, and action to deal with third-party damage. I suggest to Mr Gibson and representatives of the farming and landowning communities, as well as other interested parties, that comments could be given through that arrangement over a three-month period.

We are seeking partnership with all concerned for the protection of any of these species. I ask Mr Gibson, through his channels, to ensure that those issues will be brought forward in the consultation document.

Areas of Special Scientific Interest


Mr Poots

asked the Minister of the Environment to outline the steps he is taking to give greater protection to areas of special scientific interest.

(AQO 675/00)

Mr Foster:

As I indicated during the debate on 23 January on the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, there is a range of actions under way to improve the protection of special sites. I am grateful for the additional resources made available in the recent Budget for work on environmental protection and nature conservation. Some of that money will be available to support payments to landowners, voluntary bodies and district councils for the management of designated sites. That funding will enhance the Department of the Environment's ability to encourage good conservation management at the designated sites.

The Department of the Environment is committed to producing a Northern Ireland biodiversity strategy following the recent receipt of the report of the Northern Ireland biodiversity group. Its recommendations include proposals for protecting special sites and priority habitats. My officials will take full account of the group's recommendations as they prepare that strategy.

The Department will continue to work closely with other Departments whose responsibilities have an important bearing on the natural environment. One important example is integrating conservation into policies for the countryside and the rural environment.

I intend to consult on proposals to strengthen the existing legislation for the protection and management of ASSIs. A consultation paper will be published in the next few weeks.


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