Huge public benefits if ‘natural environment’ is included in the National Lotteries BillPress Release from the Irish Environmental Network, 16 April 2013:
The Irish Environmental Network, a network of 32 national environmental groups in Ireland, is calling for the ‘natural environment’ to be included in the list of causes to benefit from lottery funding.
The call comes as the Dáil prepares to debate the National Lotteries Bill 2012 tomorrow (Wednesday 17 April).
‘If the words “natural environment” were added to the list of causes to benefit from lottery funding, this would make a huge difference to the ability of environment and community groups to protect and improve our environment,’ said Michael Ewing, Coordinator of the Irish Environmental Network.
Deputies Mary Lou McDonald and Maureen O’Sullivan will both put forward amendments to include ‘natural environment’ in section 41(1) of the Bill. Members of the Irish Environmental Network have contacted every TD and Senator to urge them to support the amendments.
‘Lottery money is public money to be spent on public goods,’ said Mr Ewing.
‘Ireland’s economy is entirely dependent on healthy soils, clean air and water, and a stable climate. All of these in turn rely on protecting a healthy diversity of plants and animals, which are public goods,’ he continued. ‘Groups that work to protect these essential, life-giving public goods should be able to apply for lottery funding.’
Members of the Irish Environment Network are asking for the insertion of two words (highlighted in bold below) into section 41(1) of the National Lottery Bill 2012, viz
41. (1) Moneys paid into the Central Fund pursuant to section 44 shall be applied for the purposes of such one or more of the following, and in such amounts, as the Government may determine from time to time:
(a) sport and recreation;
(b) national culture and heritage (including the Irish language);
(c) the arts (within the meaning of the Arts Act 2003);
(d) health of the community;
(e) youth, welfare and amenities;
(f) natural environment
(g) such other objectives……
This submission outlines the Irish Environmental Network’s request to amend the National Lotteries Bill 2012, and also describes the value given to society by the enormous good work that members of the Irish Environmental Network carry out with very limited resources.