§ Mr. Hume
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement outlining Government policy on balancing the needs of environmental protection and public safety and perceived job creation benefits indicating in which Northern Ireland Government Department the principal responsibility for assessing the balance rests.
§ Mr. Needham
Proposals for job creation must weigh and reconcile priorities in the public interest. These priorities include tile protection of the environment. Responsibility for assessing the proper balance lies jointly with the Government Departments most immediately416W involved in such proposals, having regard to their relevant statutory functions in securing environmental protection and public safety. By virtue of its wide-ranging remit, the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland has a significant role in such joint assessments.