Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the input, if any, his Department has had into the review of Irish ports with a view to ensuring better regional balance within our €124 billion export sector.
Reply from Minister Richard Bruton: In the context of the Action Plan for Jobs 2012 I asked the Competition Authority to carry out a study of the ports sector in Ireland. As part of this study, the Competition Authority met with a number of Government Departments and agencies, industry representatives, port companies, terminal operators, shipping companies, stevedores, freight forwarders, hauliers and other port users.
The Authority also undertook a public consultation and I understand that the submissions received are currently being examined by the Authority. I am aware that the Authority met with and received a joint response from Forfás, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland. I expect the Authority’s report to be published by Q4 of this year.
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, who is responsible for policy development and implementation in relation to ports, is also engaged in a review of national ports policy. I understand that Forfás, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland also made a joint submission to a public consultation that formed part of this review. I expect that the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport will take account of the Competition Authority’s study in due course.