First Meeting Of The Ash Dieback Taskforce Held Yesterday

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The newly established Ash Dieback Taskforce held it’s first meeting yesterday. Simon White from the Limerick and Tipperary Woodland Owners Group(LTWO) attended the meeting. 

The LWTO says the Government scheme is not adequate to cover foresters’ costs and loss of income with no guarantee of payment despite asking the land owner to invest further funds. The Group will hold a protest at 11.30am today outside the Dáil.  Mr White says those involved are angry and feel let down by the Government proposal.

The Taskforce is to facilitate a coordinated response and a swift implementation of the Ash Dieback Action Plan.  The Government allocated an additional €79.5m in funding for ash plantation owners whose crop has been effectively destroyed by the disease.

Minster Pippa Hackett says the overall support for ash plantation owners amounts to potentially €237 million, including the new €79.5 million Climate Action Performance Payment, which will be paid at a rate of €5,000 per hectare. This new payment is available to all ash forest owners who,  clear their sites and carry out replanting, in accordance with Departmental Scheme regulations.

The Ash Dieback Task Force is to meet 4 times a year, for a period of up to 3 years. Meeting agenda agreed minutes and actions will be available on the department’s web site.