After section 19

Part of Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:45 pm on 9th November 2005.

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Photo of Mr Mark Ruskell Mr Mark Ruskell Green 3:45 pm, 9th November 2005

I thank Rob Gibson for enthusiastically resurrecting at stage 3 one of my amendments from stage 2. It is important that we get some security for the key functions of the gateway, especially in the early years after implementation of the act. If we are to ensure that our implementation of the directive is successful—if we are to show best practice across Europe—it is important that we have strong functions of co-ordination, support, advice and guidance.

As I said in the debate on the previous group of amendments, it is important that we learn the lessons of the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003 and ensure that the sort of support, advice and co-ordination that was required in that act for community planning but which did not materialise after a couple of years is secured in this case for the SEA process. We have an innovative bill, but we must ensure that those key functions are preserved to enable the bill to be a success. I support amendment 2.