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13/01/2020

NI Welcomes New Minister For Infrastructure

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SDLP's Deputy Leader Nichola Mallon has been named Northern Ireland's new Minister for Infrastructure.

The announcement was made after the Northern Ireland Assembly returned following a three-year absence. Most of the region's political parties agreed on proposals put forward by the Irish and UK governments.

Minister Mallon has pledged to focus on creating sustainable infrastructure for future generations in her new position.

Speaking on her first day in the job, the North Belfast representative said: "Having a modern and sustainable water, drainage and transport infrastructure is essential if we are to grow our economy and improve the lives of everyone. While I understand there are challenges ahead, not least given underinvestment in recent years, I am looking forward to developing new proposals to address regional imbalance and support a thriving region where people want to live, work and invest.

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"I am also committed to working to deliver the infrastructure needed to improve connectivity, grow the all island economy and play our part in tackling the climate emergency.

"Over the next weeks and months I am particularly looking forward to meeting many of the 3,000 staff who work in my department on the front line, delivering services that have such a great impact on so many of us every day, whether that’s resurfacing and salting our roads, cleaning gullies or ensuring our vehicle is safe and roadworthy.

"I am also looking forward to working collaboratively with our stakeholders and partners, whose input, ideas and perspectives I will want to encourage.  I am determined that the department will adopt a collaborative approach, based on building genuine partnerships, as we work together to deliver a sustainable infrastructure that supports the region's economic wellbeing and indeed improved wellbeing for all."

(CM/JG)

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