SDLP Minister Nichola Mallon MLA was appointed Minister for Infrastructure two years ago today on 11th January 2020.
Speaking after two of the most challenging years, following a period of political stalemate and in the face of a pandemic, the SDLP Deputy Leader has said “change is possible.”
Nichola Mallon MLA said:
“Being a Minister is a privilege, but in truth, being a Minister in a multi-party Executive in the middle of a pandemic has not been plain sailing. However, every single day over the past two years I have focused on delivering for people across Northern Ireland. In the SDLP we make political promises to the public and we work every day to keep them.
“When we agreed to enter into this Executive, after three years when the public had been denied a government, we did so on the promise that other parties would work with us to deliver the change our society deserves. Others will have to account for their own record but I am proud that we in the SDLP are not just delivering, we are leading change across society no matter how difficult and how challenging that is.
“We are building connectivity across our island. With the Narrow Water Bridge we will connect Ireland North and South, opening up economic opportunities while delivering an iconic, transformational bridge across our shared island. In the SDLP we are delivering high speed rail and the first ever, strategic rail plan for the entire island of Ireland. We are working now for today but also for the future.
“The long awaited A6 connecting Derry and Belfast will be completed this year, allowing workers, students and families to commute and travel much more quickly and safely. We are building the infrastructure that for too long people West of the Bann have waited on.
“The SDLP is investing better. In government we have spent the highest amounts yet on a specific rural roads fund, putting our towns and villages first. We are also spending millions on greenways and walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure, putting greener and cleaner active travel to the fore. And we haven’t stopped there, with investment in decarbonising public transport, e-charging infrastructure funds for councils and legalising electric bikes. In the SDLP we are putting people first and acting to protect our planet
“I’m working to improve lives for every person, for every community. That’s why I’ve been focused on pushing the boundaries of the way we do things, even when it’s tough. Change can we difficult but in this job I’ve seen that it’s possible.
“I’ve approved planning for Casement Park, making sure that the GAA can now have a state-of-the-art home in Ulster. And I want to give young people their home in government and in politics, that’s why I’ll be hosting the first ever youth assembly on infrastructure. I’ve also successfully secured support for the first ever Infrastructure Commission so we can plan with experts on how we build a better future together, growing our economy and seizing the opportunities we have on this island.
“While others may be interested in threatening or pulling power away from the people of Northern Ireland, over the past two years I’ve only been interested in using my power for people, to improve lives and to build them up. With only four months left in this mandate, I remain focused on delivery and to showing people that change can happen. With more SDLP elected representatives, the future you deserve is possible and change can happen.”