Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Arlene Foster, was eager to provide the house with an update on her engagement as Minister with the Ards council regarding the existence of Exploris during Topical Questions. The Minister stated “ the solution is to look to all sources of funding, whether they are public or private. Saint Patrick’s Trail is another Tourist attraction that the Minister also plans to do more to promote as “it is a tremendous asset”, and she has encouraged the Tourist Board and Tourism Ireland to promote it.
During the scheduled oral questions the Enterprise Minister said any decision about fracking, or hydraulic fracturing for gas, should be a matter for the Stormont Executive as a whole.
The Minister regarded fracking as a novel and controversial issue and, in the light of Mr Justice Treacy's recent ruling on blood donations, it would need to be dealt with by the whole Executive.
Giro d'Italia cycle race
On the subject of the Giro d'Italia cycle race, due to start in Northern Ireland in 2014, the minister said she had travelled to Milan the previous week for the press launch and that "there is enormous prestige for Northern Ireland" in hosting the event.
Mrs Foster said the route had been decided entirely by experts and her department had no say whatsoever, "otherwise it would have been coming to County Fermanagh, let's be honest."