In a wide-ranging document listing dozens of key priorities which have not been delivered, Cork Chamber slated the Government’s commitment to Cork.
The controversial airport debt issue, delays in fast-tracking the city’s multi-billion euro docklands regeneration, and stalled funding on crucial roads projects were among key issues that need to be addressed, the chamber said.
It threw down the gauntlet to elected politicians and demanded they deliver.
It also called on those hoping to be elected for the first time to make clear their positions on regional development, infrastructure, competitiveness and transport in the Cork region.
“It is time for the elected representatives of Cork to deliver for their region,” said Roger Flack, president of Cork Chamber.
“The region has a population close to 500,000 people with a growth rate ahead of the national average and its future growth is being hindered by a lack of Government commitment which now sees key transport and infrastructure projects on the back burner,” he said.
“Infrastructure development, particularly those facilitating improved access, is one of the key drivers of economic success and we currently have a situation whereby there is no National Roads Authority (NRA) road construction project under way in the entire county.
“And we have a situation at Cork airport which limits expansion potential at a time when significant opportunity exists post the EU-US Open Skies Agreement.
“The chamber is now calling on the leading political parties and election candidates to declare their position on key issues affecting the economic development of the region.”
Mr Flack said it was crucial to invest in the region to provide a counter-balance to development on the east coast. “What is needed now is a sustained and targeted development of the Cork region as the ‘key regional gateway’ based on its natural advantages in terms of scale and critical mass,” he said.
“The Cork region and the regional economy generally has suffered in recent years as a result of Government attempting to spread resources too thinly around the country rather than accepting the economic reality that significant resources need to be focused on a specific region.”
The manifesto details the core requirements of Cork Chamber, which represents up to 900 businesses in the greater Cork area.