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Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 04.06.2014 (Article Archived on 19.07.2014)

H. E the Governor Mr Colin Roberts was invited to remain in the Chamber by the Speaker, the Hon Mr Keith Biles to listen to Motion of thanks speeches.


Compiled by J. Brock (FINN)

H. E the Governor Mr Colin Roberts was invited to remain in the Chamber by the Speaker, the Hon Mr Keith Biles to listen to Motion of thanks speeches.

Motion Proposed by the Hon Mr Mike Summers MLA:

MS: Mr Speaker, Your Excellency, Honourable members, it is my pleasure and privilege to propose the Motion of Thanks for the Address of the Governor to Legislative Assembly today and to welcome you, Governor, for the first time to this House. It is a privilege that many of your predecessors enjoyed on a regular basis and you will enjoy it on only an occasional basis but welcome nevertheless.

We very much welcome the support of Her Majestyís Government in continuing to develop the Falkland Islands both economically and socially and particularly politically and in turn supporting our right to self-determination and that is crucial. It is perhaps poignant that the address of the Governor today to the Nation reviewing the last year and looking forward to the next few years of this Government comes on the day as the State Opening of Parliament. And for outside observers it is interesting perhaps to see that our own Parliament opens on a different basis and very separately from the Parliament in the United Kingdom thus enhancing, if you like, the separation between the government of the Falkland Islands and the Government of the United Kingdom, which has grown over many, many years but at a governmental level and not at a spiritual level. It might be an interesting idea for the future that we actually open our Parliament on the same day that Her Majesty opens Parliament in the United Kingdom.

I would like to also like to welcome the Acting Clerk to her first meeting in the House. I wish her good fortune in perhaps the most complicated of our meetings. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Public Servants who worked for us throughout the years - those who are Falkland Islanders and who have been in the staff for a long time Ė those who have joined more recently Ė those who come from overseas to work as contractors. The important thing is that they all work together and all work for the same purpose and they all work to the same purpose. I thank them for the work they have done and wish them good fortune going forward.

The Address to the Nation focused very much on the Island Plan and that is right. There is an ambitious capital programme, there is an ambitious legislative programme and making those who work over the next few years is going to be a key task for us.

Very briefly in the areas I have particular responsibility for, in Health and Medical Services, I would like to thank the Director, Hillary Rowlands, for the work that she has done over the past few months. I regret that she has decided at this stage to leave, having done all the hard work but thatís where we are. I think the Hospital is becoming a stronger place; I think it is becoming more robust and we still have a lot of work to do there. But the development of primary care, the development of the outpatient services remains a key commitment to us. Medical treatment overseas is a huge challenge and the management of that budget is going to be an essential part of our activities for the next several months.

And I would like to echo the thanks to the Social Services Department for the excellent work that they have done in the past several months, together with the Police and the Attorney Generalís Chambers to support those victims of crime and abuse and their part in putting the perpetrators of that abuse where they belong Ė in Geol.

Some very good work has been done on the Safeguarding of Children going forward. I think the Islands have always been very careful about looking after their children and making sure they are properly protected and giving it a different focus and thatís important work.

I mentioned already the Police. The Director of Emergency Services has had a huge role to play in getting ourselves through this difficult time and worked hard with the Attorney Generalís Chambers and the Courts to put the perpetrators away. So thanks once again to all the Police who worked in sometimes very difficult circumstances to achieve a final result.

My thanks also to the Falkland Islands Defence Force and the Fire (and Rescue) Service who continue to provide protection to our country.

Sometimes the Customs and Immigration Department gets left behind when we think about the Department of Emergency services but they are equally critical and work quietly in the background doing things that we require them to do. Immigration, of course, is a key issue for us all going forward.

And reflecting again on part of your Address, Your Excellency, there is nothing wrong with people getting old as far as I am concerned but we do have to replace them and the way we conduct our immigration going forward will be critical.

We all look forward to the Budget, which will be the issue which will underlay all of our thinking and all of our ability to carry out the various things that we have outlined and want to do. The Operating Budget remains tight but there is an ambitious Capital Programme which we look forward to discussing later in these sessions.

And finally, to close, there is always an international dimension to life in the Falklands. I am very happy to reflect that the support that we have from the United Kingdom Government for the work that we are able to do amongst ourselves gives us a strong and viable position here in the Falklands. None of our citizens need fear the fact there is an unwelcome and outstanding claim from the Government of Argentina will continue to progress. And we will continue to progress in the way that we wish to do.

I support the Motion.


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