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Home | Categories | Gen - Government Please tell us what you think of this article. Tell a friend Print Friendly

Falklands : Motion of Thanks Speech by the Hon Mrs Jan Cheek, MLA:
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 04.06.2014 (Article Archived on 19.07.2014)

Mr Speaker, Your Excellency, Honourable Members, I have been struggling to catch the Speakerís eye for quite a long time. I thank His Excellency for his address and will talk about just a few of the Items that are included in it.

Motion of Thanks Speech by the Hon Mrs Jan Cheek, MLA:

Mr Speaker, Your Excellency, Honourable Members, I have been struggling to catch the Speakerís eye for quite a long time. I thank His Excellency for his address and will talk about just a few of the Items that are included in it.

While I agree that we should in the long-term seem to increase tourist numbers, I believe the more immediate need is to increase and enhance accommodation and other facilities. Bad news invariably spreads faster than good so we should try to ensure that every visitor has a good experience so that they tell others about it and inspire them to visit. I think almost all of our visits are inspired in that way rather than people simply seeing adverts or visiting a stand.

As has been remarked by many, good progress is being made on oil readiness but we must not under estimate the speed with which things could happen should Premier press the button next year. It is crucial that we have a well-founded regime of legislation, regulation and environmental protection in place when it is needed. And I can only praise the Departments work that has taken place to this end in particular the Minerals, Legal and Policy Departments. And I wholeheartedly support what Colleagues have said about the importance of the code of practice on local content. We hope that the code of practice will be strong enough. If not we will have to look at legislation.

Though I mentioned a few departments there, we need to recognise those who work long hours in departments that for various reasons have been under-staffed in recent years. And we should recognise that we, as full time members, are increasing the workload to those departments.

Itís bound to be a relatively healthy state of Government Finances. It will continue for the next couple of days to be a struggle to balance the many requirements for operating and capital expenditure. It is also worth remembering that we are in this relatively strong position in part because of a cautious approach to the treatment of oil-related revenues and in part because of our reserves which contribute both to the stability of our economy and provide part of the income.

It is very important while we are so focused on the oil industry that we donít neglect our other industries and their requirements. They are our bread and butter and their Department should be a priority. And FIDC and others have an important role to play in this.

Turning to social issues, we have been pleased to increase the availability of housing plots including a significant subsidy for first-time buyers to give them the opportunity to get a foot on the housing ladder by owning their own home.

In Medical Services standards and expectations continue rising. Managing the huge demand is not easy and I would like to join with others thanking the Director and the Chief Medical Officer for their work to this end.

It is a relief to me to see that many of the recommendations of the Lucy Faithful Foundation Report, commissioned about a year ago now during the last assembly are being put into effect. Itís just a bit unfortunate that so many months on we have still not seen the proposed information campaign to advise children and young people and their parents and how best to protect them against abuse. I can only hope that delay has not made it too late for anyone.

Moving to the international situation, Argentina expends vast resources and have whole departments dedicated to acting around the world trying to justify the unjustifiable big lie that our country is theirs. We will continue to counter that and will continue to work around the obstacles they attempt to place in the way of our trade and economic development. We remain open to working with all of our neighbours in the interests of everyone in the South Atlantic. But it is difficult to do with a neighbour who will not recognise up.

I support the Motion

 

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