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Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 08.06.2013 (Article Archived on 06.07.2013)

Mr Speaker, Your Excellency, Honourable members, in proposing the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the Governor for his address, I would like to start with a comment on the Referendum.


and Commentary by J. Brock (FINN)

Part 1 of the
budget session of Legislative Assembly took place in the court and assembly
chamber of the Town hall at 0900hrs on Tuesday, 04 June 2013.  Present were The Clerk of Councils, Mrs
Claudette Anderson-Prior, the Speaker, Mr Keith Biles, the Financial Secretary,
Ms Nicola Granger, the Chief Executive, Mr Keith Padgett, the Chief of Staff,
MLAs Cheek, Elsby, Edwards, Hansen, Halford, Sawle, Short and Summers.

The first order
of business was to hear a speech by H. E. the Governor Mr Nigel Haywood about
the state of the nation.  This item has
been published separately.





Mr Speaker, Your Excellency,
Honourable members, in proposing the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the
Governor for his address, I would like to start with a comment on the


Properly conducted and
independently observed, it produced a decisive result.  The UK Government supports our right to
choose our own future.  We are most
appreciative of their clear and unequivocal statements on the subject and the
practical help we have been given in getting information out around the
world.  Argentina can figuratively rant,
rave and stamp her feet but nothing changes with our resolve to exercise our
right to Self-determination.


Moving on to the various
Government activities, in the long-term, the oil industry can give us the means
to insure our security for future generations. 
We need the best advice we can get and to look for the best models on
which to base our policies.  We mustn’t
underestimate the cost of getting that right. 
The cost of getting it wrong is infinitely greater. 


We know we do not have all the
expertise we need so we must buy it in. 
We should also give our people opportunities to train in areas that will
give us home-grown expertise.  Training
policies should be flexible and responsive to changing requirements.


I agree that it has to be our hope
that as the oil industry develops some of our South American rivals should be
able to shake off the shackles of Argentine pressure and benefit from some of
the opportunities that will become available.


Moving from our newest to our
oldest industry – farming – and even before I had a foot in both camps so to
speak – I felt strongly that regardless of which constituency we were elected
to represent, once elected, we serve the whole of the Falklands.  It is good to see the industry moved on by
hard working farmers.  I remember coming
on to this assembly when people were bewailing the ageing farmers – the fact
that camp would soon be depopulated.  I
am glad to say that slowly we are seeing that turn around.  I meet a lot of young, enthusiastic
farmers.  We have seen evidence of
increasing numbers of children in camp, which is evidence that surely the
community there is beginning to thrive.


I am particularly pleased to see
FIMCO’s progress, having supported it from its inception and through more
recent improvements.


Turning briefly to my own
portfolio – Education – there has been some very pleasing progress thanks to
dedication and hard working staff. 
Recent local senior appointments will give very important
continuity.  However, to repeat an old
theme of mine – and I spoke about it last time and I am sure I will speak about
it again in the future – we must give long-term professionals opportunities to
keep their skills current.


I fear that there might be wry
laughter in some quarters regarding the limited uptake of succession planning
and career development funding individuals who have struggled to know where and
how to apply let alone how to access those funds.  Some have so little confidence that they
don’t even apply.  I recently sat on the
Stanley Services Scholarships Committee and interestingly at least three of the
people who applied there should have and could have been funded by Government
for the courses that they have been looking at, which would have been a clear


I have expressed my concern
repeatedly about this and I can’t hide my frustration but no structure exists
to allow us as MLAs to cut through bureaucracy which currently is not
working.  I know we are working to reduce
bureaucracy but this is a clear example of very slow progress.


The near completion of the work on
Minimum Wage is welcome but it is just a first step and it will require a
regular review to ensure that the least well-off are not being exploited.  As I sed elsewhere, I suspect only a few
employers will be affected by the legislation because in the market we have
virtually no unemployment.  They have to
offer competitive wages in order to retain good staff.  But it is important that even if it is a
minority of employers who are underpaying staff that we have a means of dealing
with it.


Involvement in our public diplomacy
strategy has been fascinating.  And to
see plans, many of which were initiated over 2 years ago come to fruition has
been very satisfying.  But as long as
Argentina continues peddling lies and attempts to damage our economy we can’t
afford to let up on those efforts.


We have received much welcome good
publicity and actually find that we are the envy of individuals in some of the
countries we visited.  Our funding of
education in general, especially of higher education is widely recognised as
priceless investment and one many wish they could emulate. 


It’s therefore been a particular
pleasure when putting out the Falklands’ case around the world, to see some of
those who have benefited over the years from that funding playing an active and
significant part in our campaign.


Finally, nothing in the Falklands
in terms of the economy or all the other activities could take place without
the freedom and security guaranteed by the presence of the British Forces.  And I want to express my appreciation for
that again.


I commend the Motion of Thanks to
the other Members.



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