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Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 31.07.2013 (Article Archived on 28.08.2013)

Mr Speaker, Honourable members, in rising to support the Motion this will indeed be a very short speech for me. As I donít, Mr Speaker, to have to use the rather splendid new timer that I believe he may have lurking on his person somewhere.




Mr Speaker, Honourable members, in
rising to support the Motion this will indeed be a very short speech for me. As
I donít, Mr Speaker, to have to use the rather splendid new timer that I
believe he may have lurking on his person somewhere.


I am overjoyed that the Minimum
Wage has finally passed through all its stages in this House today and would just
like, once again, to offer my humble thanks to all those who were involved in
all stages and, of course, to Honourable Members for their support.  There are some in our Islands who will
benefit from this Bill now but, as I said earlier, it will be those, I think,
who come to our shores in the future who may have reason to thank us for
putting such a piece of legislation in place.


In many countries laws are named
after the victims of the event.  That a
law is written before to try and stop such an event being done to others will,
in no doubt, be worth the individual who champions it.  If we did have the same thing here in the
Falklands I would be naming the Minimum Wages Law as Valís Law as Val Bernsten
both on and off the General Employees Union and as a private citizen championed
such a law for many, many years.  I know
that there are others who shared his dream but Val was by far the most vocal
and it is my sincere hope that he will be the person who inspired me to keep
pushing for this.


I am fully aware that the rates,
as shown at the moment, may not be correct but we will get them there.  I know that data has been gathered and
examined that will help us to set what will be probably be a more realistic
rate somewhere in the future.  And I
believe there is also a trigger mechanism in this Bill which makes us review it
once yearly, I see my great friend Ronnie, the Legal Doctor, is nodding in the


As I say, what I really wanted to
concentrate on today and I am glad we did it, is getting the framework in place
through this House before we all spontaneously combust in a couple of monthsí


I firmly believe though that there
is more work to be done and the work, I believe, needs to take place on
statutory leave and sick pay as has been brought to my notice that there are
instances where people who generally ill, and I am not talking about mud
sling(ers) here I have no truck with them, and indeed there are cases where
people have had to go overseas for treatment only to find that they have no
sick pay.  In other words, if you canít
work, you donít get paid.


This, of course, has wider
implications if the person is low paid and hasnít much in the way of savings Ė
it would have to fall upon the public purse to support that person.  And I am not sure whether that is morally


To be honest, the whole Workersí
Protection Law is entirely out of whack and requires re-visiting.  But I donít suppose we will have time to do
that before our last sitting.  Likewise
the ordinance thatís covering the FIDF is out of kilter for todayís reality and
needs looking at, as does indeed, our Constitution.  All things for the future me thinks.


The inquiry into the events
leading up to polluting the Mary Hill Quarry is now well under way and I would
just like to thank Phyl Rendell for heading up that investigation along with
Adam Cockwell for taking time out to do that investigation.  I know that they will be beholding to no one
and will pull no punches and I will look forward to reading their report in due
course.  I also hope that the public will
understand why they chose to speak with people in private rather than in
public.  There are people, indeed, who
would not want to have anything to do with the inquiry were they sitting in an
open public space, who will, I am sure, speak freely to Phyl and Adam in


The report will be published and I
hope that notice will be taken whatever the recommendations might be.  Whatever those recommendations are, though, I
think it is fair to say that this incident was a catalyst Ė a tipping
point.  We can no longer go on as we
are.  We must find solutions to waste
oil, to bitumen, to the rubbish problem, to pollution in general on the land.  But we must do it in a manner that is
balanced and practical because we must remember that when we start making laws,
if indeed we do, they will probably apply island(s) wide.  And I wouldnít like to see something that we
impost thinking very much of Stanley that has horrendous side-effects on the
rural community.


I would like to take this
opportunity to thank everyone who participated in the (Small) Island Games and,
of course also those who went along with them in a supervisory role and to help
them along and indeed the supporters who went to cheer our people along.  It is great that we won medals but indeed the
real value of these events, of course, is the PR.  Wherever we go our people are welcomed and do
our Islands proud, not just by their endeavours on the field of sport but by
spreading word about the Falklands to other competitors.


As people also said our Rifle Team
are in action in the UK, they too, although few in number, do their bit both on
and off the ranges for our country.


The group that has formed to look
at how we might bring about a practical and common sense solution to the
problem of noise nuisance has its first meeting, I believe, on the 8th
of August.


And I would like to thank the two
members of the public who agreed to join the group.  I am happy to report that the age of one of
the members trumps the average age of the whole group by approaching what would
be a very decent darts score down to something more akin to what I used to
manage to get in my darting days.  I have
so far, though, been approached by barking dogs, noisy vessels, and, of course,
the real big issue Ė the early morning raves. 
And I suspect that one of the first actions of the group would be to see
just how wide or indeed narrow the initial thrust should be.  There is a possibility that if you try to do
too much all in one go.  You can get
bogged down.  It may be that we have to
break it down into bite sized chunks but we will see.


It was also a great relief to me
to see the plastic driving licences finally appear and thanks must go to all
those involved in that.  I really do
appreciate the efforts of people, some of whom probably could ill afford the
time that they had to dedicate to this. 
I mean, it is often the case that what is on the surface appears to be
the simplest part of the whole job can turn out to be the most hideously complicated
bit of it.  But we are there now and it
just remains for me to thank Celia at the Police Station for her efforts to
ensure that licence applications are dealt with as speedily as she can as well
as continuing with the normal day to day work.


On the international front, the
neighbours have been pretty quiet of late but I suspect the peace is soon to be
shattered.   I did shake my head a little
after reading in an online Argentine newspaper that once again, down south they
- the extremists who probably donít even live there Ė will be doing their best
to make trouble for cruise vessels visiting the Falklands again only to read
the very next day, of course, that the tourism folk in the South of Argentina
who do live there and probably depend more than we do on tourism are extremely
worried that the proposed actions of these extremists will probably ruin their
tourism trade.


Of course this comes at a time
when Chile is realty starting to make some big investments in their southern
ports to try and lure vessels from around the corner and over their side of the
border. Still at least I suppose it goes to show that there are still some
people in Argentina who can still think rationally.


I would like to use this
opportunity to express my support and solidarity with our friend in Gibraltar
who, on a daily basis, are having to endure incursions into their territorial
seas by both the Spanish civilian and naval vessels.  This, of course, comes on top of the normal
obstructions in cross border traffic which they have to endure on a daily
basis.  I think I am safe to say that
probably this House and the people of the Falkland Islands fully sympathise
with their plight and stand with the people of Gibraltar and firmly support
their right to freedom and self-determination. 
I would like to urge the British Government, though, to take a more
direct and robust stance protecting the territorial integrity of Gibraltar and
its inhabitants.  Mr Speaker, I would
like to support the Motion for Adjournment.


Transcription Service)


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