Falklands : Falklands PUBLIC MEETING 26 SEPTEMBER 2011 (Final Part)
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 08.10.2011 (Article Archived on 22.10.2011)
After it was concluded that there was little difference between losing time at the beginning or at the end of the day by extending summertime, discussion changed to whether or not Falkland Islands TV could film Public meetings.
PUBLIC MEETING 26 SEPTEMBER 2011
By J. Brock (FINN)
After it was concluded that there was little difference between losing time at the beginning or at the end of the day by extending summertime, discussion changed to whether or not Falkland Islands TV could film Public meetings. Those present overwhelmingly approved the suggestion and the TV cameras will be allowed in public meetings in future.
Mike Forrest asked about progress in the Review of Government. Emma Edwards said that the review of the review required the presence of Keith Biles, who presently is on leave. This will be rectified in November after he returns. Mr Forrest then asked whether terms of reference would be published and if there would be input from members of the public. Jan Cheek mentioned that the terms of reference were very simple and she couldnít see any reason why they wouldnít be published. Emma Edwards said that the more public input the better the process would be.
Patrick Watts mentioned the huge amount of spoil from the lay-down area construction that had been placed adjacent to Gypsy Cove, a popular tourist area. He said that covering over sand with clay and saying it looked better was not on and Norma Edwards said it was an absolute eye-sore and was disgusting.
Emma Edwards said there were all sorts of reasons as to why it happened. She went on to say that PWD were overwhelmed with the additional work required for the laydown areas required by the oil industry. A lot more spoil in wintertime than PWD were expecting caused the problem in that dump trucks became bogged in areas where they normally dumped spoil so they had to find other areas to dump it. Everybody was taken by surprise when the spoil was dumped on the north side of the road as it wasnít included in the plans for the area to be covered in this way.
As a result there is a proposal about the way in which spoil is dumped and it includes separating blue clay from peat but this had not gone through the legal process. She went on to say there was a push to identify areas around Stanley that arenít so visible where spoil could be dumped. Unfortunately the damage already done cannot be rectified though the Environmental Planning Department will be conducting trials to see if vegetation will grow in the area but it could take three years to see any results.
Norma Edwards asked if there were plans to put top soil on top of the clay because nothing would grow on it otherwise. Emma Edwards said that at present there were no plans to put topsoil on top of the clay but she did not rule this out for the future.
Lewis Clifton said that he did not accept the argument that Government was caught by surprise in that the Government had known of the plans for the past two years and he had been making them known for quite some time and the MLAs had been aware of approaches made by oil operators and had ample time to consider the ramifications of making a lay-down area at the location and what it would mean for the future economic development of the Falklands. If there was to be a plan, Mr Clifton urges that it be all inclusive and that it deals with all of the business community and not specific businesses. He especially singled out FIG, who he accuses of being a big perpetrator in the spoil dumping.
Jan Cheek said this was raised at a planning meeting she chaired in place of Sharon Halford. There was recognition that this is the case. Lewis Clifton said that to be on the receiving end of all the criticism was not fair to economic development of the Falklands.
Emma Edwards said there needed to be a recognised plan as to where spoil should be dumped, and not to push it in one direction. There was the potential of people dumping all over the place. Gavin Short said that a plan at this stage is too early because we donít know when various construction projects will end. He has asked Manfred Keenleyside to put forward three different options for the planned dumping of spoil as he was sure where one puts spoil will have an impact on places the public like to use. Lewis Clifton said he would welcome views because what has been done already is but a fraction of what will be done in the future.
Mike Forrest had mentioned that this would be a suitable topic of discussion for a Public Works Committee. He asked if there was any progress in reinstating the Public Works Committee. Gavin Short said there wasnít much progress on this. Mike Forrest then asked what the plans were for waste management in the future. Emma Edwards said there was a paper going through EXCO this month about waste management. Norma Edwards asked if the public would be consulted on it before it becomes policy and Emma Edwards said she assumes it will be. She didnít want to discuss it further as it hasnít been debated in GPC. This was an all-encompassing plan and needed extensive debate.
(100X Transcription Service)