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Falklands : MOTION OF THANKS SPEECH BY THE HON MRS SHARON HALFORD
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 08.06.2013 (Article Archived on 06.07.2013)

Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, I would like to thank His Excellency for his address. And I notice he started with oil and I would agree it is an exciting and challenging time that we face in the future. However, the expectation of oil - I think a lot of people in the community have great expectations that we instantly are wealthy.

MOTION OF THANKS SPEECH BY THE HON MRS SHARON HALFORD

 

 

Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, I would like to thank His Excellency for his address.  And I notice he started with oil and I would agree it is an exciting and challenging time that we face in the future.  However, the expectation of oil - I think a lot of people in the community have great expectations that we instantly are wealthy.  And I would add caution as the Honourable Roger Edwards did but we are not there yet. 

 

Yes.  We have had funds in but I think we have seen a lot of “Father Christmases” emerging in our society and I think we will see a lot more as we move towards production with spending all sorts of money.  Yes.  We can spend some but we have to be cautious but the more we spend the less we may have in the future, especially if it doesn’t come to fruition though we hope it does.

 

The other thing I would hope that we would not lose should oil eventually come to the surface is our work ethic.  The one thing visitors from around the world have been amazed about is how many people work in the Falklands as opposed to how many actually work in other places.  And I think it is very important, as you said, that our economy does not become reliant on this money.

 

We have had heightened international interest in the Falklands this year and fuelled, I suspect, originally by Argentina.  So I think we should thank them for that – for giving us a platform on which to speak internationally.

 

We also had the referendum and as others have said, it was very well conducted.  We had an outstanding turn-out and result.  And as a result of that we have all been around various countries around the world on the public diplomacy front.  And all the countries I have visited have been absolutely amazed at the turn-out that we had and the end result as well.  But at least they have recognised that the people have spoken.  It’s not Argentina, it is not the UK, it is the people of the Falklands and that is what is important.  And all those countries I visited were welcoming and they recognised the fact that the people have spoken. 

 

I noticed this season that farmers are still upping their game and supplying FIMCO.  And some are still trying to supply FIMCO although I would stress it is not exactly easy at this time of the year, especially with our roads.  You did mention the importance of transport and I think it is something that some of us that live outside of Stanley probably rely on more heavily than those actually living in Stanley. Though I would say that the extra funding that was put towards the road network last season has resulted, in my opinion, in noticeable improvements Island-wide although much is still needed to be done and funding will need to be continued on into the future.

 

As you said about health, we have increasing costs.  We also have increasing expectations.  I am hoping that when we get the NHS Teaching Hospital partnership sorted, it will prove very beneficial going forward. I would like to give a special note of thanks to those in the Social Services Department who have kept things running while it has been considerably under staffed for some time.

 

As the Honourable Dick Sawle mentioned bringing Falklands’ legislation up to date is a huge task.  And as you said, I have been reading a small part of it and will be continuing to do so when I am overseas shortly.

 

I support the Motion.

 

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