Falklands : Motion for Adjournment Speech by The Hon Mrs Phyl Rendell (Dec 13)
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 22.12.2013 (Article Archived on 19.01.2014)
I would just like to say a few words particularly about my portfolios.
PR: I would just like to say a few words particularly about my portfolios. I am very pleased that a group of my colleagues are working on the way that the Legislative Assembly will operate in the coming months and we are going to discuss that as my Honourable (Colleague), Mike Summers to my right here says in the next public meeting. And I think out of that we will have opportunities to talk about that portfolios and have our Colleagues questions on those.
I would just like to touch on a few items just for public information really here today and so my portfolio being natural resources – touching on Fisheries, I am pleased to report that the Director says we have a good response in terms of Illex applications for the fishery. So the fishery appears buoyant at present. We have had several years of reasonable catches. We are hopeful that 2014will also be yield reasonable catches. That will bring a considerable sum of money to the Government if that is the case.
I note, too, that a small number of the vessels are replacements – they are new vessels. So it is encouraging that investment is being put into that particular fishery. Work needs to be done on an ITQ Policy for Illex and I believe the Director will be looking at that. And I think we always, when we talk about fisheries must not forget that it would benefit greatly the whole industry throughout the South-west Atlantic if we have more regional co-operation. And that would be of particular benefit to the Illex fishery.
The team in the Fisheries Department have been conducting several research cruises and I am advised that recently they have been trying to reduce the unwanted by-catch of Rock Cod through mesh sizes. I think a report will come together on (I believe) the culmination of four cruises – looking at that. And also there is work being undertaken by the Scientific Section of the Fisheries Department on the conservation of Skate, which I think should be welcome to the fishing industry.
Quickly looking at Agriculture – and I link it with FIMCO today because I think we are all aware that FIMCO export season starts on the 1st of January. The Agricultural Department is working with Farmers to look at particularly sheep supply characteristics for FIMCO. I am told by the General Manager that FIMCO is in good shape staffing-wise for the Export Season directly after Christmas but there has been an issue on accommodation and I sympathise with the General Manager in this case. There was a request for a number of Mobile Homes that would be needed for the staff at FIMCO. Unfortunately, through confusion with different agencies that support FIMCO, this figure was cut to nine. So there are nine cabins for FIMCO workers but that’s not adequate for the number for the people that are required for the export season. But I am pleased to say that through a number of meetings, a couple of properties have been found for accommodation in Stanley and hopefully it will not be an issue and will be resolved in the next couple of weeks. But I think at budget time we will have to look at accommodation requirements so we don’t have a repeat of this uncertainty for next season.
The Senior Veterinary Officer is working on Livestock and Fisheries Legislation as we have seen today with the Attorney General and we look forward to those coming to the House Certainly in the New Year.
On another subject, which shows the range of work the Senior Veterinary Officer is teamed up to undergo, they are about to embark on the third programme of Hydatid eradication and identification as to whether we have finally reduced the presence in our dogs and in our sheep to zero. In March there will be a collection of Dog faeces. They have done this twice. There will be a third collection of Dog faeces from every dog in the Islands. And if all dogs prove negative and throughout the export season there are no traces of early infection of Hydatid (Disease) there is a possibility that we might be starting, finally after about 40 years, looking at the Islands being Hydatid free. That would be a fantastic achievement. But I think we must keep the vigilance up and we are not there yet. We look forward for the results in the first half of next year from that work the Veterinary Department are conducting.
Whilst I am still talking about the Department, my observations are that the morale in the Department of Natural Resources is pretty good. But I don’t believe that’s the case across the Government. I do think we need to be vigilant about this and I think that we as a whole Government must urgently look at where there are areas where the staff are under-valued and where we are losing staff for one reason or another and I would urge that we look at this together.
I am No. 2 with the Public Works portfolio with the Honourable Gavin Short. And I know he has concerns and I would like to work with him particularly on these matters so I do feel it is something in the New Year that we have to look at. And I hope to talk about it with the staff and find out what it is that is needed to encourage them to stay and work with Government.
Just lastly, on the Rural Development strategy, there is a lot of work in progress that the Honourable Mike Summers commenced earlier this year and I am pleased to move that forward. One particular piece of work that I am very pleased to see the Policy Unit has produced is a report on incentives for businesses in the Camp, not only in rural economic zones that might be created but also across the camp. We have seen a first draft of that work. I hope it will come to Executive Council early in the New Year will be released for public consultation. But I am really pleased to see that this work has been done and it would impact on the whole of the Camp not just particular areas.
I beg to support the Motion.