Falklands : Motion for Adjournment Speech by the Hon Mr Roger Edwards MLA
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 30.08.2011 (Article Archived on 13.09.2011)
Mr Speaker, Honourable members, in rising to support the Motion for Adjournment I would like to go back a few weeks to Farmers’ Week here in Stanley.
Motion for Adjournment Speech by the Hon Mr Roger Edwards MLA:
Mr Speaker, Honourable members, in rising to support the Motion for Adjournment I would like to go back a few weeks to Farmers’ Week here in Stanley. And there was a note of optimism at that meeting, be it better wool prices, better meat prices, more co-operation with the Department of Agriculture or what it was but there was definitely a sign of optimism that week among the farmers. And something I heard which is seldom heard among farmers, certainly not in the recent years, farmers complaining about how much income tax they are paying. That optimism, I note, is now on front page of Penguin News this morning in Stanley.
And so despite all the problems and hassles thrown at us by our neighbours across the water the Islands are optimistic and I think we can be optimistic for the future; which leads me on to congratulate all those students who worked hard for their results at GCSE, “A” Level and their degrees. This is not the end for them but this is the start of the next stage in their life. I encourage them all to work hard because you are our future.
I’d like to apologise for the shortened meeting at Fox Bay. Some Members had to leave to catch Aircraft as the Ferry had been cancelled due to the inclement weather. However, I would like to thank all those Members and Officers who took their time out to go to Goose Green and to Fox Bay. I believe that it is very important that we not only hold meetings here in Stanley but out in Camp to give as many as possible the opportunity of questioning those who make the decisions.
The delay in return for some – I can’t honestly say that I organised it – but it did give them the feeling of what I get on a fairly regular basis, when I get stuck in Stanley – either FIGAS can’t fly because of fog, the ferry can’t run because it’s too rough or what have you. So they experienced some of that medicine.
I am pleased to say that funding for the Import Substitution – the paper went through Executive Council this morning and the funding was ratified this morning in the Standing Finance Committee and I look forward to seeing the details of the grant and soft loans available to people out there who wish to grow horticultural products or eggs or what have you to improve our lot with regard to Import Substitution. And hopefully also to bring down the price we have to pay for our produce here in the Falkland Islands.
We heard this morning that the livestock and meat products legislation has gone through. This was delayed because I asked the Veterinary Officer to explain to Farmers at Farmers’ Week in more detail what this meant and why it had to be imposed. But I would still urge all those who have more queries to contact the Agricultural Department, the Veterinary Officer to solve those problems.
I and my Colleague Sharon Halford are very shortly off to the Party Conferences in Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. So, no exotic places on our travels, however, as has been mentioned earlier, it is very important that we get our points of view across. There are many new politicians in the UK and we need to gain their confidence and express our wishes to them. There was a Mercopress article a couple of days ago which several people have mentioned to me and it was regarding the port and our expected imminent expenditure (£50 to 60 Million) on that port. I would like to point out that we all accept that at some time in the future a new port will be a necessity. Various areas have been identified for that port but I can assure everyone that no decisions yet have been taken as to where it will be or the cost of it will be. So that Mercopress article, for those listening, was a little early.
Finally, I welcome the Acting Financial Secretary to her first sitting in this Assembly.
Mr Speaker, I support the Motion.
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