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Adjournment Speech by the Honourable Mrs Phyl Rendell, MLA

Motion for Adjournment Speech by the Honourable Mrs Phyl Rendell, MLA

Mr Speaker, In rising to support the Motion I just want to say a few words about Standing Orders and how they relate to full time Members of this Assembly and the impact that they may have on future elections. At the first meeting of Legislative Assembly I did stand up in the Court and Council and I did comment that I hoped that there would be a lot more younger candidates standing for the Camp in future and being elected to the Assembly  certainly younger than me anyway.

And during the election a lot of people expressed concerns about full time membership and the ability of younger Camp residents with families tp stand for election because of the amount of time they have to be away from their families. We are talking about four nights a week for four years so they have to be away from their family far more than they will be with them under the current rules. And people have continued to express that concern to me. I know the next election is a long way off.

You always need to plan and ensure that you are encouraging people to consider entering politics. I am not for a minute advocating that any future MLAs representing the Camp would not carry the same burden of work as their Stanley Colleagues but I do think that Standing orders, as written currently are not really flexible enough even though my Colleagues may beg to differ.

The statement in Standing Orders is that MLAs will be able to attend Government business in Stanley from mid-day on Monday until 1630hrs on Thursday. I think the wording really does need to be addressed and as I said, its really going to impact on Family life for young people who live on West Falkland or even on the Islands.

I do think that people should be able to work in their constituencies. Stanley Members are in their constituency. I think at the moment possibly and as we get into the full time role that Camp representatives could be almost limited in the time they spend in their constituency if we stick rigidly to that Standing Order.

And I do think that we should make better use of telecommunications and I refer to My honourable (Colleague) Dr Barry Elsbys comments about the virtual classroom. In time I think we should be looking at technology and seeing how that can help and support people to be present at meetings virtually if not physically. I really think we ought to develop this. The Falklands are a large geographical area and we do represent all of it and I think only to be in Stanley much of the time is not something that is representative for everybody.

Sir I have raised this matter with my Colleagues quite recently and they felt it was too soon to be amending Standing Orders but they are willing to review the matter in two years time when the role of full time MLAs has been practiced a lot more. I accept that decision and I trust that we will be able to address it then.

Lastly I would like to associate myself with some of the comments made by the Honourable Ian Hansen. I am extremely disappointed that the Court yesterday found that they were unable to give occasional licences to the two Sports Associations on East and West Falkland for their social events next week. The Darwin Harbour Sports Association has been meeting for more than 100 years. West Falkland Sports Associations are extremely historic. This is a great time in the Camp and its the end of the season where everyone has worked hard and worked to that date and it is time for people from isolated farms to get together and celebrate and have a few good Camp activities. As I say its been going on for more than 100 years and I really do think its regrettable that the Court made that decision yesterday.

I would like to thank the Attorney General for all the work he has done for the Falkland Islands Government. I think I said some words at the last legislative Assembly meeting I didnt realise how quickly it would be your last and I wish you well in the future.

Mr Speaker, I support the Motion.

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