Falkland Islands debates and prepares for the development of the oil industry
A public debate on the future of the Falkland Islands in the face of income from oil exploitation is required rapidly, according to a Member of the elected Legislative Assembly.
“We as a government and society have to start making things happen”, said MLA Gavin Short in his speech to the Motion for Adjournment at the meeting of the Legislative Assembly.
MLA Short revealed that the Falklands’ government was hiring specialists to give advice but a public debate on the new situation was needed.
“We must get the best advice on fiscal matters that we can. There must and will be a socioeconomic study done so that we can get a handle on just what the impact will mean to our community”.
In terms of infrastructure required MLA Short drew attention to funding having been allocated into the alternative water supply, but “we may have to beef up roads and areas for dumping spoil environmental protection”.
In a veiled observation of the situation and the local reaction MLA Short described the Falklands’ government and the private sector as being, “a bit tight-fisted,” the result being that local workers had moved to the oil industry.
He said, “Even if government does the correct thing and ups its wages it looks like we will need to import labour.”
MLA Dick Sawle said: “The future is a bright one for the private sector who as we have already seen are ready to invest amounts that the government simply doesn’t have, take risks that the government simply can’t take, and assume a far larger role in our society as has ever previously been the case.”
MLA Sawle added that “just like the private sector we will have to increase capacity and skills within the government to deal not only with things like legislation and regulation but also the capacity to deal promptly with policy making, ensuring that we have the right information and frameworks in place to deal with matters like immigration, on to inward investment to mention but two of many”.
MLA Jan Cheek also noted that taxation legislation had already been examined by a specialist, but cautioned that the government should not be, “railroaded,” into rushed changes to legislation. (Penguin News)