Falkland Islands voters yesterday elected a new Legislative Assembly with a clear mandate to put the environment front and center of the coming legislature.
Speaking after the results, Leona Roberts, who won the most votes in the Stanley constituency, said the new assembly would have a long list of priorities, but added that ‘this is the time to push on with the environment.’
Newly voted-in Pete Biggs mirrored the sentiment, saying, ‘the world seems to have woken up, and the Falklands seem to have woken up too [...] I would like to see a timetable and a first layer of positive actions of what we can do as our contribution to the global effort.’
Three new assembly members
In the Stanley constituency, three Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) were elected in for a second term: Leona Roberts (839 votes), Roger Spink (691 votes), and Mark Pollard (550 votes). They will be joined by Peter Biggs (570 votes) and Gavin Short (486), who won out by a mere two votes.
Meanwhile, in the Camp Constituency, Teslyn Barkman and Ian Hansen were both re-elected with 184 votes and 126 votes respectively. John Birmingham completes the constituency with 122 votes.
The election sees two previous MLAs return to the Legislative fold: John Birmingham and Gavin short, who had both served the Stanley constituency in previous assemblies
A mandate for the environment
Teslyn Barkman, who won the most votes in the Camp constituency, said the election result constitutes a mandate to make the environment a key issue for the coming assembly: ‘There are things we need to do just because they are the right things to do, such as renewable energy; but we also need to understand how and why the land is drying and how to get ahead of it.’
Ms Barkman also said that the assembly would look to build on the environmental strategy approved during the last legislature, adding ‘getting the action plan and commitments out of that [strategy] is going to be a huge piece of work and we can’t let the momentum of that drop away.’
Mark Pollard said the election result is a mandate to continue the work started by the previous assembly, adding that the environmental strategy and progression of waste management facilities would be key priorities for him, along with the new port and provision of power. Mr Pollard nonetheless pointed out that one of the things that would have to be looked at immediately is the matter of pensions: ‘I think that was a mistake we made in the last year, and we need to make right that mistake,’ he said.
John Birmingham, meanwhile, was cautious not to promise any immediate big changes during the early days of his term of office, ‘there can’t be a great deal of movement this calendar year, this assembly will be working to the budget set in June by the last assembly, so there can’t be any major changes, but the next budget, things will start to show.’