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STATEMENT BY THE
PRESS RELEASE 215
28 February 2001
The Opposition understands that Gibraltar will be excluded from a meeting of the OECD's Global Forum with Co-operative Jurisdictions on Exchange of Information which takes place on 12-13 March 2001. This is because only territories that have issued letters of commitment to the OCED's initiative on what they describe as harmful tax practices will be invited to participate by the OECD. According to the OECD, the purpose of the meeting is "to discuss the design and implementation of effective exchange of information agreements."
Moreover, the Opposition note the statement issued this week by the OECD stating that the Seychelles has given a commitment to eliminate what they describe as harmful tax practices by 31 December 2005. This is in line with the Memorandum of Understanding issued by the OECD last November.
A blacklist of uncooperative tax havens will be published by the OECD at the end of July, and this is expected to include elf territories which have not issued a letter of commitment indicating that they will act in line with OECD demands. The Government of Gibraltar, while refusing to supply any details to the House of Assembly, have indicated that they intend to comply with the OECD deadline and that a consultation paper will be issued soon. That deadline is now four months away.
The OECD issued a report in 1998 which defined what they described as harmful tax practices in different countries. In June 2000, a second report was issued which listed 35 countries or territories which indulged in these practices. Gibraltar was included in the list. Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Malta, Cyprus, Mauritius and San Marino all gave commitments in advance of the publication of this report and saved themselves from inclusion in the blacklist of 35 countries. The Isle of Man and the Netherlands Antilles, which like Gibraltar were included in the 35, were removed when they announced in December 2000 that they too intended to comply. The Seychelles has now followed suit.
The Memorandum of Understanding with the OECD which the countries are expected to sign is a public document that is freely available for examination. All the letters of commitment entered into by the territories that have agreed to cooperate with the OECD to date are also public documents. The Isle of Man, for instance, while agreeing with the OECD demands, has done so on the basis that there will be a level playing field, and that all countries, including OECD Member States, will be subjected to sanctions if they do not comply by the end 2005. It has also made the proviso that everything, including the detailed implementation of specific commitments will be subject to the approval of the islands Parliament. The Memorandum of Understanding also allows territories that comply the annual option of withdrawing their compliance should they so wish.
The Opposition will continue with its policy of making public what little information it has available, given the silence on the specifics of this subject by the Government. It remains the view of the Opposition to gather as much information as possible in order to be able to take a policy decision on the way forward.
Saturday 24th February saw the start of the season of heritage outings organised by the Gibraltar Heritage Trust. This outing started with a tour of the Gibraltar Museum by kind permission of Dr Clive Finlayson. The tour was led by Mr Tito Vallejo and assisted by trustees of the Gibraltar Heritage Trust. Tito, in his own inimitable style, led us through the Museum, highlighting information and adding that personal touch which makes our local history so memorable
The tour then moved to the King's Bastion, which is now almost completely empty of activity, as the Electricity Department is about to move to its new premises at Rosia Road. The tour group was truly amazed at the contribution that the King's Bastion has made to Gibraltar's history. Unfortunately, the tour was also amazed and saddened to see the shocking state that the Bastion is in. This jewel in our heritage crown is in an appalling state, with rubbish, both domestic and industrial, strewn everywhere. The chambers which housed the RML guns are full of debris. Many of the tour party voiced their dismay and made constructive suggestions for both the cleaning up of the Bastion and its general future use.
The Gibraltar Heritage Trust is indeed very concerned about the King's Bastion and the use that will be made of it in the future. The outstanding issue still remains as to whether the 1960's Generating Station will be demolished or not. Whatever the modernist architectural value this building may have, it severely detracts from the beauty and majesty of this very special fortification.
The Heritage Trust outings will continue on a monthly basis. The next one will be on March and will be a tour of the places of worship in Gibraltar.
GOVERNMENT OF GIBRALTAR
PRESS RELEASE No. 32/2001
Date; 28 February 2001
The Department of Education and Training is pleased to announce that Trainees participating on the Vocational Training Scheme, have completed a basic Health and Safety programme which is accredited through the UK Chartered institute of Environmental Health, and delivered by the Environmental Agency. This is the first of a series of generic modules which forms part of the Government of Gibraltar's structured approach to on-the-job training.
Similar generic programmes will be provided on a rolling basis to help complement on-the-job training in the future.
The Director of Education and Training will be presenting certificates of achievement to 37 successful trainees. In addition, 8 trainees will receive certificates of attendance on Friday 2 March 2001 at 12 noon at Bleak House.
These programmes also form part of Government's policy to increase public awareness of health and safety within our community.
Members from Plater Youth Club who have recently returned from Sierra Nevada have been very busy organising a disco for under seventeen's. Young volunteers are very effective at negotiating amongst themselves deciding who will he responsible for different aspects of the running of the disco. There are now plans to organise a camp in the countryside in Spain.
A group of eleven young people and two leader from Dolphins Youth Club have spend last weekend in Sierra Nevada in Granada. After having had great fun skiing, member from dolphins are now planning how to raise funds for this summer youth exchange with Magderburg in former East Germany. The theme for this years youth exchange is the environment. Some of the issues which will be considered are pollution, animal conservation, natural caves, the importance of keeping forest and marine life.
It is important to note that prior to leaving for Germany this summer the youth workers from Dolphins Youth Club have been very clear about the importance of involving local experts in the educational aspect of the youth exchange programme As a result of this young peoples awareness of environmental issues is already of a very high standard.
The Laguna Youth Club will be holding a disco this coming Friday. The disco starts at the usual time of eight pm. There will be hot dogs and chips on sale at the door. Last years youth exchange group which went to Denmark will be holding a Bingo on Wednesday 7 March at the Youth Centre.
The Youth Centre will be holding a disco for young people on Saturday the 10 March. These discos are well organised and supervised by youth workers throughout the evening.
Next week, the Gibraltar Youth Service will start an induction-training programme for part-time youth workers who will soon be offering their services to young people in our community. The training programme will consider the statement of Purpose and Principles for Youth work.
Young people undertaking the bronze level of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award are busy carrying out various aspects of their programme As part of their service we have a number of young people helping out at Mount Alvernia. In addition to this there is a group of twenty-five young people preparing their route cords for the next and final practice expedition, which will take place in the surrounding countryside near Tarifa in Spain.
MEMORANDUM FROM THE NUCLEAR SAFETY ADVISORY PANEL
8th PROGRESS EXPORT ON THE
DEFECT REPAIRS TO HMS Tireless
Dear Chief Minister
During 113 visit to Gibraltar on 19 February 2001 the Panel met with the CNNRP Site Inspector for Gibraltar (S12), the Commander and engineering personnel of Tireless (CO and
MEO), technical support staff from Gibraltar and the Radiation Physics Agency
The Panel reviewed and discussed the following:
a) Radiological Management anti Radioactive Waste Issues
Quality Assurance (QA): The Panel expressed concern that the two QA reports that had been raised to date, relating to the management of radioactive waste, both identified inadequacies of the health physicist resource and non-compliant implementation of management routines (paperwork) prior to approval CNNRP stated that additional qualified personnel had solved
under-resourcing and that the routines had been reviewed and were now au approved.
CNNRP S12 provided the Panel with assurance that the resource and compliance problems had not resulted in any radiation release and/or exceptional (unplanned for) radiation dose exposure.
Sealed Radioactive Source Terms: The current arrangement is that the two sealed source terms (used for the NDE radiography process) will remain stored in the reactor compartment of Tireless and will not be removed whilst Tireless is at Gibraltar.
The Panel will be notified and consulted over any changes to this arrangement that would involve the source terms being transported over the public roads of Gibraltar.
Radioactive Waste Store Decommissioning: At completion of the repair and when Tireless has sailed from Gibraltar, RFA Rosalie will be moved along the South Mole to facilitate transfer of the drummed solid and liquid radioactive waste from the waste store. The complete operation of transferring the wastes and fully decommissioning (and decontamination if appropriate) will occupy about three weeks past the Tireless sailing date.
The Panel is to review these arrangements prior to any waste transfer operations commencing.
Environmental Monitoring: CNNRP tabled the environmental monitoring results for the immediate atmospheric, mole suxfaccs and marine (sediment) environments around the Tireless berth. The report, prepared by DERA Radiation Protection Services, shows that for the period May to December 2000 no radioactivity above background was detected.
b) Progress of the Repair
Torbqy continues as the lead boar with the final internal dressing operations now nearing completion. The weld on Tireless has been completed to full-fill and internal dressing has commenced. Irrespective of the outcome of the final non destructive examination
(NDE) of Torbay.
Tireless will assume the lead and progress through its final NDE to preparations for the hydro test, which is now scheduled for the 4th week of March, or thereabouts Once that the final NDE of Tireless has been completed (25/26 February) CNNRP plans to meet
with the Panel at Devonport to review the NDE data and findings of the Primary Weld Acceptance Group
(PWAG). The Panel's welding consultant, Mr Murgatroyd, will be involved in this specialist assessment.
c) Overall programme
CNNRIP'S projected programme to Tireless sail away and removal of all of its radioactive waste is as follows:
Surge Line Reinstate
Preps for Hydra Test
Primary Hydra Test
Re-Instate Primary Plant
Pre-Sailing Activities & Tow Readiness Removal
Mid Late April
Primary Plant Warm Up to non-critical State B
Primary Plant to Critical State A and Turbo Proving
RFA Rosalie departs with waste
d) Tow Readiness
The seamanship consultant to the Panel, Mr Hattersely, inspected the physical preparations made for towing, reporting that the major tow modifications were in place, although a further three to four working days would be required to fully ready Tireless for towing should the need arise.
The Panel reiterated the Government of Gibraltar's understanding that towing readiness would be maintained until there was sufficient confidence and assurance that the weld repair had been satisfactorily implemented. The Panel stated to CNNRP that it believed that the earliest date for this would be post hydro test of late March, by which date it would have expected to have reviewed the NDE data and PWAG findings, and received further information on the substantiation of the maximum credible defect size, residual stresses and implementation of the ultrasonic NDE of the swept branch connector weld (see items 2a) and 2e) of the 7th Progress report).
e) Crew Training and System Interfacing
After the long stand down period crew refresher training (by watches) is presently underway at the submarine simulator facilities at Devonport - the entire ship's complement will have received refresher training before Tireless's primary plant start up of mid to late April.
The crew will also undertake certain refresher training tasks on board Tireless and certain of these will require interfacing with ship's systems. The Panel raised its concern that interactive training could, in itself, jeopardise safety if the human response was incorrect. The CO and MEO explained tat all safety sensitive training tasks would be prior identified and the interaction would be 'touch' only (i.e. a valve would be touched to signify that the action had been undertaken but it would not be turned).
During the week before departure the crew of Tireless would be expected to undertake a Harbour Training Programme under Flag Officer Sea Training, ibis training is likely to involve a work-up
staff and/or riding crew boarding in Gibraltar. The Panel is seeking further information on the
extent of this harbour training programme from CNNRP. -
1) Other Topics Raised
The Panel raised a number of other topics mostly relating to its requirement for further information for the preparation of the Panel's substantive report, which is to consider the hydro test and primary plant commissioning and start-up before Tireless sails from Gibraltar, and the waste storage and removal,
Amongst these topics, CNNRP has undertaken to provide further information, including
Projected final radioactive waste inventories held in store on the South Mole
Final certification of radioactive waste removal and decontamination clearance to 0.4
Bq/cm2 ß-y fixed from the radioactive waste store and quayside areas or to the nine condition prior to the arrival of Tireless
Criteria and results of the gaseous and effluent monitoring and discharge levels within and from the reactor compartment during all stages of the repairs at Gibraltar
Updated SBC residual stress, crack size and ultrasound NDE criteria
WAG acceptance report for the final SBC weld and statement of PWAG's independence
Confirmation from CO Tireless that he was satisfied he had sufficient depth of experience and cohesion in the officers and crew following such a prolonged period of stand-down.
Advanced notice would be provided of the quayside movements of RFA Rosalie and her final sail away date from Gibraltar
he Panel would be provided with a copy of the text overheads of the AV presentation given by MEO Cmd P
The Panel recommends that the Government of Gibraltar notes:
i) The Panel's satisfaction that the practical measures, resources and checks now in plate at Gibraltar are compatible with the requirements of the Safety Justification (reviewed in the 7th Progress Report);
ii) that the Panel will continue to monitor and report upon the repair, testing and recommissioning activities as these relate to nuclear safety; and
iii) that the Panel will now proceed to finalise it's report which will enable the Government of Gibraltar to consider it position with regard to the repair programme proceeding through the primary hydra test scheduled for the end of March - this report will be submitted by the end of the 2nd full week of March.
P H Davidson
J H Large
C J Milloy
26 February 2001