Findhorn's Ariane Burgess elected as list MSP for Moray at Holyrood Election
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FINDHORN'S Ariane Burgess has said it is an "enormous privilege" to be elected to represent the Highlands and Islands as an MSP.
The Scottish Greens received 17,729 votes across the Highlands and Islands, including 2531 in Moray, which saw Ms Burgess elected from the top of the party’s regional list.
She said: “As a local resident, it's an enormous privilege to be elected to represent the Highland and Islands in the Scottish Parliament.
“I’m incredibly grateful to the almost 18,000 voters who have put their faith in me, and to the volunteers and activists who worked tirelessly in very odd conditions to get our vote out.
"We have strong support for the Scottish Greens in Forres because there is a strong community spirit here, and I'm determined to get more power and resources so communities across the region can flourish and thrive.
The newly-elected Green MSP has said she has admitted she has a lot to live up to as she replaces the vastly experienced John Finnie as the area's Green MSP.
She said: “I have big shoes to fill. John Finnie left a lasting legacy on parliament and Scotland.
“He worked hard to ban the mechanical harvesting of kelp by dredging, stop ship-to-ship transfers in the Moray Firth and of course won equal protection from assault for Scotland’s children.
“I have no doubt that John’s hard work played a huge part in the Scottish Greens growing our vote in the region.”
While the environment is a priority, Ms Burgess hopes to show the Greens are not one trick ponies.
She added: “I’m determined that the Scottish Greens shake off the unfair label that we are focused on urban affairs.
“We desperately need better transport links to communities in Moray – and a major issue that needs addressed is land ownership.
“So much of the Highlands and Islands is in the hands of precious few people, and it is clear this leaves communities disempowered.”