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31 July 2014

FAA not convinced about PL Mepa proposals

 - Thursday, 31 January 2013, 11:48

Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar (FAA), while agreeing that a review of MEPA's functioning is necessary, feels that not enough detail has been provided.

The Labour Party on Wednesday presented its proposals for what it said was a need for a complete overhaul of the way Mepa works.

In a statement that was picked up from FAA coordinator Astrid Vella’s Facebook page, FAA said has long called for separation of the environment directorate from MEPA and its integration with the Resources Authority but questions have to be asked. Is this new environment authority only going to have one vote on the MEPA planning board, which could leave it in an even weaker situation than it is presently?

Similarly, once amalgamated with the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, will the Heritage Protection Unit have a presence on the MEPA board? Will the MEPA boards and committees still be allowed to ignore the recommendations of the expert heritage and environment committees? No mention has been made of whether ethical standards will finally be enacted, and what measures will be taken when permits are issued that violate MEPA regulations. The PL proposals also fail to address the issue of the dismantled protection of scheduled trees, which exposes heritage gardens to being destroyed by development.

The FAA is still extremely concerned about the lack of importance being given to the issue of over-development which has been identified by the public as the major environmental problem facing the Maltese islands. The PL's commitment to review Local Plans is positive however it contradicts the proposal to extend permits for an extra five years. Given the fact that Local Plans may take four years to be drawn up, this could result in yet more over-development if permits issued while the Local Plans are being drawn up, are subsequently renewed, and continue to be valid in 15 years' time.

Ultimately the devil is in the detail, and the lack of specific details, especially on the issue of abusive boathouses and the greening of our towns and villages, does not allay the NGO’s concerns on the future of Malta’s heritage and environment, the FAA said.

8 comments

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Joseph Gaffarena says:
31 January 2013 15:39

Astrid Vella and her FAA,are doing their best to help Joseph. They forgot what the PN, in govt, made to protect the heritage,and all of them were silent all this time.
Wonder why Astrid is not a PL, candidate.

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James Alexander Tyrrell says:
31 January 2013 15:53

I guess we will always find the odd silly statement such as this one. Astrid Vella and FAA are not and never have been connected to any political party. The clue there is NGO!

As for FAA helping Joseph that's just about as stupid a statement as you could come up with. The FAA are doing their best to help the environment and protect the heritage of Malta. Perhaps if you joined them rather than spending your time trying to defend GonziPN the country would be in a better state.

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GL Calleja says:
31 January 2013 14:46

Astrid as long as MEPA falls under the jurisdiction of the Government you will not see any drastic changes. I thought that Air Malta CEO was free of the government and yet he allowed the ailing airline to give FREEBIE Trips to those residing abroad at the TAX PAYER's expense. I don't think Mr Davis would allow such a thing if it were left up to him. When it comes to illegal boathouses, that is a lost cause because either the politician, his family or friend own these illegal boathouses and no politician has the cahunas to bring that up in parliament. AD was brave enough to bring up this subject and they received a death threat. That is the kind of government we have and I think you are fighting an uphill battle because money rules and the government needs money. But do not ever stop fighting for the environment, don't let the greedy investors and the government ever try to stop you from protecting the environment. Remember the pen is a lot mightier than the sword.

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Giovann DeMartino says:
31 January 2013 15:43

Intom issemmu l-korruzzjoni?  Mela ma qrajtx nhar il-hadd dak li qal Wenzu Mintoff?  Meta l-banek kienu qishom saru tat-take away?

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Vincent Williams says:
31 January 2013 12:50

They say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating.....that is why the majority of the voters, according to the various opinion polls, are stating that they are going to vote Labour.  Because Labour's pudding is smelling delicious.  But the Nationalist's pudding is burnt with corruption, precarious jobs, arrogance, incompetance, high cost of living, bad roads and pavements, high debt and deficit, and a divided Government and Party. 

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George Calleja says:
31 January 2013 12:01

Astrid Vella and her FAA should understand that Joseph Muscat and his party are only trying to cut and paste certain proposals to please one and all to garnish their votes. The proof of the pudding is in the eating they say, and we will only get to know labour's true intentions after they are implimented

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James Alexander Tyrrell says:
31 January 2013 13:55

Isn't that true of both parties George? 5 years down the line the country is still waiting for certain promises made by Gonzi before the last election to be implemented. We already know that he has been shown to be a liar so the best bet for the country is to go with Joseph and see if he turns out better.

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GL Calleja says:
31 January 2013 15:49

George for a long time I have been saying believe none of what you hear and only believe half of what you see and that pertains to both parties in running. Nobody can predict the future especially in politics because all politicians are full of hot air and they promise you the moon if only you vote for them. We all know that to be a fact. Remember when Dr Gonzi promised the Air Malta employees that their job is secure? Ooooooops. George always consider the source.

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