The Malta Independent 20 June 2019, Thursday

NGO ‘ready for more direct actions’ if PA fails to change fuel stations policy

Monday, 25 March 2019, 10:37 Last update: about 4 months ago

Moviment Graffitti said today it is ready to carry out more direct actions against the PA’s scandalous behaviour if a revised Fuel Service Station Policy - one which prohibits ODZ fuel stations - is not published immediately.

"We have tried everything – emails, articles, protests, press conferences - to make the PA revise a policy which the authorities themselves acknowledge as harmful, to no avail. This leaves us with no other option but to resort to further direct actions," the NGO said


It is beyond ridiculous that the Planning Authority (PA) has not yet revised this extremely damaging policy. A full one year and four months following the authorities’ acknowledgement of the policy’s devastating impact on natural and agricultural land in Malta, and their promise to change it, the revised policy is nowhere in sight. The Environment and Resource Authority (ERA) published its review in April last year, stating that no new or relocated fuel stations should be allowed on ODZ sites. However, this was followed by endless months of inaction by the PA, which is the authority ultimately responsible for publishing the revised policy. Last November, the PA Executive Chairperson, Johann Buttigieg, declared that the review was ready and was to be imminently published. However, a further five months have passed from this declaration, with no action taken. 

The PA is shamelessly taking everyone for a ride by intentionally dragging its feet and leaving the current policy in place so that a few developers can continue submitting applications for ODZ fuel stations. There are 14 applications for ODZ fuel stations, with four having been accepted already and the others still being processed, covering a total area equal to five times the Floriana Granaries. Under the current policy, each petrol station on ODZ can be as huge as 3,000m².

Allowing so many massive fuel stations on natural and agricultural land in a small, over-built, country like Malta is simply insane. The PA is bulldozing over the common good and the people’s wellbeing in order to accommodate a few wealthy individuals. As this conduct is ruining our country and threatening our present and future on this island, Moviment Graffitti is committed to doing everything possible to stop this madness. Like we did in April and September last year, when we carried out direct actions at the PA calling for a revision of the Fuel Service Station Policy, we are ready to carry out bigger and more forceful actions if a policy prohibiting ODZ fuel stations is not published at once.


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