The Malta Independent 26 May 2019, Sunday

Parliament 'united in its will to destroy Gozo and Malta' - AD

Saturday, 20 April 2019, 13:25 Last update: about 2 months ago

Parliament's approval of the undersea tunnel project between Malta and Gozo undermines the integrity of the decision-making process of the regulatory authorities, AD Chairperson and EP candidate Carmel Cacopardo said today.

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Speaking in front of the Parliament building, Cacopardo emphasised that: "The approval by Parliament of a motion earlier this week to support the undersea tunnel between Malta and Gozo is indeed a declaration of complicity to ruin Gozo. It's declaration whereby Parliament is trying to condition the authorities and institutions which have to weigh and analyse the project when the application is submitted."

He added: "It is useless for PN and PL to shed crocodile tears about the need of public authorities to do their job with integrity and neutrality and then at a criticalmoment trying to condition the way they act.

The purpose of facilitating mobility between Malta and Gozo can be easily achieved through rapid ferry service from Mġarr in Gozo to various parts of Malta's coastline, without creating substantial environmental impacts.

The environmental impacts generated by the proposed tunnel between Malta and Gozo include not only construction waste and the scourge of sea reclamationbeing proposed by Government and powerful lobbies. The tunnel will substantially increase vehicle movement between the islands; this is  contrary to the national transport plan which requires that cars on the roads decrease, not increase. The financial success of the proposed tunnel is dependent on vehicles crossing between the islands because the income of the tunnel operators will be dependent on the payment made for each car crossing from side to side. These operators will therefore encourage more and more traffic.

We have a Parliament of hypocrites which preaches in favour of environmental protection, including in Gozo: but now when push has come to shove their masks have fallen. Shamefully the motion was approved unanimously, Cacopardo said.

We cannot but ask why the preliminary geological studies have so far been kept secret. We know that the public consultation on the environmental impact studyhave not been conducted yet and that environmental studies are still pending.

The projected expenditure is still not known since this depends on the outcomes on studies which have not been completed and published yet. Similar projectsabroad, albeit connecting vast masses of land with huge populations, show thateven the projected costs can soar given the unpredictability of this kind of work.

Contrary to PLPN, bent on the destruction of Gozo, AD believes in Gozo as an ecological island, he said. The others believe, in cahoots with business lobbies, in destroying Gozo and making it a copy of Malta.

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