The Malta Independent 18 June 2024, Tuesday
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PD slams PN’s decision to amend motion regarding Majjistral park hunting hours

Thursday, 21 December 2017, 10:35 Last update: about 7 years ago

The Partit Demokratiku has slammed the PN's decision to amend PD MP Godfrey Farrugia's bill in Parliament, which sought to restore the hunting hours of Majjistral Park back to their original timeframe, ending at 10am.

The PN's amendment resulted in a call for further public consultation while removing the part which would have called for the change in hunting hours to be reversed.

"This move has already been called out by NGOs as an attempt to escape controversy, while in reality giving in to the hunting lobby, as hunting hours have now been extended regardless. It is a shame that government breached a Public Social Partnership by unethically using its powers to issue a legal notice against the advice of its own advisory committee and the ERA."

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"Furthermore, Partit Demokratiku would like to warn the general public of the motivations behind the government's decision extending these hunting hours now, when the agreement with Majjistral Park would have been up for renewal regardless in 2018. The explanation can only be that the Labour Party is attempting to distract the general public from the countless ongoing scandals, while solidifying its support amongst the hunters, who the Nationalists are unlikely to impress with their inauthenticity."

"It must also be pointed out that the likely outcome of any round-table discussion will result in the Federation for Hunting and Conservation taking a place on the Advisory board or in the management committee of Majjistral Park itself. Hunters who go to Majjistral Park are not controlled by registration, and Environment Minister Jose Herrera has admitted in Parliament that such a control has never been implemented even though it was part of the agreement which had been reached in the Public Social Contract. It has been noted that no entity wanted to take the task to ensure health and safety standards at the park by setting up this control that limits the number of hunters and bird trappers that use this National Park."

Partit Demokratiku suggests that hunters who visit the area should be made to notify Mellieha Police Station, and accept personal responsibility for any accidents in Majjistral Park, and that hunting hours be restored to a 10am end time, "which was already a just and balanced compromise taken in 2013. It is in the interests of hunters to accept and safeguard the educational and recreational interests and hobbies of the wider general public. A failure to respect the wellbeing of citizens and residents of Malta who do enjoy nature in a different way leads to resentment and unnecessary conflict. It is in the interests of hunters to respect the rights of school children to visit Majjistral Park in the morning and to enjoy the beauty of our open country side, panoramic views and our flora and fauna as they are."

Partit Demokratiku emphasized that the proposed discussions by government are a smokescreen for any changes that government may wish to push through regarding the management of Majjistral Park, "and the Nationalist Party has directly sanctioned and contributed to any further imbalances between hunters and the wellness of the general public. Political discourse in Malta must shift towards environmental sustainability."

"Partit Demokratiku also asks how the public consultation process will be handled, and recommends that the Malta Tourism Authority, NGOs and the Education Department are heavily involved, as they are all affected parties."

"As the Third Party in Parliament, the Partit Demokratiku shall continue to act as David facing Goliath for the interests of the great many people who have been systematically ignored over the years, seeing their peace of mind and wellbeing traded selfishly away. The time has come to voice their many grievances in a Parliament which is no longer bi-partisan."

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