The Malta Independent 17 October 2019, Thursday

Updated: Government considering dumping construction waste in sea zones

Jeremy Micallef Wednesday, 18 September 2019, 11:52 Last update: about 28 days ago

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that the government is studying the possibility of dumping construction waste in designated sea zones, used during the time of the British that have no ecological importance.

He was speaking during a meeting with the Malta Developers Association (MDA), where the MDA presented their proposals for the upcoming budget to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

Muscat said that the aforementioned consideration is not the government's favourite one as it would be throwing away a resource.

ADVERTISEMENT

Muscat said that if the private sector does not sort out something with the quarry owners, then the government itself will take the necessary steps allowed by law to regulate the situation.

The third consideration, Muscat said, is that studies are underway regarding land reclamation, and said that the government is looking at the enlargement of promenades, and not as the impression is being given, the construction of a new area on which towers will be built.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, during his speech, said that their priority for the budget is to implement those measures which were promised all along, noting that this budget is to be relatively calm because people do not have to take money out of their own pocket, making this more a matter of managing expectations.

"We will not spend more than we can afford," the Prime Minister insisted, with a focus being put on sustainability with the further aim to keep economic growth at 6% to 7%.

With regards to the rent law, Muscat said that the fact that the sector was completely unregulated made it a jungle, insisting that their proposals are sensible - including the controversial power to be given to the Housing Authority which he maintained will need a form of notification from before or a safety measure to fight abuse.

Speaking for the MDA, President Sandro Chetcuti noted that apart from having thousands of members,"which would make us the largest NGO in the country with regards to business people and the self-employed," a KPMG study is soon to be published will say that they speak for 42,000 people in the sector.

Taking the opportunity to speak on the budget proposals, Chetcuti said that they mainly focused on issues revolving around the sector rather than issues related to the sector itself - "leave us work, that's our policy," he said.

The MDA President spoke on issues regarding the new rent law, the lack of locations where construction waste can be dumped, problems with long-term planning, the environment, and their intention to ensure that Malta retains its high number of homeowners (80%). Moving onto the environment, Chetcuti said that people were being prejudiced against the MDA when it came to the environment in spite of him insisting that the people that care the most about the environment's wellbeing are those that invest in the country.

Other MDA measures pushed for the implementation of a mechanism whereby those that purchase property on-plan will be protected as there have been cases of the sort that have ended up in court to be resolved, and another suggestion was for the extending and widening of the first-time buyer scheme up to €180,000. 

  • don't miss