The Malta Independent 13 November 2019, Wednesday

Budget 2020 - Gozo: Learning lessons from the fourth ferry

Monday, 14 October 2019, 21:45 Last update: about 29 days ago

Gozo Channel is implementing a strategy to become more efficient and offer a service that is more in line with current and future needs.

Gozo Channel has learnt from the introduction of the fourth ferry and is now in a better position to invest in a permanent fourth vessel. The necessary preparations to draft the requirements for the fourth ferry are being carried out. A tendering process will follow.

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The company is also investing in an electronic ticketing system.

Efforts to introduce a fast ferry system will continue.

Studies related to the Gozo-Malta tunnel will be concluded in the coming months. These include the preliminary designs and the environmental, economic and social impact studies.

Infrastructure Malta will soon publish the pre-qualification questionnaire that will contain all technical information required by prospective investors/contractors to confirm that they have the necessary skills and resources to carry out the project.

Scicluna said investment in Gozo’s road infrastructure will continue. Works on Triq l-Imgarr, will start next year.

A Research and Innovation Hub at Barts Medical School will be inaugurated in the coming weeks.

A number of projects are nearing completion. These include a new health centre, St Joseph’s home for the elderly and an SME zone in the area known as tal-Hofra.

Works on a new Park and Ride near Xewkija and on the Ghajnsielem Hub will start next year.

The masterplans on Marsalforn, Xlendi and other touristic zones will be completed.

€10 million will be spent on road infrastructure. The Hondoq reverse osmosis is being modernised at a cost of €11 million.

During the coming year, the government will also invest in greening measures and smart parking, and the government vehicle fleet will be replaced.

The restoration of Ghar Genduf and the aqueducts will also start in 2020.

Speaking about further investment in Gozo, financial minister Scicluna highlighted that Gozo has become an economic contributor from simply a beneficiary as proportionally. He stated that the economic growth in Gozo was larger than that in Malta.

He said that Gozo will continue to see new foreign investment that of Microsoft and Noovle premium partner of Google, along with the opening of MCCA and MFSA offices. Scicluna explained that such measures and initiatives provide work in Gozo and to see more Gozitan workers who used to work in Malta to start working in Gozo.

He highlighted that the Gozo Employment Scheme saw the opening of private companies opening their offices in Gozo. The government will also be focusing on the condition of work and decrease the pay gap between Malta and Gozo. Scicluna also said that Gozo will be seeing the development of Regional Authority in Gozo.  He explained that it is a courageous step forward so that Gozo will be addressing the necessary developments.

The government has introduced a Film Fund, so that Gozo will attract new cinematographic productions. He said that a new fund was created for Gozo to become an attractive destination for conferences, meetings and other events.

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