The Malta Independent 4 June 2020, Thursday

Malta-Gozo tunnel - organisations call for total transparency and law observance

Saturday, 8 February 2020, 09:21 Last update: about 5 months ago

In a judicial protest filed by a broad network of NGOs and professional bodies, Infrastructure Malta, the Transport Minister and the Planning Minister have been called upon to provide full transparency about the Malta-Gozo tunnel project, a statement by 12 organisations read.

"Infrastructure Malta is going ahead with the procedures for the tunnel when the Transport Plan does not provide for it and before the obligatory assessment of alternatives and public consultation is carried out. This is another attempt to force things through without the required environmental, health and traffic studies can be carried out - making public consultation redundant" said a spokesperson for the protestants.

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The twelve organisations filing the judicial protest are Bicycle Advocacy Group, BirdLife Malta, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Isles of the Left, Kamra tal-Periti, Moviment Graffitti, Nature Trust (Malta), Ramblers' Association of Malta, The Archaeological Society Malta and Żminijietna – Voice of the Left.

They argue that the excavation that will need to occur due to the tunnel’s construction will have a considerable impact on the maritime environment, as well as on the modality of national transport. They also said in the judicial protest that this project takes up a lot of land and sea area and extensively changes the use of land, as well as the transport strategy for the island, among other things.

The judicial protest asks for a Strategic Environment Assessment to be carried out, and that it should include a scientific report providing details on the scope of the impact of the project, and possible alternative designs or solutions.

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