The Malta Independent 19 June 2021, Saturday

PN to file private member's bill to tackle government’s overdevelopment problem

Bettina Borg Saturday, 5 June 2021, 10:48 Last update: about 13 days ago

The Nationalist Party will be filing a private members bill in Parliament to ensure that the Government does not facilitate unnecessary construction in Malta, PN Spokesperson for the Environment and Climate Change Robert Cutajar announced.

Sharing the announcement on World Environment Day, Cutajar said that the PN has been closely monitoring the Ombudsman's investigations into diverse construction projects that the Government has officiated. Some of these projects, he noted, have been given the green light without the presentation of a permit.

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The Bill will aim to ensure that Government does not mark every construction project as being of an emergency status, as it enables copious amounts of over-development in Malta, Gozo and Comino.

The Government's dismissal of the PN's recent private members' bill to promote transparency within the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) is indication that the Government is turning a blind eye to the country, Cutajar added.

He said that more concrete propositions of the new bill be presented within the next few days.

PN Spokesperson for Gozo Chris Said accompanied Cutajar, and noted that the Government only go so far in safeguarding the environment in the hollow promises it makes.

The PN, by comparison, values the environment and is determined to invest in its protection, Said noted.

Addressing the campaigns around Hondoq ir-Rummien returning to its original outside-development zone (ODZ) status, Said said that the PN will buy the land once it is in government, make it a public park and give it to Gozitans, Maltese and tourists to use it how they wish.

"This is the future we want to give to Gozo", he said.

Said added that a PN-led Government will start work immediately to turn Hondoq ir-Rummien into a public park.

The Government, particularly Minister for the Enivronment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia and Minister for Gozo Clint Camilleri, should also give attention to the concerns of Gozitan Mayors, who have been imploring for the safeguarding of the Gozitan landscapes for years, Said concluded.

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