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Both PL And PN Gozitan MPs Say They Are Against Ħondoq Development, So Why Is It Still An Issue?

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Gozitan MPs falling within both the Labour and the Nationalist party have taken a stance against the proposed development of a new marina in the bay of Ħondoq ir-Rummien.

The Qala Creek Project application has faced many appeals, and a site visit was held earlier this week as part of the ongoing appeal when residents and activists gathered as a physical representation against the proposal.

Amidst resurfacing of discussions, Lovin Malta decided to contact Gozitan MPs to ask for their stance on the proposal, and whether they will be acting on it if they are against the development. 

Asking both a mix of Labour and Nationalist Gozitan MPs, all of them made it very clear that they are against the development.

Nationalist MPs who are either elected or contesting in the district, like Chris Said, Joseph Ellis, and Claudette Buttigieg, all responded with the same statement, restating that a PN government will acquire the land and develop it into a national park.

“A PN Government will acquire the land area in question from the private owners in order to rehabilitate and develop it into a national park with various amenities accessible to the general public.”

Minister for Gozo Clint Camilleri also said that “he does not agree with the project.”

“I was clear with my decision when I was the mayor of the same locality, and have remained consistent in my position even that I am now the Minister,” he said.

“In fact, the Planning Authority had refused the permit,” he concluded.

Speaking with Education Minister Justyne Caruana, who is also a Gozitan herself and a Gozitan MP for the Labour party, she also reaffirmed her position against the proposal.

“As a Gozitan and a Labour MP, I have always spoken of the conservation and safeguarding of our natural environment. Therefore I make reference to the Labour Party’s Electoral Manifesto, and 2019 manifesto for the Local Council’s elections of 2019, and I reinstate that I am against development in the area of Ħondoq ir-Rummien,” she said. 

“My position, as is the same as the Labour party, is that we look over the natural environment of Qala, including Ħondoq and what surrounds it,” she concluded.

Labour MP Anton Refalo did not reply to the presented questions.

As it is clearly illustrated that both Nationalist and Labour MPs within the district of Gozo appear to be against the development, only one question remains.

What is keeping the MPs back from going into Parliament and passing a resolution to change the country’s local plans and declare Ħondoq ir-Rummien as public domain, and end this once and for all? 

This is both the parties’ chance to prove that they really do have the environment in their best interest and that they genuinely listen to the cries of the people, and don’t just use it to their advantage.

Do you think that Ħondoq ir-Rummien should be declared public domain? 

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When Sasha (formerly known as Sasha Tas-Sigar) is not busy writing about environmental injustice, she's probably fighting for women's rights. Follow her at @saaxhaa on Instagram, and send her anything related to the environment, art, and women's rights at [email protected]

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