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Agricultural Leases Reform And More Protection Of ODZ Land: What Bernard Grech’s Speech Says About Malta’s Environment

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Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech addressed a number of matters in his speech in Parliament, as part of his response to last week’s presentation of the 2022 Budget.

The opposition leader made a series of pledges, that the PN would enact if it were to be elected, including environmental-related ones among many others, laying out the party’s vision for the nation.

It was particularly refreshing to hear the dire need for holistic agricultural leases reform being addressed, with a special focus on Malta’s farmers.

Grech emphasised the nation’s need for farmers and fishermen and their importance, stressing that “these are the people that feed the country”, criticising the government’s lack of action on the matter.

This is a growing issue that has been seeing farmers evicted from their working land, which will potentially lead to grave consequences for the industry.

Adding on to the Labour Party’s proposed afforestation project, Grech said that the PN would also include the land given away to Sadeen Group, situated right next to Żonqor point, to the afforestation project.

He also outlined how a PN government would ensure that ODZ land will start being given away with the requirement of a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Grech also emphasised that the construction of solar farms on land registered for agricultural purposes would not be tolerated under a Nationalist government.

This is also another matter which has been circulating national discussion, after the surfacing of multiple development applications for solar farms on agricultural land, particularly the ongoing fight in Mġarr.

It was also pledged that two new Gozo ferries would be introduced, with one of them being dedicated solely to cargo purposes.

As part of targeting the low carbon emissions strategy, Grech also promised that all public transport buses will operate using electricity by the year 2025.

Grech emphasised that a PN government will have the country’s best interests, and not solely based on greed, stressing that Malta is in need of a change with a concrete holistic vision.

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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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