Marsakala’s local council will abdicate its responsibilities to residents if it seeks a referendum over a proposed yacht marina in the area, Labour Party councillor Ryan Portelli has warned.
“We have been trusted by the people of Marsaskala because they believe in our skills, our principles, and our work. In the last election, the Marsaskala community elected a team of councillors, who regardless of the party they come from, have to take decisions that are in the interests of the residents,” he wrote in a social media post.
The Local Council of Marsaskala has already opposed the plans for the marina in an extraordinary meeting. However, Mayor Mario Calleja has suggested that he could take the decision to approve the development to a town-wide referendum.
“I feel that a referendum at this stage (especially when it is crystal clear what the residents want) is just an abdication of the responsibilities that the people of Marsaskala left in our hands,” Portelli wrote in reply.
“I will continue to fight for the Marsaskala people and ultimately, the Maltese, Gozitans, and tourists who visit the locality to enjoy natural beaches and elements in their existing beauty.”
The post was met with positive comments of praise and solidarity. The shared sentiment amongst commentators was that of gratitude and appreciation for listening to their plight.
The announcement of the tender for the proposed 700-yacht marina has been met with furore from both residents and other locals.
Last weekend saw protests being held by Skaliżi, NGOs and other local organisations calling for the removal of the tender and the marina proposal altogether. Another protest is organised for 27th August.
Activists have warned that the marina could have devastating consequences on the environment in the area.
“It is clear to us that the construction of the marina will suffocate Marsaskala through land reclamation, changes in road networks, and further development of buildings, such as offices, toilets, showers, and parking amenities,” Moviment Graffitti said in a statement.
The Marsascala Local Council will be broadcasting their council meeting live today (23rd August) on Facebook at 6pm, according to a post on their Facebook page.
What do you think about the proposed marina and will you be watching the council meeting?