Ten NGOs and the St Julian’s and Sliema local councils have announced their “total opposition” to Fortina’s new plans for a private jetty in the public domain of St Julian’s Bay.
Speaking ahead of a press conference tomorrow, Moviment Graffitti said:
“Balluta Bay is under threat from an application submitted to the Planning Authority to transform it into a berthing place for Fortina’s private ferry. Basically, Balluta Bay would suffer the same fate as the Ferries in Sliema, where this same company took over the largest part of the shore for its private ferries.”
Lovin Malta has reportedly extensively on the issue, which has been flagged by the St Julian’s Mayor Albert Buttigieg and MP Jason Azzopardi, questioning how the application can even be submitted without the consent of parliament and without considering the environmental risks to the protected reef.
A step up from public property, an area classified as public domain imposes the state to protect the site for future generations, safeguarding against unsustainable development, commercialisation and environmental destruction.
Usually, an area within the public domain can only be transferred through a specific resolution of Parliament with a simple majority.
The Fortel Group, the giant behind the Fortina Hotel headed by the Zammit Tabona clan, looks to build a new jetty for a new hop-on-hop-off maritime service, similar to a hop-on-hop-off bus concept they are investors in.
The group is also a shareholder in the massively successful Captain Morgan cruises, whose ticket booths and berthing points already take up sizeable portions of the Sliema ferries promenade.
Organisations involved are: Archaeological Society Malta, Bicycle Advocacy Group, Din l-Art ħelwa, Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Futur Ambjent Wieħed, Green House, Moviment Graffitti, Nature Trust Malta and Żminijietna – Voice of the Left