A parliamentary petition has been submitted calling on the government to preserve Gozo’s ‘precious and unique charm’ and stop the construction of the controversial tunnel between the two islands.
This comes after 5,500 people signed a similar petition urging for Manoel Island to be transformed into a heritage park.
“The tunnel means increased traffic and air pollution, increased development and noise,” the petition reads. “The tunnel means fewer unspoiled areas, parking spaces and affordable places to live. The tunnel means the destruction of Gozo as we know it, simply to line the pockets of private investors, developers, and speculators.”
“Why has there been no consultation period or referendum? Where are the sensible alternatives the fourth ferry, the fast ferry or catamaran? Why have the Gozitan people not been asked for their opinion?”
The government has long committed itself to building a fixed link between Malta and Gozo, with the plans to dig a 13km tunnel running from Manikata to Nadur expected to be completed by 2024.
The project has been a controversial issue since it was first publicly discussed, with concerns raised over the environmental impact due to the increased attraction of tourists and development that the tunnel is bound to encourage. However, a social impact assessment has found that a majority of Maltese and Gozitans are in favour of the project.
The petition currently has 1150 signatures.