Moviment Graffitti has unveiled a 134-point proposal on planning and construction reform which includes a system of psychological and legal support for residents struck by construction accidents and a blacklisting system for unlawful developers.
The proposal was launched earlier today at a press conference and covers six sectors following a year of technical consultation on the matter.
“The six main domains of this reform document are planning policies, the authorities responsible for planning and the environment, large-scale projects, the regulation of the construction industry, roads and transportation, and respect for the country and its ecosystem,” the activist group said in a press release.
Among the key demands, the proposal calls for the replacement of the Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development with a new policy that offers better protection to buildings of historical and cultural importance.
Moreover, the 134-point proposal also advocates for a radical overhaul of how the Planning Authority board and commission members are chosen with the introduction of parliament grillings and voting for commission members.
“Under the proposed reform, members should be held personally responsible for their conduct, especially in terms of breaching policies, their own code of ethics, conflict of interest, undue influence and other improper behaviour,” the press release read.
In light of Malta’s perennial construction woes, which came to a head with the death of Miriam Pace in her own home earlier this year, the proposal also called for the introduction of a system to provide “legal, psychological and logistical support” to residents stricken by construction accidents which will be paid for “from a fund populated by mandatory fees from developers, until responsibility is legally established.”
Chapter Four also proposed a limit on the number of concurrent permits issued within a neighbourhood and provisions related to construction workers and their protection.
Just this week, two construction workers died in separate but similar accidents that happened as a result of lax health and safety measures.
Most notably, the proposal also calls for a public complaint system, linked to a penalty points system, so that contractors or developers repeatedly falling foul of the law are publicly blacklisted.
“We have had a tragic year in construction and our quality of life is steadily deteriorating due to a rotten planning system. The authorities can no longer sit idly by as if nothing were happening. Moreover, we feel the business lobby’s hegemony over politics has stifled reforms for too long,” Moviment Graffitti said at the press conference.
Earlier this week, Moviment Graffitti activist Wayne Flask appeared on Lovin Daily to discuss the construction industry and the latest developments in a controversial road alignment project in Dingli that threatens to destroy the remnants of a medieval church.
What do you make of this proposal?