Ramblers support PN Policy Document on ODZ

Ramblers Malta LogoPress Release by the Ramblers’ Association of Malta – 10th June 2016

The Ramblers’ Association welcomes the policy document issued by the PN for adequate protection of the ODZ. It urges the PN to remain frank to their word once in power.

The fact that Dr Busuttil acknowledged the PN’s mistakes regarding the environment in their past forebodes well. Subjecting major development outside the development zone to parliamentary scrutiny, requiring a two-thirds majority vote, binds him as well if elected Prime Minister. This is what serious politics is about, as Malta again experiences that politicians do not practice in government what they preach in opposition.

The Association has openly expressed, both in the media and during various consultation exercises, that if the old Structure Plan allowed mice to get through its loopholes, the new Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development (SPED) allows mighty elephants through with ease, as recent applications amply manifest. It is for this reason that the Ramblers’ Association has been advocating the two-thirds parliamentary majority for ODZ development with both parties for years, and cannot but accept the PN document most favourably. It joins the Civil Society Network in its support of the document.

It is encouraging to hear the leader of one of the two main parties state that his party is “aware that the environment in Malta is under serious threat” and it is high time to “draw the line and look ahead, to halt the current slippery slope towards environmental degradation and to reverse it where possible.” It has been a rough and late awakening for the PN, but an enlightened awakening.

The PL in government would do well to take stock and not remain dozed by fanciful short-term prospects sustainable only by virtue of cheaply-acquired or government-donated land. Public interest and general well-being should at all costs remain the priority of a serious administration through the safeguard of open areas, clean air and water, cultural and natural heritage.

Alex Vella



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