The wanton destruction of our environment stirred an environmental consciousness in the 1980s. This led to a springtime for civil activism that is still very much alive today and only growing in importance. The two parties in parliament recognise this and are sparing no effort in trying to come across as sustainable. However, they are treating it like a fad, rather than as a real value or principle. They are all words and no meaningful action. They are merely painting their concrete green.
The new trend is to promise new public open spaces, which would be an excellent idea, if not for the fact it is being used to disguise destruction of the ones we already have.
With the PN’s refusal to disinherit the infamous so-called ‘rationalisation’ exercise carried out in 2006, and fix the errors of the past, the truth is plain to see. The damage caused by this mistake is being worsened by the Labour Party in government. One fears what the promise to revise the local plans will actually lead to, if anything at all.
Open spaces have simply become an opportunity for speculation. We are not building homes which people need and which people want to live in; we are building lofts for pigeons. Public land is granted to friends-of-friends and to construction barons. Not even the sea is to be spared from this ‘development’. The change of heart regarding the Marsascala marina came about because of pressure from Moviment Graffitti and residents, not because the government has morals. Ian Borg called resistance a Nationalist plot. Does he stand by those words?
Not only that but transport infrastructure created throughout the past years has only sought to accommodate cars by destroying arable land. The traffic problems have not fundamentally been resolved. All of it has come at the expense of our agricultural community while degrading the quality of life of those living around the widened thoroughfares.
As if the destruction on the main island has not been enough, we are seeing what has been happening replicated in Gozo. The proposals for an airport and a tunnel are the proverbial cherry on the cake. Instead of learning from Malta’s mistakes, we insist on repeating them in Gozo.
The country, however, has a choice. People are watching this all happen in front of their eyes but they have the power to stop it overnight. My colleagues and myself in ADPD have put our names forward as volunteers with the country’s best interests at heart. If we were in it for ourselves, we could have run with either Labour or the Nationalists. Instead, we chose the principled road. The country needs people with passion and integrity to fight against the vested interests ruining our country.
ADPD will take the tough decisions needed to save the sizeable portion of the two million square metres of land earmarked for development in 2006. We will tackle transport where it counts – with the number of cars on our roads, which makes public transport less effective as a result, and our roads less clean and safe.
Gozo is still a gem we can save, empowering its mayors who came together with a unified voice to protest overdevelopment. They were ignored. The marketing budgets of the Labour and Nationalist parties are paid-for by the construction lobby and it is the money of that lobby which is trying to convince you that our crony and crooked parties are ‘green’.
The future is in your hands. If you want to see more of the same then just vote PLPN. The country can change if you show them that you are not their ‘property’ and part of their tribe. The Malta and Gozo you know and love can be yours once again. The strongest statement you can make is voting ADPD – The Green Party.
ADPD Candidate on Districts 3 & 4
Published in The Times of Malta – Sunday 27 February 2022