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PA board member Timmy Gambin denies Townsquare conflict of interest

Marine archaeologist worked on environmental impact assessment for ElectroGas consortium, which includes Gasan business group whose 38-storey Sliema tower Timmy Gambin approved as a PA board member

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
16 August 2016, 4:00pm
Dr Timmy Gambin has denied any conflict of interest
Dr Timmy Gambin has denied any conflict of interest
Planning Authority board member Timmy Gambin has denied any conflict of interest in relation to the controversial skyscraper development in Sliema. 

Gambin has acted as a consultant to the Gasan-Tumas business groups, which forms part of the ElectroGas consortium tasked with building the Delimara LNG plant.

The Gasan business group is the proponent of Sliema’s 38-storey Townsquare high-rise development, which the MEPA board – of which Gambin is a government-appointed member – approved.

In a right of reply sent by the Planning Authority, Dr Gambin said he had “absolutely no involvement with the Environmental Impact Assessments of the said applications” and that “claims that I may have had a conflict of interest and/or been involved in any unethical procedures in these particular cases are completely unfounded.”

Gambin, a marine archaeologist, said that PA board members were allowed to keep their private consultancies and practices, and that he had declared his involvement in EIAs to the PA board. 

“When acting as an independent EIA consultant I deal strictly with the EIA coordinator and not with the applicant,” he said. 

Gambin has come under fire for having failed to read out a memo written by Environment Resources Authority chairman Prof. Victor Axiak during the PA board’s meeting on the Townsquare project, which Axiak was unable to attend due to having been in hospital.

“Prof. Axiak made it amply clear that I would be under no obligation whatsoever to use and/or communicate any and/or all of its contents during the public hearing. This stance was confirmed in subsequent clarifications sent by Prof. Axiak to the press.”

Gambing also said that ERA members present at the PA board meeting “had every right to comment on any issues that may have been deemed to have any form of bearing on the discussions.”

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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