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Family Park inauguration cost €45,000
Inauguration of the €7 million Family Park in Marsaskala cost the country €45,000, a figure deemed excessive by Environment Minister Leo Brincat.
7 October 2013, 12:00am
The inauguration of the €7 million Family Park in Marsascala cost the country €45,000, a figure which Environment Minister Leo Brincat considered excessive, due to WasteServ's financial woes.
Further to the figure itself, the minister found it curious how both the invoice and the €45,000 cheque were issued by WasteServ, practically on the eve of the March election.
The Family Park was officially inaugurated by the then-Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and then-Rural Affairs Minister George Pullicino on 24 February, barely two weeks before the general election.
WasteServ issued a cheque covering the inauguration costs on 6 March, addressed to the then-Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs (MRRA).
According to Brincat, this raised questions as to why the money was dished out by the ailing national waste management agency and not by MRRA.
Brincat has gone on record saying WasteServ was forced to pay for the cost "after Pullicino had no way of covering the expenses".
Contacted by MaltaToday, George Pullicino - today the Opposition's spokesperson for energy and conservation of water - denied knowing anything the cheque issued.
"I never involved myself in administrative issues... if the new minister has so much time on his hands that he stays looking at these things, I wish him well," Pullicino said.
The former PN minister insisted that if the inauguration was related to the Family Park, then it should have been WasteServ to issue the payments. He however couldn't explain why the cheque had been issued to MRRA and not to the service providers, citing administrative matters.
He added that MRRA could have been invoiced because it had taken care of the coordination.
"What I know for sure is that, contrary to the impression given by Minister Brincat on television, the €45,000 was not spent on catering and parties but on activities spread throughout eight days," Pullicino said.
The development, opening and management of the family park has been a bone of contention between Brincat and Pullicino, with Brincat insisting the project was rushed through and Pullicino rebutting the allegations.
Brincat has on several occasions called for an explanation of why no health and safety certification and park management plan was carried out before the park was opened.
On his part, Pullicino dubbed a temporary closure of the park "vindictive".
Miriam Dalli graduated in communications studies from the University of ...