[WATCH] Ian Borg likens Marsaskala marina outrage to Central Link anger

Transport Minister skirts questions on whether the marina will be built as planned or not

(Right) Transport Minister Ian Borg
(Right) Transport Minister Ian Borg

Despite public outrage over plans for a yacht marina for Marsaskala creek, Transport Minister Ian Borg dismissed the anger while likening it to the outrage at the Attard Central Link project.

“This is like when you had a whole choir of people against Central Link. Now, in three weeks’ time, everyone will pass through Central Link and see for themselves whether the trees at the bottom of Saqqajja hill have been uprooted, whether we planted more trees, whether bottlenecks will be eliminated, whether cars will emit less in Attard, Lija, Balzan,” Borg said.

The minister referred to recent reports that claimed the marina would help cater to a large number of Maltese residents who are buying pleasure boats.

“We’re not talking about superyachts. We’re talking about boats up until 65 to 70 feet that 23,000 Maltese people have. This is the reality of many people. At the same time, we have to respect the openings and bays that people who don’t have boats have a right to.”

Plans for a yacht marina in the Marsaskala Creek were released last month as part of a pre-qualification questionnaire for the award of a concession to design, build and operate a marina in Marsaskala.

A preliminary design annexed to the document showed that all the coastline would be taken up by pontoons, leaving little place for swimming inside the creek while raising concerns over the impact on the saline marshland at Il-Magħluq.

Residents were widely angered by the plans, and have held several protests against the marina.

Government ministers have widely skirted questions on whether the marina will be constructed as planned, insisting instead that some form of embellishment is needed in the area.

While the Opposition vowed to repeal the current plans for a marina, its position remains vague on whether they would be open to a marina of different design.