Tourism infrastructure not what Marsa power station area requires - ADPD

Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said this is an opportunity to revamp the maritime sector

Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said this is an oportunity to revamp the maritime sector
Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said this is an oportunity to revamp the maritime sector

ADPD Chairperson, Carmel Cacopardo said the old power station area in Marsa is an opportunity that should not be squandered for more tourism infrastructure.

Addressing a press conference along the Marsa coastline on Saturday morning, Cacopardo explained that this innermost part of the Grand Harbour had been always dedicated to the maritime sector, with the government announcing the development of a maritime hub at the Marsa shipyard dock site.

“This regeneration exercise should be taken up as an opportunity to re-organise, modernise and increase the maritime sector’s contribution to the national economy while reducing its environmental impacts. However, it does not make sense to shift these activities to outside the regeneration area as this will bring them closer to residential zones in the surrounding localities,” Cacopardo said.

He mentioned that the maritime hub vision had indicated an area of 175,000m² for strategic use of a number of related industries including ship repair and yachting services.

“While we acknowledge that it is beneficial to restore old derelict buildings in the area, one should not forget the residential area of Marsa that has been neglected for many years. Any development in this area should take a holistic view of regeneration and lead to a better quality of life for the Marsa residents.”

ADPD Communications officer Brian Decelis said the public consultation on the principles that will be guiding the regeneration of the Marsa harbour area is positive.

“However, the proposed strategic vision – that of changing the zone into a prime tourism and leisure harbour destination is misguided. Tourism has already engulfed too many prime sites on our islands and we should not be increasing our dependency on this sector,” Decelis said.

"The country’s resources should be applied to other sectors which are less fragile. In addition, as pointed out in a recent study by the Chamber of Commerce the sector already has an excess capacity."

Decelis pointed out that the tourism sector offers jobs at the lower end of the wage spectrum and emphasised Malta should aim at improving the quality of the tourism product.

"This would result in better employment conditions that serve as an attraction to the required labour force."