Minister says environment ‘often treated as Cinderella of planning authority’

St Francis animal hospital at Ta’ Qali will be passing back under government control.

Leo Brincat - Photos: Ray Attard
Leo Brincat - Photos: Ray Attard

Environment minister Leo Brincat said the new environment and resources authority (ERA) will be established this year, with its own CEO and director, making a split from the planning authority.

Addressing a consultation session from the ‘Gvern Li Jisma’ series, Brincat said the ERA would safeguard the environment “and solve the mistakes made over the years by MEPA” – even saying that the environment had for long been the Cinderella of MEPA, very often not receiving the attention it deserves.

Brincat said he studies were also underway on the production of energy from incinerated waste, and for the exportation of waste, and that an educational programme into waste management was also now under consideration.

On his part, parliamentary secretary for animal welfare Roderick Galdes said the government was offering a financial scheme to NGOs to assist them in their animal welfare remits.

He said reforms were underway for a monitored system at the Ta’ Qali pitkalija that will bring more technology and organization to the agricultural wholesalers, and that the St Francis animal hospital at Ta’ Qali would be passing back under government control.

He said that Malta was promoting a fish consumption campaign, given that the Maltese were amongst the lowest of fish consumers in the EU. “We want the public to cook and consume more species of fish that are being caught anyway, but may not be as popular as others,” he said.

He also announced that two bird rehabilitation centres will be set up in Buskett, one run by BirdLife for the rehabilitation of injured birds, and another by hunters’ lobby FKNK for the nurturing of the barn owl, which had recently become endangered to the extent that it no longer visited the Maltese islands.