Brincat asks NGOs, media to watch environment, planning authorities 'like a hawk'

Environment Minister Leo Brincat says all consultation submissions will be published

Environment Minister Leo Brincat
Environment Minister Leo Brincat

Environment Minister Leo Brincat called on the media and environmental NGOs to watch over the two authorities set to take care of environment and planning “like a hawk”.

Addressing parliament in the second reading of the MEPA demerger laws, the minister said it was part of the media’s job – along with the green NGOs – to ensure that planning and environment legislation was being properly implemented.

Brincat also confirmed that every submission made with regard to the MEPA demerger will be published.

He said, that the government will go ahead with the MEPA demerger, irrespective of any submissions that may come in suggesting the contrary.

“We have the mandate to do it and we will fight the status quo,” Brincat said.

Public consultation on the separation of the environment and planning authority is currently underway and recommendations and proposals will be discussed once the laws are placed before the Consideration of Bills Committee.

Brincat insisted that the environment arm will be strengthened thanks to the separation.

“We are committed to answer to the environmental deficit that exists. Some say we need to be imbalanced in favour of the environment. But who says there ever was a balance? The imbalance that existed was tipped in favour of planning,” he said.

The minister went on to cite a number of EU survey reports that showed the Maltese had considered MEPA to be the most corrupt entity under the previous administration.

Brincat, who lately faced criticism for government’s original proposal to develop the American University of Malta on Zonqor ODZ land, said he was personally committed to what the Labour had promised.

“I heard a lot of things including that I don’t truly love the environment and that they are going to chop my legs off … It is my personal obligation to see that the law is worthy of what we promised.”