Gozo tunnel gets thumbs down from PD

The Democratic Party says there is no sustainable evidence that the positive effects of the Gozo tunnel outweigh the increasing negative impact

The PD has come out against the Gozo tunnel
The PD has come out against the Gozo tunnel

The Democratic Party will oppose the government motion seeking parliamentary support for the Gozo tunnel with leader Godfrey Farrugia describing it as unfeasible and unsustainable.

The party accused the government of being grossly under prepared in its planning and analysis of the proposed Gozo tunnel.

“PD is against the tunnel because the negative ramifications to the environment, the economy and the social impact vastly outweigh the positive effect it would have,” Farrugia said. 

Farrugia was addressing a press conference outside Parliament on Tuesday, a day before a motion tabled by ministers Ian Borg and Justyne Caruana is discussed in the plenary.

The motion was tabled last week and it seeks parliament’s support for the Gozo tunnel based on the electoral pledges in the manifestos of both major political parties.

READ ALSO: Unorthodox move by Labour to get parliamentary support for Gozo tunnel

The motion also notes that plans for the project started in the 2008 legislature by the then Nationalist administration, continued in the last legislature and works will likely go beyond the current legislature.

Farrugia said the information available so far indicates that government is not adequately prepared for such an important project.

The PD leader noted that exerts have reported the presence of three faults in the rock formations where the proposed construction will take place. 

He also said that the Environment and Resources Authority report on land reclamation had not yet been released to the public, even though parliament is due to talk about the issue on Wednesday.

A major issue with the construction of the tunnel is how to dump the waste generated by the tunnelling.

PD MEP candidate Martin Cauchi Inglott said that Gozo was an integral part of Maltese society. “It should be handled with care... PD is of the opinion that a strategy for Gozo is needed that fundamentally protects the things that make the island truly unique.”

The PD is supporting the collective legal action taken by NGOs seeking the publication of all reports and technical information on the tunnel project. 

The party insisted that a permanent link “was not the be all and end all” to all of Gozo's problems.

“PD is for the invigoration of the Gozitan economy by safeguarding and enhancing Gozo's unique selling points,” Cauchi Inglott said.

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