Gozo Business Chamber hails ‘historic’ bipartisan backing of tunnel project

Chamber says time has now come to plan Gozo’s future within the context of the tunnel’s opportunities

Gozo's future has to be planned within the context of the tunnel, the Gozo Business Chamber said
Gozo's future has to be planned within the context of the tunnel, the Gozo Business Chamber said

The Gozo Business Chamber has praised the unanimous parliamentary approval of the government’s tunnel project motion, saving this had to now be translated into a movement in favour of Malta’s sister island.

The Chamber said that at this point Gozo's future needs to be planned within the new reality of the permanent connectivity it will have with Malta.

“[Yesterday] evening, the Maltese Parliament went through a truly historical moment, with the motion presented by the government on connectivity between the two island being unanimously voted for by the two sides of the House,” it said.

Read also: Gozo tunnel receives bipartisan support from MPs without studies being published

“The Gozo Business Chamber positively notes the wide support which this motion received in the House of Representatives,” it highlighted, “At this moment in time one feels that the work that was carried out needs to be acknowledged, and at the same time one needs to look forward to plan the future for Gozo in a new context and with new tools in hand.”

It went on to invite all parties concerned “to translate the support given to the motion into a movement in favour of the island”.

“Only in this way can Gozo benefit as it should from the nation’s economic well-being while participating positively in the attainment of its goals,” the Chamber added.

Project will benefit everyone - Front Favur Il-Mina

The pro-Gozo tunnel group Front Favur Il-Mina also welcomes the unanimous vote of approval, saying it fully supported the parliamentary motion, specifically the part stating that all relevent studies need to be published at the appropriate time in order to give peace of mind to those who are skeptical about the project.

“Front Favur il-Mina strongly believes that this project is one of national significance, thus it will be beneficial to all,” the Front said.

“The organisation was founded with the ultimate goal of delivering the message and campaigning in favour of the crucial infrastructural project which is worthwhile for our country. The Front will continue to do so with an active spirit for the common good and better advancement of our country, particularly the island of Gozo.”

‘False and blind’ parliamentary debate - PD

The Democratic Party, whose two MPs boycotted the tunnel debate in Parliament on Wednesday, strongly condemned “the shameless unity of the government and PN Opposition to rush the Gozo tunnel project through, as a fait accompli”.

This, the PD said, was done before the some of the studies on the project were completed, with others still unpublished, and when the Economic Cost Benefit Analysis of Available Strategic Options was flawed.

“This blind political commitment to a project which may have a profoundly negative impact on Gozitans and their way of life, their social fabric, their environment and their wellbeing, is a parliamentary manoeuvre designed by the government, on the eve of an Easter recess, to herd the PN Opposition into consenting to its doings,” the party lamented.

"A national mega-project of this size has significant financial and far reaching environmental implications. Partit Demokratiku is committed to increasing connectivity between Gozo and Malta, but it must never come at the expense of the people who live on either island,” PD leader Godfrey Farrugia said.

“Gozo’s character is a resource in itself with an added value to Malta and an unquantified economic capital for Gozitan people themselves,” Farrugia added.

More in National