Ethical standards and quality of construction industry need to be raised, Industry Chamber says

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry said that it was shocked by yet another building collapse and urged the authorities to act swiftly in establishing a unified building authority

The Mellieha building collapse follows the wake of a previous apartment cave-in in Gwardamangia last April (pictured)
The Mellieha building collapse follows the wake of a previous apartment cave-in in Gwardamangia last April (pictured)

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry has said that the ethical standards and the quality of the construction industry needs to be raised immedatiely.

It added that it was "shocked" by the news of yet another building collapse, referring to the Mellieha four-storey building collapse on Saturday which followed a previous cave-in of a Gwardamangia block of apartments last April.

READ ALSO: Guardamangia building collapse: 'It’s 2019, how can this happen?'

"While it will cautiously await the result of the necessary investigations to learn about what caused this collapse, it is abundantly evident to the Chamber that this is symptomatic of a situation which is totally unacceptable in a civilised country, and which must be addressed forthwith," the Chamber said in a statement on Sunday.

READ ALSO: Woman rescued from Mellieha four-storey building collapse

The Chamber added that just a few days before the Mellieha accident, which resulted in an elderly resident taken to Mater Dei hospital, it applauded the authorities for launching the Considerate Construction Scheme aimed at raising professional standards in the building industry.

"The scheme had been promoted with the authorities by the Chamber itself, as it fell squarely in line with the Chamber's economic vision. The Chamber's view on the matter remains unchanged, as it advocates a high-quality economy where mediocrity and substandards are replaced by a culture of excellence and where the current 'good enough' attitude is replaced by nothing but the best," the statement read.

The Chamber lamented that the construction industry now found itself in a 'dire' situation and that Malta could not afford to waste any more time.

"The ethical standards and quality of our construction industry need to be raised immediately and brought in line with those in other developed countries. Our islands and citizens certainly deserve no less.

"It is considered neither ethical nor professional to proceed on the basis of what has been witnessed in this very active building economy in Malta over the last years. Responsibilities must be shouldered by all while the rights of innocent third parties need to be protected at all times," the Chamber said.

It urgently called for a unified building authority and for the relative authorities to act swiftly on the matter, urging them to go beyond the voluntary nature of the Considerate Construction Scheme.

"Otherwise, the launch of the Scheme would have been nothing more than a farce," it concluded.

READ ALSO: Government ‘very concerned’ at Mellieha building collapse, says it is assisting victims