[WATCH] Central Link project also has its supporters in Attard, Prime Minister says

Joseph Muscat says better communication with opponents of Central Link project is important but insists there are Attard residents who feel the project will alleviate congestion in their locality

Joseph Muscat said better communication was needed with those who oppose Central Link project
Joseph Muscat said better communication was needed with those who oppose Central Link project
Prime Minister on Central Link: we have listened, we have made changes

Joseph Muscat has once again defended the approved Central Link project, saying the government took a step back when it changed plans under consideration by past Nationalist administrations to take up much more agricultural land.

The Prime Minister said initial plans had also been changed to preserve the large trees along Mdina Road. He insisted the government has listened and will continue listening.

An Environment Impact Assessment carried out last year had warned that the project will result in the permanent loss of 48,466sq.m of good quality agricultural land and the uprooting of 549 trees, 272 of which are protected by law.

Following the project’s approval by the Planning Authority board, a crowdfunding campaign looking to collect money to mount a legal challenge to the project raised €20,000 in less than 24 hours.

READ ALSO: Central Link project approved as environment authority chairperson remains uncharacteristically silent

“Yes, there are many groups which are very vocal and we must communicate better with these people. But the perception that this project will result in the destruction of the large trees is not the case,” Muscat told MaltaToday after attending the swearing-in ceremony of Edward Zammit Lewis as minister.

Muscat said that he had correspondence from other Attard residents thankful that the project would result in the elimination of a lot of emissions caused by congestion in their locality.

“The government did in fact take a step back when it comes to this project. It took a step back from the previous administration’s proposal that would have resulted in the loss of 60% more agricultural land when compared to this government’s plan,” Muscat said.

READ ALSOCentral Link: Which trees to mourn for (or get tied to) before the chopping