Letters | Sunday, 01 November 2009

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Marsaskala council lacking determination

I envy the determination of Ta’ Xbiex residents and the local councils of both St Julian’s and St Paul’s Bay for putting up a fight against the proposals of a yacht marina in their localities. In fact, the government was dissuaded in the case of St Julian and St Paul’s Bay in persevering with the idea of turning their stretch of water into a yacht marina. Ta’ Xbiex residents have outlined numerous impacts on marine life and adverse effects on people a temporary marina will inflict on their locality as part of this petiton.
The Marsaskala Council, past and present, did the opposite. Without consulting anyone, it praised and welcomed the project by a Maltese/Italian consortium in turning Marsaskala bay into a permanent yacht marina. It is understood that a submerged breakwater will be placed in the mouth of the bay to stop heavy waves slashing onto the pontoons, not considering the change of sea currents on this natural and unique bay. This venture will earn the Maltese counter part a lavish grand hotel instead of the National water polo stadium at Zonqor Point, whereas the Italians will be awarded ownership of the entire bay. They would have the right to tell boat enthusiasts and fishermen alike where to berth, tell us residents where to swim and to practice our pastimes like fishing, snorkeling and sunbathing. The Marsaskala residents are known for their stand against the Sant’ Antnin recycling plant and one wonders... so what happened this time?
For starters; the council kept the whole thing hidden away. If it wasn’t for this newspaper, nobody would have known anything. In fact, MaltaToday revealed that the Mayor knew about this project beforehand – at least that’s what the developers reportedly said. To crown it all, the Mayor decided not to discuss the proposal of the yacht marina at council level. But worst of all: he did not consult with the residents. The proposal of a caravan site at Zonqor Point area ended on the same note. Such projects would degrade the area, not enhance it. Rumour has it that the caravan site was actually proposed by the previous council for the locality of Marsaskala.
That the council is more inclined to listen to developers, rather than residents, has sadly become the norm.

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