Alternattiva Demokratika's Position on Hondoq ir-Rummien Project
Officials from Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party (AD) Executive Committee and AD Gozo Regional Committee headed by Dr Harry Vassallo met with members of the Moviment Ħarsien Ħondoq in Qala, Gozo to discuss the application for a major development complex and marina at Ħondoq ir-Rummien and re-stated their position against the Qala Creek proposed speculation.
"The re-emergence of the marina proposal after four years of silence should not be taken as a surprise," Dr Vassallo said. "Nor should residents opposing this development be disheartened by the fact that their referendum giving an 85% majority of the population against the development appears not to have been given sufficient weight. The referendum result is a clear fact that will have to be given due weight in any final decision," Dr Vassallo said.
Dr Vassallo explained that nobody should be deceived by promises of new employment opportunities resulting from this project as no detailed breakdown of the job opportunities which could result by this project in the short, medium and long term is provided in the Project Description Statement. What Gozo needs is sustainable development that will differenciate the island of Gozo from Malta. Projects for specific tourist niches which have long been identified should be implemented without any further delay. Much more could be done to attract foreigners to settle in Gozo which would result in economic benefits for many Gozitans. Such megaprojects like Ħondoq will kill these possible job opportunities and destroy the distinct character of Gozo forever With reference to the current context, whereby the major hotels in Gozo, such as the Mgarr Hotel, the Andar Hotel, the Atlantis Hotel, and others, have ceased to operate as hotels since this situation was being considered as not sustainable, resulting in the loss of job opportunities. Dr Vassallo asked if any audit and feasibility studies have been carried out to justify the need for a five star hotel catering for 170 bedrooms, approximately 25 villas, 60 Self Catering Units, 200 Multi-Ownership Residences, 731 Underground parking spaces (only 90 of which are to be allowed for public use), 10 shops, 5 restaurants and a marina for between 100 to 150 crafts.
"What must be made clear at this stage is that the application process still has a very long way to go and all those who recognize the inappropriateness of the development must be prepared for the long haul," Dr Vassallo said. "Qala residents and all interested parties are due a clear explanation and Alternattiva Demokratika is committed to giving it to them. The planning process is often complex and unclear especially with regard to major development, however everybody can be made to understand what the situation is at present and we will provide the information residents need."
Dr Vassallo thanked the Moviment Ħarsien Ħondoq campaigners for their commitment and support in this common cause. "It is essential that residents and all who value the public beach at Ħondoq take heart once more and realize that their work is not yet over. The Gozo Regional Committee of Alternattiva Demokratika has been following developments closely and will be able to respond to residents queries by holding an information meeting in the village in the coming days. It is time for the 85% of Qala residents to make its presence felt once more and to remind the developers that they will not be ignored," Dr Vassallo concluded.
Carmel Hili - Communications Coordinator
Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party
Tel: 21314040 / 21314039 / 21314037 Fax: 21314046
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
Websites: www.alternattiva.org.mt & www.adgozo.com