[WATCH] Direct Action - The PA is besieging Malta with massive and useless fuel stations |  Moviment Graffitti Malta.
28/03/2019

[WATCH] Direct Action - The PA is besieging Malta with massive and useless fuel stations

Moviment Graffitti has, early this morning, started a symbolic siege on the Planning Authority’s (PA) premises to denounce the authority’s besieging of our island with massive and useless fuel stations.


We are carrying out this direct action to highlight the PA’s failure to change the Fuel Service Station Policy - a policy that the authorities themselves acknowledged as harmful and promised to review, a full one year and four months ago. The Environment and Resource Authority (ERA) had submitted its recommendations, on the Minister’s request in April last year, and since November, we have been hearing about the imminent publishing by the PA of the revised policy. However, the current policy remains in place, unrevised, and a draft outlining the eventual policy changes has not even been published for consultation.


We will not allow the PA to take us for a ride, especially because our future is at stake here. Having so many massive fuel stations in a small over-built country like Malta is simply, as we have repeatedly stated, insane. And recent declarations by the Prime Minister about Malta shifting to electric car use in the near future make the insanity of all this even clearer. Thus, after having tried everything possible to make the PA change this ridiculous policy, to no avail, today we are here with three very basic demands:

• Change the Fuel Service Station Policy to one that prohibits new or relocated fuel stations on ODZ, as per ERA’s direction
• Publish the revised Fuel Service Station Policy for public consultation, immediately
• Provide a short timeframe for the implementation of the revised policy after closure of the public consultation period.


We are convinced that the failure to revise this policy is not due to carelessness or incompetence, but is deliberate and aimed at accommodating certain developers. Whilst this revision is supposedly underway, new applications for so-called fuel stations continue to be submitted under a defective policy that allows 3,000m² fuel stations on natural and agricultural land designated as ODZ. There are currently 14 applications for ODZ fuel stations, with four of them approved already, and the others being processed. Together, they constitute a size equal to five times the Floriana Granaries. As can be seen from the completed ODZ fuel stations, these are more akin to shopping-complexes rather than fuel stations.


It is also clear that the PA’s deplorable behaviour in this case is reflective of its general approach to development in our country, always favouring the wealthy few at the expense of the rest. Presently, whole communities find themselves besieged by senseless development that is wrecking Malta’s quality of life and environment. People have reached the point of dreading to think what Malta will look and feel like in a few years.


We will continue our direct action at the PA’s premises for as long as necessary. Everyone is welcome to join us and we underline that this action is strictly non-partisan.


Il-PA qed tassedja ’l Malta b’pompi tal-petrol enormi u inutli 


Il-Moviment Graffitti, kmieni dalgħodu, beda assedju simboliku fil-bini tal-Awtorità tal-Ippjanar (PA) biex jikkundanna l-assedju tal-awtorità fuq il-gżira tagħna b’pompi tal-petrol enormi u inutli.


Aħna qegħdin inwettqu din l-azzjoni diretta biex nenfasizzaw li l-PA naqset milli tbiddel il-policy dwar il-pompi tal-petrol - policy li l-awtoritajiet infushom irrikonoxxew bħala waħda ta’ ħsara u wiegħdu li se jirrevedu, sena sħiħa u erba' xhur ilu. L-Awtorità għall-Ambjent u r-Riżorsi (ERA) kienet issottomettiet ir-rakkomandazzjonijiet tagħha fuq it-talba tal-Ministru f'April tas-sena l-oħra, u minn Novembru bdejna nisimgħu dwar il-pubblikazzjoni imminenti mill-PA tal-policy riveduta. Madankollu, il-policy attwali għadha fis-seħħ, mhux riveduta, u abbozz li juri l-bidliet eventwali fil-policy għadu lanqas biss ġie ppubblikat għall-konsultazzjoni.


Aħna mhux se nħallu lill-PA tgħaddina biż-żmien, speċjalment għaliex hawnhekk hawn il-futur tagħna fin-nofs. Li jkollok ħafna pompi tal-petrol enormi f’pajjiż żgħir u mibni żżejjed bħal Malta hija sempliċement, kif aħna ilna ngħidu, ġennata. U dikjarazzjonijiet riċenti mill-Prim Ministru dwar li Malta sa taqleb għall-użu ta’ karozzi elettriċi fil-futur qarib jagħmlu l-ġenn ta' dan kollu iktar ċar. Għalhekk, wara li ppruvajna dak kollu possibbli biex il-PA tbiddel din il-policy redikola, imma kien kollu għalxejn, illum qegħdin hawn bi tliet talbiet bażiċi ħafna:

• Li tinbidel il-policy dwar il-pompi tal-petrol għal waħda li tipprojbixxi pompi tal-petrol ġodda jew rilokati fuq l-ODZ, skond id-direzzjoni li tat l-ERA
• Li tiġi ppublikata l-policy riveduta dwar il-pompi tal-petrol għal konsultazzjoni, minnufih
• Li jiġi pprovdut qafas ta' żmien qasir għall-implimentazzjoni tal-policy riveduta wara l-għeluq tal-perjodu ta' konsultazzjoni pubblika.


Aħna konvinti li n-nuqqas ta’ reviżjoni ta' din il-policy mhuwiex riżultat ta’ traskuraġni jew inkompetenza, iżda huwa intenzjonat u mmirat biex jakkomoda ċerti żviluppaturi. Filwaqt li din ir-reviżjoni suppost għaddejja bħalissa, applikazzjonijiet ġodda għall-hekk imsejħa pompi tal-petrol qed jibqgħu jiġu sottomessi taħt policy difettuża li tippermetti pompi tal-petrol ta’ 3,000m² fuq art naturali u agrikola indikata bħala ODZ. Bħalissa hemm 14-il applikazzjoni għall-pompi tal-petrol fuq art ODZ, b’erba’ minnhom diġà approvati, u l-oħrajn qed jiġu pproċessati. Flimkien, dawn ikopru biċċa art kbira daqs il-Fosos tal-Furjana għal ħames darbiet. Kif jidher mill-pompi tal-petrol fuq ODZ li diġa’ nbnew, dawn huma iktar simili għal kumplessi tax-xiri milli pompi tal-petrol.


Huwa ċar ukoll li l-imġieba deplorevoli tal-PA f'dan il-każ tirrifletti l-mod ġenerali ta’ kif tħares lejn l-iżvilupp f'pajjiżna, fejn din dejjem tiffavorixxi lil ftit sinjuruni askapitu tal-bqija. Bħalissa, komunitajiet sħaħ jinsabu assedjati minn żvilupp bla sens li qed ibaxxi l-kwalità tal-ħajja u jeqred l-ambjent ta’ Malta. In-nies spiċċaw jibżgħu jaħsbu fuq kif se tkun tidher Malta ftit tas-snin oħra.


Aħna se nkomplu bl-azzjoni diretta fil-bini tal-PA sakemm ikun meħtieġ. Inħeġġu lil kulħadd jingħaqad magħna u nenfasizzaw li din l-azzjoni hija strettament mhux partiġġjana.