Video clip highlights PA’s inaction over fuel stations policy

January 15, 2019
Video clip highlights PA’s inaction over fuel stations policy

Moviment Graffitti has just released a short video clip to highlight the Planning Authority’s (PA) failure to review the Fuel Service Station Policy. This policy incentivizes massive commercial complexes, under the guise of fuel stations, on agricultural and natural land designated as ODZ.

A year has passed from the Environment’s Minister declaration that the 2015 Fuel Service Station Policy is wrong and needs to be revised. In the meantime, Moviment Graffitti and other organisations have carried out many actions, including two direct actions at the PA’s premises, to demand the immediate revision of this policy. Over 1,100 individuals have also sent an email to the authorities expressing their outrage at this policy and at the PA’s inaction in changing it.

It is baffling that the PA is taking such a ridiculously long time to carry out a simple change to the policy. Although the Environment and Resource Authority (ERA) completed its review in April, stating that the revised policy should not allow fuel stations on ODZ, the PA has not yet published for public consultation a draft of the revised policy. The PA’s Executive Chairperson, Johann Buttigieg, stated in November that a draft of the reviewed policy was ready to be issued for public consultation. However, yet another month has passed and the policy remains unpublished.

New applications for ODZ fuel stations continue to be submitted under this current, defective, policy. There are 16 applications for ODZ fuel stations, with four having been accepted already and the others still being processed, covering a total area equal to six times the Floriana Granaries.

It is clear that the PA is taking everyone for a ride by dragging its feet and keeping the current policy in place, thus allowing a few developers to continue enriching themselves by building on ODZ.

Moviment Graffitti is also concerned that the PA might use the public consultation process as a way to continuing to postpone the revision of the policy by, for example, taking a very long time to come up with a final version of the revised policy after the consultation period closes. The PA should not only publish the reviewed policy for consultation immediately, but it should also establish a date for the entry into force of the final, revised, policy.

Vidjo qasir jiġbed l-attenzjoni għan-nuqqas t’azzjoni mill-PA biex tinbidel il-policy dwar il-pompi tal-petrol

Il-Moviment Graffitti għadu kemm ħareġ video qasir li jiġbed l-attenzjoni tal-pubbliku għall-fatt li l-Awtorità tal-Ippjanar (PA) naqset milli tirrevedi l-Fuel Service Station Policy. Din il-policy tinċentiva l-bini ta’ kumplessi kummerċjali massivi, taparsi pompi tal-petrol, fuq art agrikola u naturali barra ż-żoni tal-iżvilupp (ODZ).

Għaddiet sena minn meta l-Ministru għall-Ambjent iddikjara li l-Fuel Service Station Policy tal-2015 hija ħażina u hemm bżonn tiġi riveduta. Tul dan iż-żmien, il-Moviment Graffitti u għaqdiet oħrajn wettqu diversi azzjonijiet, inkluż żewġ azzjonijiet diretti ġewwa l-bini tal-PA, biex jitolbu r-reviżjoni immedjata ta’ din il-policy. Iktar minn 1,100 individwu bagħtu wkoll email lill-awtoritajiet sabiex jesprimu l-għadab tagħhom għal din il-policy u għan-nuqqas t’azzjoni mill-PA biex din tinbidel. 

Hija xi ħaġa inkredibbli li l-PA qed tieħu tul esaġerat ta’ żmien sabiex tagħmel bidla daqshekk sempliċi fil-policy. Għalkemm l-Awtorità għall-Ambjent u r-Riżorsi (ERA) lestiet ir-reviżjoni tagħha f’April, fejn qalet li l-policy riveduta m’għandhiex tħalli pompi tal-petrol fuq ODZ, il-PA għadha ma ppubblikatx għall-konsultazzjoni l-abbozz tal-policy riveduta. Iċ-Chairperson Eżekuttiv tal-PA, Johann Buttigieg, iddikjara f’Novembru li abbozz tal-policy riveduta kien lest biex joħroġ għall-konsultazzjoni pubblika. Iżda laħaq għadda xahar ieħor u dan għadu ma ġiex ippubblikat.

Sadanittant, applikazzjonijiet ġodda għall-pompi tal-petrol f’ODZ jistgħu jibqgħu jintefgħu taħt il-policy difettuża kurrenti. Hemm 16-il applikazzjoni għal pompi tal-petrol f’ODZ, b’erbgħa minnhom diġà ġew approvati u l-oħrajn għadhom qed jiġu ipproċessata. Flimkien, dawn ikopru ammont ta’ art li fiha daqs sitt darbiet il-fosos tal-Furjana.

Huwa ċar li l-PA qed tiddieħek bin-nies billi tkaxkar saqajha u tħalli fis-seħħ il-policy kurrenti, biex b’hekk ftit żviluppaturi jkunu jistgħu jkomplu jistagħnew billi jibnu fuq ODZ.

Il-Moviment Graffitti huwa wkoll imħasseb dwar il-fatt li l-PA tista’ tuża l-proċess ta’ konsultazzjoni pubblika biex tkompli tippostponi r-reviżjoni ta’ din il-policy billi, pereżempju, tieħu żmien twil ħafna biex toħroġ il-policy finali riveduta wara li jagħlaq il-perjodu ta’ konsultazzjoni. Il-PA għandha mhux biss tippubblika il-policy riveduta għall-konsultazzjoni immedjatament, imma wkoll tagħti data meta din il-policy finali, riveduta, se tidħol fis-seħħ.

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