Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Don't destroy one of the few open spaces left in Victoria

On the 26th January 2009, residents from Victoria, together with Alternattiva Demokratika, protested against the building of a new Court premises in the centre of Victoria Gozo and the residential area of Pjazza l-Assedju 1551, which is at the moment being used as a parking area. Apart from this, the residents have not been at all consulted with regards to the plans of the buildings, which will certainly affect their quality of life.

Alternattiva Demokratika chairman Arnold Cassola stated that we (as The Green Party) are not against the building of new premises for the law courts. On the contrary, we are in favour. But we are against it being built in the centre of Victoria because this would bring with it more traffic in the midst of the population with an increased rate of noise pollution and air quality deterioration, and the consequent dangers posed to the health of residents and their children.

I urged the Gozo Ministry and the Home Affairs Ministry as well as Transport Ministry to seriously reconsider their plans and said that given that the present premises in the Cittadella are inadequate to accommodate the volume of legal work, coupled with the consequent concentration of traffic in the heart of Victoria, together with the inadequate conditions of the workers.

My Party is instead proposing that the law courts be moved to the outskirts of the city to a vacant complex formerly rented to Malta Dairy Products (MDP), where commuters could be served by a shuttle bus service.

Not only does it afford ample office space but AD also proposes this new complex includes other services such as a public registry, a regional police headquarters with lock-up cells, the fire brigade and rescue centre, a regional Attorney General office, a regional office for local government and any other department that falls under the Justice Ministry.

This way, Gozitans will be better serviced through these proposals and the much talked-about traffic congestion in Victoria would ease considerably. Don't you think so too?

Residents in the area are worried that the site being put forward by the government is grossly misguided since it will increase the chronic traffic and pollution problem in Victoria and will destroy one of the few open spaces left in the capital of Gozo.

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