This is also the year when Gozo Channel's monopoly of the public sea transport to and from Gozo has to come to an end. We at Alternattiva Demokratika therefore strongly recommend to the Minister concerned that instead of keeping the matter under the carpet, a number of factors must be considered.
Firstly, the future of the existing 240 employees of Gozo Channel must be safeguarded. It is most unfair that after these workers were used as a vote-catching exercise in previous Elections by both the Labour and Nationalist governments, they are now being kept in the dark with regards to their future. The Union representing these workers must be proactive in this regard.
Secondly, the government must not forget that the Gozo Channel provides a vital 'life-line' for Gozo. Therefore the Gozo Channel service must not be looked upon simply as a business venture but as a public service. The needs of Gozitan workers and students in Malta must remain one of its top priorities even when considering tariffs and schedules.
Thirdly, a clause should be included, in the new tender, binding the successful applicant to reduce to a minimum the pollution and energy consumption levels by the ships providing the service.