The proposed yacht marina in Marsascala has certainly raised heated discussions since Transport Malta first published the 52-page tender document a fortnight ago. The main culprit here is the construction and maintenance of a yacht marina of around 700 yachts, which was part of a pre-approved plan for the area in 2006.
This also included the design and building of a breakwater, among other safety installations.
When news of the issued tender emerged, many have called for the Government to withdraw the proposal over safety, environmental and even political concerns. Misinformation surrounding the project has further driven justified concerns from residents, yet, at this early stage, the best card one can play going forward is the correct information.
So, let’s clarify:
1. Consultation or no consultation
Transport Malta issued the tender document without consulting with the appropriate parties or carrying out the impact assessment a large-scale project deserves.
Transport Malta conducted market research in 2018 before issuing a pre-qualification questionnaire. The document is nothing more than a call for ideas or proposals from developers or any other interested party.
2. Is it a fait accompli?
The Government has already decided to go ahead with the proposals for the marina as is.
Prime Minister Robert Abela insisted that no major decisions can be taken before all necessary consultations, including environmental ones, take place. That being said, residents of the area currently flagging concern at the project will be heard by local authorities during the consultation.
3. No more swimming at Marsascala Bay?
Access to Marsascala Bay will be limited and possibly even unsafe for bathers.
The Government has also confirmed that the current swimming zone will not be affected by plans for the marina, meaning it will still be safe for bathers to enjoy once the project is complete. Even then, St Thomas Bay will not be the only swimming zone available.
4. Is it really about yachtsmen?
The entire project is aimed at promoting Marsascala as a major touristic zone and hub for the yachting industry.
While the pre-approved plans for Marsascala in 2006, and Transport Malta’s proposals do aim for the area to be upgraded by investment, the top priority remains an exquisite quality of life for all. The project adapts to the ever-growing number of Maltese buying pleasure boats, while still ensuring a safe and accessible swimming zone for all to enjoy.
TheJournal.mt is informed that once consultations have taken place and authorities have a shortlist of interested parties at hand, other processes and studies will be launched. These include wider consultation with residents and NGOs. It is only then that Government will compile all the necessary information to kick-start the project.
So whichever side you’re on, it’s important to make your voice heard during consultation stages, and may we all keep in mind that the most fruitful discussions are based on fact, not fiction.