In its pre-electoral proposals document, the Malta Chamber urged the next Government to focus on sustainable planning and development policies with a commitment on the long term overall quality of life of citizens based on protection of the environment.
The Chamber presented the document which is titled “Policy Proposals for a Competitiveness-centred Electoral Manifesto” to the Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat and the Leader of the Opposition Dr Simon Busuttil. In all, the document proposes 71 concrete deliverables split in to 12 chapters, each tackling an important aspect of Malta’s economy.
The Malta Chamber said that the short-sighted Strategic Plan for Environment and Development (SPED) must be revisited to curtail present haphazard development practices with policies more conducive to a sustainable environment.
“The country must continuously strive to strike a healthy balance between sustainable development and socio-economic growth. Indeed, Planning and Environmental policy is far-reaching. The principles of sustainability should not be prejudiced especially in Malta where land is such a scarce resource” the document said.
“The rapid urbanisation of the country is leading to dense over population in certain zones, rapid depletion of open spaces, significant stress on ageing infrastructure and overall lower quality of life for residents. However, it is pertinent to note that the demand for property driving said urbanisation is not everlasting” the Chamber warned.
“As the country is experiencing highly uncertain times, both domestically and internationally, the economy must avoid over reliance on the construction sector and property market.”
The Malta Chamber said that pressures on environmental considerations and land-use, in particular, are exerted by needs placed by all aspects of development such as agriculture, tourism, transport, commercial, residential, educational, infrastructural and social. All must be complementary within a holistic national plan for the country’s balanced socio-economic development.
With regards to the country’s urgent need for a comprehensive national waste strategy, the Chamber said that it was involved in consultation with stakeholders and prepared extensive feedback on how the country may effectively address the fragmented and piecemeal approach to waste management.
The Chamber said it was in a position to discuss its in-depth proposals with the incoming government with a view to encourage its early implementation to the benefit all stakeholders and the environment.