Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg, Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change José Herrera, and Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and the Property Market Chris Agius presented a masterplan for the Malta National Park project, in the presence of Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Permanent Secretary Christopher Cutajar and Project Coordinator appointed by the same ministry, Jason Micallef.
Minister Ian Borg said, “When we speak about how important the people’s quality of life is to us, we truly mean these words. That is why when we announce projects we don’t stop with the announcement.
After last May, together with the Prime Minister and my colleagues we announced the Malta National Park capital project, the Public Works Department team launched extensive work to develop in more detail the concept presented then. This work led to the submission of plans to the Planning Authority earlier this week, plans which will integrate several factors reaching different sectors of society with this national project, with the aim of completing the project in 2022.”
He explained that the project will include several elements, including open recreational spaces such as picnic areas and playing areas for children, a lagoon area where new experiences will be developed, an adequately equipped camping site, a BMX park, a dedicated space for concerts and national activities, a 4 kilometre walking and cycling track, the National Archives and a regenerated farmers’ market as well as car parking spaces.
“We took off with a vision that considers more open spaces for our people because we know it is their wish and we are here to serve the people’s wishes. We will, therefore, deliver a green space, a national park as big as 60 football pitches,” he said.
“We cannot forget our point of departure – a few months ago we had a piece of land belonging to the people with remains of a concrete plant that was not being used, a situation that only meant losses for the people. In May we began the process to take back this site and today we are here with a clear plan of the road ahead, a plan that has considered essential elements – health, alternative means, entertainment, sport, new recreational experiences, and the regeneration of others. We have a solid plan by the Public Works Department, a plan that will give back much more than we are investing because it will return to us improvements in quality of life thanks to quality experiences,” said Minister Borg.
He thanked the entire team that worked on this masterplan, Permanent Secretary Christopher Cutajar, Mr Jason Micallef, and government colleagues collaborating with him so that this vision can be delivered to the people.
“We want a more beautiful Malta and a better Malta, the best Malta we can have to leave to future generations and tangible improvements in the quality of life of Maltese people today. We look ahead to the concerned Authority’s decision and eventually to the implementation of this project for the people with a truly Maltese heart,” concluded Minister Borg.
Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change José Herrera stated that this is an important time to focus on a collective effort as the Ministry will be working hard on various afforestation projects. Concerning the Malta National Park project in Ta’ Qali, Minister Herrera announced that Ambjent Malta will be restructured to be able to manage the park itself once works have been completed. Further details on the restructuring will be announced in the coming weeks.
Minister Herrera stated that he is following closely the works being carried out on this project whereby once completed will fall under Ambjent Malta’s responsibility, which park should be managed in the best interest for the enjoyment of the general public.
Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and the Property Market Chris Agius said, “This is a direct investment in the standard of living of our families, our elderly and our youths.” He added that he feels truly satisfied with the Lands Authority and the Planning Authority for which he is responsible, and which had an active role in what will be the largest national park in our country, the largest open space dedicated for the recreation of our families.
The Lands Authority contributed
bypassing a large piece of land that used to be an abandoned factory to be
embellished and to join the national park.
Parliamentary Secretary Agius concluded that “instead of art used in an abusive way we will give people a state-of-the-art national park 450,000 square metres large. We will invest €20 million to improve the standard of living of the Maltese people.”
Project Coordinator Jason Micallef spoke about the importance of this project for the Maltese people and stressed that work towards its implementation is well underway. He looked ahead towards the implementation of this plan prepared for the largest open space for all Maltese and Gozitan families.