The abrogative referendum made simple : (5) Targeted Legislation

hunting in malta (05) Pallid Harrier

(5)    Targeted Legislation

The referendum petition will identify specific legislation (regulations) which permit spring hunting and will in accordance to the Referendum Act request whether voters agree that this legislation shall cease to be applicable in Malta.

Maltese legislation permitting Spring Hunting is Legal Notice 221 of 2010 entitled : Framework for Allowing a Derogation Opening a Spring Hunting Season for Turtledove and Quail Regulations.

Sub-section (1) of section 14 of the Referendum Act uses the following words : “Any number of persons registered as voters for the election of members of the House of Representatives, being not less than ten per cent of the total number of persons registered as voters as appear in the revised Electoral Register last published  …………….. may by signing a declaration in the form set out in the First Schedule demand that the question whether one or more provisions of an enactment to which this Part applies, shall not continue in force, shall be put to those entitled to vote in a referendum under this Act.”

Is-skiet tal-PN dwar l-Armier

Armier shanty town

Wara d-deċiżjoni tal-Imħallef Ellul fuq l-abbużi fl-Armier il-PN għadu sieket.

Tajjeb li nfakkru li l-abbużi tollerati minn Gvern immexxi mill-PN m’humiex biss dawk li jitkellem fuqhom l-imħallef Ellul fis-sentenza tiegħu. Hemm ħafna iżjed.

L-ex Ministru Falzon kien spjega f’artiklu miktub minnu fil-Malta Today li hu kien resssaq proposta għat-twaqqiegħ tal-bini illegali fl-Armier iżda l-Kabinett ma appoġġaħx.

Sadanittant il-PN jibqa’ sieket, konxju li hu responsabbli għall-istat attwali tal-irregolaritajiet fl-Armier.

L-inqas li nistennew hi apoloġija. Minflok għandna skiet li jtarrax. Il-politika ġdida ta’ Simon Busuttil.

Fuq dan il-blog, dwar l-istess suġġett,  ara ukoll dawn il-posts :

24 ta’ Ġunju 2008 : Il-boathouses fl-Armier.

21 ta’ Jannar 2012 : Parties in Cahoots with squatters.

17 t’Awwissu 2012 : Armier cowboys should not be rewarded.

23 t’Ottubru 2012 : Pajjiż tal-cowboys : israq u tkun ippremjat.

24 t’Ottubru 2012: Il-boathouses tal-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa : meta l-Ministru riedhom jaqgħu

2 ta’ Frar 2013 : Armier illegalities and amnesties.

Resurrection of eco-Gozo

The Gozo Channel

There is much more to a Gozo Channel bridge than its financial cost calculated in euros. There are also social and  environmental costs.

The proposal to link Malta and Gozo permanently has been around for ages. It involves connecting the islands such that there are no physical obstructions to proceed from one island to the other.

Gozo’s connectivity is a serious matter. Yet Gozo’s double insularity may well be its greatest asset which has been misunderstood and ill-used throughout the years.

The improvement of existing transport links  by introducing more efficient means or through alternative  means of transport is one way of looking at the channel crossing-challenge. Almost all  alternatives have been tried out in the past. Fast sea links linking Mġarr Gozo directly with a central location have been tried and subsequently discontinued. Alternatively, air links through the use of amphibious small planes  and helicopters too have been tried.

Will Gozo be better off if it is permanently linked to Malta?  I think that those insisting on the bridge or the tunnel genuinely believe that because they themselves may be better off everyone else will possibly be better off too.

Reality, unfortunately, is considerably different as with a physical link between Malta and Gozo there will be both winners and losers.   The process leading to a decision has to be both honest and transparent if it is to be of any help.

It has to be honest as it has to consider all the anticipated impacts of each proposal under consideration. Improved connectivity for industry to deliver goods produced in Gozo to Malta and elsewhere also signifies improved connectivity for working men and women living in Gozo and working in Malta. This could suggest that there may then be no more scope in locating industry in Gozo as the labourforce would easily access their working place. To date, providing work for Gozitans in Gozo has been an important social and political objective. If a physical link materialises this may no longer be so. Gozo will then be a locality just like any other in Malta.

Double insularity, if ditched by choice, will no longer be able to justify subsidies and incentives to lure industry to Gozo.  Double insularity will no longer be justification for EU regional development funds as it will no longer exist. What purpose then for the projected Gozo office in Brussels?

What about the impacts on the tourism industry?  Tourism policy relative to Gozo has always focused on Gozo as the destination with a difference. Gozo’s potential as an eco-tourism destination has been occassionally tapped. Diving is a well-developed niche market for eco-tourism in Gozo. Agri-tourism in Gozo has substantial potential, which is to date largely untapped.

These are issues whose potential could and should have been developed within the context of the eco-Gozo project. Unfortunately, this project has been hijacked by those who, after plagiarising the idea from  Alternattiva Demokratika used it as a slogan and ignored it as a vision.

The contribution to tourism of cultural activities such as opera performances  in Gozo is not to be underestimated. Such cultural activities contribute substantially to the viability of hotel operations in Gozo through the generation of revenue in the winter months. The introduction of a permanent link will undoubtedly increase the potential audiences for opera and other cultural activities in Gozo. However, with a bridge or tunnel in place, the use of hotels in Gozo will not be required by opera enthusiasts as they would be in a position to drive back home immediately. This has already been evident when Gozo Channel increased its trips through the introduction of late night trips.

In addition one has to consider environmental impacts. Impacts on protected marine areas in the Gozo Channel would be substantial. Add visual impacts in the case of the bridge or over two million cubic metres of excavated material in the case of the tunnel.

And what about the geological features of the Gozo Channel? As the area is riddled with geological faults, the first logical step is obviously a detailed geological examination of the area.  But what is obviously a logical first step seems not to have been given due weight.

Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party in Malta advocates a different line of action. A connectivity strategy for Gozo considering in detail all the different options is to be drawn up. After subjecting it to a Strategic Environment Assessement in line with the EU environmental legislation such a strategy should be subject to a public consultation, not just with the Gozitans but on a national level.

Taking into consideration all impacts would ensure that the decison taken is a sustainable one. Not in the interests of one specific sector but in the interests of all. Resurrecting (the real) eco-Gozo in the process would not be a bad idea.

Published in The Times of Malta – Saturday June 29, 2013 

The abrogative referendum made simple : (4) When can I sign?

hunting in Malta 04

(4)   When can I sign?

Collection of signatures for calling the referendum has not yet begun.

So far it is only a call for the formation of the Coalition to Abolish Spring Hunting that has been made.  To date two eNGOs, namely Ramblers and Friends of the Earth, have decided to join the Coalition. As soon as other eNGOs take their decisions the process of signature collection will be set in motion.

From my contacts it is clear that eNGOs are taking the matter seriously and will be taking decisions shortly.

An announcement will be made as to when the collection of signatures will commence.  But one thing is certain, the abrogative referendum to abolish spring hunting is on.

The abrogative referendum made simple: (3) How many signatures are required

hunting in Malta 03

(3)    How many signatures are required?

In order for an abrogative referendum to be called such a request must be made by not less than 10% of those listed on the general election electoral register. This would amount to approximately  some 34,000 signatures.

The abrogative referendum simply explained (2) Who can vote?

hunting in Malta 02

(2) who can vote?

Only Maltese citizens whose name is listed in the general election electoral register can vote. If your name is not on the electoral register you can neither sign the petition calling for the abrogative referendum nor can you vote.  Being “just” registered to vote for the Local Council or for the purposes of the European Parliament elections does entitle you to participate in the abrogative referendum, neither as a signatory nor as a voter.

The abrogative referendum simply explained (1) What is it?

hunting in Malta 01

(1)    What is an abrogative referendum ?

A referendum takes decisions. These are taken directly by voters. In an abrogative referendum voters will be asked to cancel a legislative instrument (a law or a set of regulations).  To abrogate means to cancel. Hence abrogative referendum.

The Coalition to Abolish Spring Hunting is campaigning to have regulations which permit spring hunting cancelled from the statute book. This would mean the abolition of spring hunting.

The decision taken will be final provided that more than 50% of eligible voters turn up and vote.

Coalition against Spring Hunting : the first steps

hunting 02.2013

Where do I sign to ensure that a referendum in favour of abolishing spring hunting is held?

Collection of signatures has not yet started. It will only start when the coalition is in place.

AD has invited all pro-nature organisations to launch a broad Coalition to Abolish Spring Hunting. Various NGOs got in touch.

Ramblers and Friends of the Earth have already declared publicly that they support the initiative . Other organisations have signified their intention to join but they have yet to formalise their decision through their Committee.

On behalf of AD I have held various meetings with other eNGOs  which are still considering whether to participate in the Coalition. It is perfectly reasonable to await these eNGOs in order that they can decide, in full autonomy. Obviously at some point a decision will be taken to move forward with the eNGOs who are on board.

Then, the next steps will be announced.

L-għasafar tagħna lkoll


Il-maġġoranza tal-Maltin iridu li l-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa tieqaf darba għal dejjem.

Is-survey li kien ġie ippubblikat mill-gazzetta Malta Today wera li fil-fatt, 59.8% tal-votanti jivvutaw biex il-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa tieqaf.

Għalhekk fuq stedina ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika beda l-proċess biex jinġabru flimkien l-għaqdiet ambjentali ħalli flimkien jiffurmaw Koalizzjoni kontra l-Kaċċa fir-Rebbiegħa. Dawn bdew jinġabru bil-mod.  Qegħdin jiltaqgħu u jiddiskutu.

Kif l-għaqdiet ambjentali ilestu u jieħdu d-deċiżjonijiet, flimkien nibdew it-triq li twassalna għal referendum abrogattiv, jiġifieri referendum li jħassar minn fuq il-kotba tal-liġijiet ta’ Malta r-regoli li jagħmluha possibli li jkollna l-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa.

Bil-vot tiegħek tista’ tagħmel dak li l-ebda Gvern ma kien kapaċi jagħmel s’issa. Tista’ tgħid le għal kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa.

Għax l-għasafar tagħna lkoll.

59.8% want spring hunting abolished

hunting 02.2013

It was just one month ago that Malta Today published the result of a survey concluding that 59.8% of those surveyed want spring hunting abolished.

This was just one month ago, on May 19, 2013.

40.7% want hunting abolished altogether whilst 19.1% want just spring hunting abolished. These add up to 59.8%.

The Coalition to abolish Spring Hunting needs your help.

You may refreshen your memory by reading the online article here.