SOS Hondoq News

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ramla l-Hamra and Hondoq

Publisehd in The Times of Malta on Tuesday 21st August, 2007 by Leslie Causon.

In his Talking Point (August 16), Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando states that "if the government is faced with a similar situation to the Ramla l-Hamra one in the future, it should seriously consider buying the property, demolishing it and restoring the area to its natural state".

I cannot agree more with Mr Pullicino Orlando.

I would go a step further and recommend that the government buys back the used quarry at Hondoq ir-Rummien and restores this area to its natural state.

In this way we can save one of the most beautiful bays in Gozo before this is destroyed with the proposed development of the marina, hotel and multi-ownership residences.

AD urges Gozo Diocese to set up environment commission

Published on The Times of Malta on Tuesday 21st August, 2007.

Mr Galea said that while it was admirable that the Environment Commission of the diocese of Malta expressed itself about issues that damage or enhance the country as a whole, the Diocese of Gozo, together with other interested entities, needed to be vocal about issues that concern Gozitans deeply, such as the pending issues of Ramla l-Hamra, Hondoq ir-Rummien and Ta' Cenc, as well as others such as the high price of property for first-time buyers and young people.

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Ta' Cenc again

Published on The Times of Malta on Tuesday 21st August, 2007 by Lesley G. Kreupl.

The time has come now for Mepa, the political parties, NGOs and owners of other sensitive properties (e.g. Ramla and Hondoq) to work together for the good of Gozo and not themselves. If the owners are not prepared to negotiate the return of the properties to the government, the government should expropriate such properties and turn them into nature reserves to ensure that their uniqueness as well as the wealth of flora and fauna are preserved for future generations of Maltese and Gozitans.

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Mepa and the illegal penthouse

Published on on Tuesday 21st August, 2007 by James Tyrrell.

Once again we see the total incompetence of Mepa. We know that this authority has already irritated the people of Malta and Gozo by issuing permits for developments in some of the most scenic areas in the islands. We are all familiar with the stupid decisions already given the green light by Mepa. Developments such as the proposed hotel and marina complex at Hondoq ir-Rummien, and the 23-villa tourist complex on the slopes leading to the Calypso Caves at Ramla l-Hamra come to mind here.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Let your vote do the talking

Published on on 19th August, 2007 by James Alexander Tyrrell.

The unpopularity of proposed developments at Hondoq ir-Rummien, Ta’ Cenc and Ramla l-Hamra bay, to mention but a few, are finally coming back to bite the Government. The Gozitan people are now beginning to realise that a vote for the PN means a vote for the continued destruction of their island. But even more tellingly, are the effects this Government is having on tourism through their development policies.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Gozo’s fine lace

Part of an article published on Malta Today on 8th August, 2007 be Reno Borg.

Recently, Paul Buttigieg who together with many others are working hard to save Hondoq ir-Rummien, passed to me very useful information on the efforts being done to save the place from the butchery development proposed for the area. The Prime Minister and the Minster for Gozo have repeatedly declared that they give their blessing for such a “splendid” idea notwithstanding the fact that thousands have protested against it and much more thousands do so in their quiet homes in Gozo.

The second requisites for fine lace is: ribbon. The government has spent so many millions in “projects” for Gozo, that the necessary “ribbon” has been successfully provided. It has tied up the future so tightly that new generations would not have the luxury of choosing a pattern for their landscapes. It has been predestined and they would only thank their fathers for such bequeathed beauty.

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PN support in Gozo in free-fall

Part of an article published on MaltaToday on Sunday 12th August, 2007 by James Debono.

Even a majority of Nationalist voters reject this decision.

A majority of Gozitan respondents also declared themselves against the proposed development at Hondoq ir-Rummien and at Ta’ Cenc.

This surge in environmental awareness in Gozo is reflected in greater support for Alternattiva Demokratika which scores nearly four per cent in this traditionally conservative locality.

The survey also shows that Gozo still cherishes traditional Catholic values by rejecting divorce and same sex marriages.

While nearly half Maltese respondents had expressed themselves for the introduction of divorce in February, only 25 per cent of Gozitans agree.

The survey also shows that patronage networks are still very strong in Gozo.

While only 2.7 per cent of Maltese citizens admitted receiving favours for their vote in a previous MaltaToday survey, 12 per cent of Gozitan respondents openly admitted receiving favours in exchange of their vote.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sardinia's example

Published on The Times of Malta on 7th August, 2007 by David Pisani.

Recently Sardinia took a giant step towards saving its coastline for posterity when the island's regional assembly approved a law banning construction on 1,760 km of land near the sea.

The law is expected to kill off plans to build a huge tourist complex on the Costa Turchese on the east coast, near Olbia. The plans, which envisaged 500 hectares of villas and hotels, and moorings for 2,000 yachts, was rejected by successive island governments.

The Costa Turchese, home to a marine nature reserve, is to be rigorously protected from all construction. The measure to protect Sardinia's coasts had first been imposed by decree two years ago, but last week a more carefully refined version was enacted as a law.

Mepa should apply the same principle and law to protect Hondoq ir-Rummien from destruction. We have to be thankful to Mother Nature for creating such beautiful places in Malta and Gozo. Land speculators have to realise that their political way of thinking is doing more harm than good to our tourist industry.

"Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money." Cree Indian Proverb.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Hondoq Ir-Rummien is priceless

Published on The Sunday Times of Malta on 5th August, 2007 by Mr. Angelo Xerri.

In the first five days of July we had very strong winds blowing from the west. The beautiful Ramla Bay faces this wind, and in Marsalforn nobody could walk along the waterfront, let alone dream of swimming.

At Hondoq Ir-Rummien it was calm and perfect for bathing and water sports. It was the first week after school broke up for the summer holidays and numerous Gozitans, Maltese and many tourists had no alternative but to go to pristine Hondoq Bay. There were between 300 to 400 cars every day, plus coaches, and many said that even when staying in Xlendi or Marsalforn or any other place in Gozo, this was the beach they preferred.

My question to this government and MEPA is: if permits are issued for the Qala Creek project at Hondoq Ir-Rummien, where will they create another beach to replace this bay, and what will they tell the people who love this bay? Which other beach can they visit when in Gozo the wind blows from the north, west or northwest?

Please don't say that the beach is not going to be touched, because when the first boat comes in, the beach will be polluted. Just imagine what the proposed marina for 150 boats will do and all the garbage this project will bring with it.

In Gozo there are only two beaches: Ramla Bay, which is going to be devastated by MEPA on two slopes, and Hondoq Bay, which is in the pipeline for destruction by MEPA. If MEPA issues permits for Qala Creek based on the Environment Impact Assessment provided only by the developer, it only means one thing - that this government is not listening to the majority of the people, and is in the developer's pocket.

Over 85 per cent of Qala's residents are against this project, so are the people of Gozo, and many in Malta. More than half of the EIA does not make any sense, and is all in favour of the developer. It states that Hondoq Ir-Rummien is nothing but a dumping site and that every pebble and stone will be sterilised before it is put back in the sea. It says that the developer will install double glazing in every house on the roads the dump trucks use and so on.

Is the Immaculate Conception Sanctuary included in the double glazing project as these trucks are going to be driven only three feet from its walls? They missed out on air-conditioning and window cleaners. Qala residents should ask the quarry owners to install double glazing in the houses on the roads the many dump trucks use to service the quarries also. Isn't this the same thing? That is almost all the roads in this village, including Qala Square.

We agree that Hondoq Ir-Rummien could use a little tender loving care. There is a ten-metre fresh waterfall, a rare sight in the Maltese Islands, which used to fill part of the quarry with fresh water. It attracted a good number of wild birds. Bird Life Malta and others who love the environment, take note and visit" target=_blank>

Children used to swim in this fresh water on the way to Hondoq Ir-Rummien Bay. This fresh water creek runs all year round, and is still running today, where many of the residents bring containers to fill with water for their plants and trees, saving on tap water. This water could create a beautiful water pond or two, that will bring in wildlife again.

The Qala Creek project will destroy all this forever. This area was always kept clean with cultivated fields. It was only over the last 20-odd years that this area was raped by previous administrations that allowed contractors to take everything they pleased and then left it in a mess.

This government should consider the people, their values and what they cherish, and not an EIA full of flaws and gimmicks.

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