SOS Hondoq News

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Echo-Gozo: a race to be green

Part of an article published on The Times of Malta on Saturday, 23rd August, 2008 by Carmel Cacopardo.

An ecological island would ensure that the ecological sites which form part of the EU Natura 2000, like Il-Qortin il-Kbir at Nadur, and those which are of great importance to the island, like Ta' Ċenċ, are properly protected, managed and monitored. It would also ensure that declarations already made favouring the rape of Ħondoq ir-Rummien are withdrawn.

An eco-Gozo through efficient public transport would provide a reliable alternative to private cars, thereby encouraging their reduction in use. As a result it would also encourage the use of bicycles, which are surely suitable to cover the short distances between the various villages in Gozo. It would also realise that the construction industry must apply the brakes immediately. Gozo holds the national record on vacant properties: 47.66% of properties in Gozo were vacant in 2005 (9,762 out of 20,481 properties). An eco-Gozo faced with this fact would undoubtedly insist that the community can satisfy its residential needs from existing housing stock.

To view the whole article to

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Helping to put Gozo on the world tourism map

Published on on 3rd August, 2008.

We are a consortium of local business men who would like to help put Gozo, and indeed Malta, onto the world tourism map. We believe that under the current planning climate we should have no problem in achieving this.

Firstly, we intend to apply for a permit to turn Ggantija into a world-class theme park, the temple stones just lend themselves to being painted in bright fluorescent colours, which would also glow in the dark and act as a magnet for attracting tourists to the island. We propose building just one single slimline 100-storey hotel tower to preserve the remaining nearby countryside.

Secondly we are proposing a mega-size Splash and Fun Park in Hondoq Bay, this will preserve the bay as opposed to a Marina and the public will still have their normal access, although this will of course require an entry fee. Our resort hotel complex would be built on floating stilts around the perimeter of the bay, thus preserving the local countryside. As an added bonus anyone staying at our hotel would still have a view of Malta if they book a superior room.

Thirdly, at Ramla Bay, we propose a single low level development immediately adjacent to and along the beach, again local people will still have access to the remaining beach (on payment of a fee) and the rural hillside view will be preserved in its present state. Around the length of the development we propose a single-storey themed indoor/outdoor complex of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues. This complex would be built partially below ground-level with landscaping in order to lessen both its visual and audible impact on the surrounding area.

Fourthly, turning to the Ta’ Cenc area, we intend to apply for a permit to turn the area into a game reserve. This would serve two purposes, firstly it would prevent any further building in the area (other than our themed game reserve accommodation complex) and secondly any surplus game could be hunted and trapped (for a fee), thus alleviating the current hunting and trapping dilemma for the government.
Fifthly, we will be applying for a permit to hold motorcycle racing around the ancient centre of Victoria, we envisage something similar to the Isle of Man TT race. The local residents, shopkeepers and tourists visiting Victoria are already well used to two and four wheel motorcycles racing around the narrow streets and alleys throughout the day and night, so we don’t believe there would be any additional detrimental effects caused by our planned races.

Sixthly, at Dwerja we plan a world-class Marine Park Resort, the sea would be fenced off around the whole area and then stocked with exotic marine life, this again would serve two purposes. Firstly, as a world-class exotic diving venue and secondly any surplus marine life would also help to solve the hunting/trapping dilemma - again of course these facilities would be subject to a fee. We would also preserve the Azure Window as a grand entrance to a nautically themed resort hotel complex.

Last but not least, at Ta’ Pinu we intend to seek a permit for a Disney/Taj Mahal style shrine complex which would rival Lourdes. We would of course seek advice from the Church Authorities to ensure that the themed villa, restaurant and entertainment complex for visiting pilgrims would be perfectly in keeping with it’s surroundings and of course a percentage of any profits would be donated to the Church.

We also intend, with Disney’s permission as well as MEPA’s, to erect a giant statue of Mickey Mouse on the cliffs at Mgarr, this would also be brightly coloured and glow in the dark, to act as an emblematic beacon for tourists.

We are currently holding discussions with a view to having Mickey Mouse officially adopted as a mascot to represent both Gozo and Malta abroad, this will enable us to present an apt and unified image of our islands to the world tourism market.

We would like to invite suggestions from any other interested groups or individuals who may have similar ideas or plans to put forward.

GMMC - Gozo Mickey Mouse Consortium