Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi yesterday told Parliament that he expects the MEPA reform should include a review of policies that would address the series of loopholes that have been exploited by some people, to the extent that developments went against the spirit of the policies themselves.
Lawrence Gonzi told Parliament that he agreed on the need for consistency in MEPA decisions, and that “such consistency had to be rooted in good decisions.”
He warned that one had to be careful that past decisonal mistakes did not set a precedent which was then applied to all future cases. Consistency had to be based on cases decided on correct information.
MEPA, he said, “is an essential instrument for the future of sustainable development which respected the quality of life, especially the environment.”
According to the Prime Minister, “one of the main aims of the MEPA reforms was to make the authority more transparent,” although - he added – “the institution was already one of the most transparent and accountable,” and some further measures had already been taken under the current chairmanship of Austin Walker.
While he announced that MEPA’s own internal audit role was to be strengthened, the Prime Minister praised the important role of the Mepa auditor, while insisting on more improvement for efficiency.
“It is unacceptable that the people were kept waiting even for three years to be told a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on their proposed developments,” the Prime Minister said, while adding that progress had been made in enforcement actions.
Legislation in this area proposed during the last legislature had not made it through Parliament and would now be improved upon before being moved once more.