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PN to continue Zonqor fight and oppose gas tanker

Simon Busuttil has pledged to continue the fight against the use of ODZ land in Marsascala for a private university at the close of the Nationlist Party’s convention.

The Opposition leader promised this morning that the “last word had not yet been heard” on the controversial issue that cropped up last year.

“We will not thank the Prime Minister for deciding to ruin a smaller portion of ODZ at Żonqor,” Dr Busuttil told PN members at the end of the three-day gathering that discussed the environment.

He insisted there was still more to come after having promised last year the PN would stand in the way of ODZ land in Żonqor being developed for a university campus proposed by a Jordanian investor.

We will not thank the Prime Minister for deciding to ruin a smaller portion of ODZ at Żonqor- Simon Busuttil

But 2016 is also expected to see the PN going on the warpath against the gas tanker that will be anchored permanently at Delimara as a storage facility for liquefied natural gas for the new power station.

“We will be there for the residents of Marsaxlokk, Marsascala and Birżebbuġa,” he said to long applause from those present.

The first electricity produced from gas should start being delivered in July after an 18-month delay.

The PN convention, which groups together party members and not just councillors, focused on the environment and through a number of workshops produced proposals to be considered by the party.

Dr Busuttil acknowledged that the “elephant in the room” was the question whether a pro-environment PN could still win the general election. The comment was in part a reaction to suggestions over the past days that the PN should be ready to lose votes when championing the environment.

But the Opposition leader insisted being pro-environment was “a game-changer” and could lead the PN to win the general election.

“It is possible to win over switchers, non-voters and genuine Labourites who know that what I am saying is for the good of the country,” he said.

Anticipating the release of the National Audit Office investigation in the Gaffarena scandal, expected this week, Dr Busuttil said it was not acceptable for Land Parliamentary Secretary Michael Falzon to have his responsibilities shifted.

“Michael Falzon should be removed from his post,” he said, adding talk of a reshuffle was the Prime Minister’s way of deviating attention from the issues that mattered.

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