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'Be constructive on air quality, not hostile,' GSD urges Govt

Gibraltar's air quality falls "woefully short" of acceptable standards, the GSD said today as it urged the Gibraltar Government to accept constructive criticism instead of resorting to self-congratulation and personal insult.

The party was responding after the government accused GSD MP Trevor Hammond of being "out of his depth" on environmental issues.

Mr Hammond had raised concerns about the bunkering industry and its impact on air quality, but the government said the GSD MP had sent contradictory messages on pollution and was ignoring improvements in key areas.

For the GSD, however, the government's response was indicative of a style of politics that sought to avoid constructive debate while praising "mediocre success".

"The issues at stake strike to the heart of public health and it is a great shame that Government are not willing to engage in constructive dialogue which recognises that there remains a serious issue with air quality in Gibraltar and it is the responsibility of everyone to contribute to making improvements, whether in Government, Opposition, a Non-Government Organisation or indeed a member of the public," Mr Hammond said.

"Government and ministers may wish to continually congratulate themselves, but the fact is that whenever an independent expert assessment of our air quality has been conducted, the
results have fallen woefully short of acceptable standards."

"It is high time that Government dropped the  jibes and insults and that we work together as a community to address this issue which is affecting public health now and will affect generations to come."

"On the issue of bunkering I have called for a review, not for a cessation of the industry as
Government suggests, because there are always improvements that can be made and if
these can be identified then they can have a positive impact on public health."

"Why Dr Cortes would be so reluctant to agree to such does not make any sense and does him no credit."