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Govt hits back at ‘immature’ TG over environment

Eyleen Gomez

The Gibraltar Government hit back at criticism from Together Gibraltar about a perceived lack of progress on environmental issues, adding that green policies were being implemented despite Covid-19 and Brexit “stealing the limelight”.

In a statement, TG had labelled the Government’s Line Wall Road project as a “complete disaster” and stressed that more work should have been done to invest on the environment.

It also cited concerns about slow progress on a range of other issues including sewage treatment, pollution, renewable energy and the greening of Gibraltar.

But a spokesman for No.6 Convent Place said: “Progress on the environment continues in the background, even if other issues, notably Covid-19 and Brexit, have stolen the limelight.”

“Improvement to natural habitats and the creation of new green areas are examples, and the Government will shortly release figures that will clearly demonstrate the success of its measure to improve air quality.”

“Further progress on greening Gibraltar, sadly delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, will be seen very soon.”

“Together Gibraltar is aware, but makes no mention of the administrative difficulties, totally outside the Government’s control, that have delayed progress on the treatment of sewage,” the spokesman added.

“It fails to recognise that bunkering in Gibraltar is now carried out with great care for the environment, with no significant impact on the environment from this source having been recorded recently.”

“Pollution from traffic remains a problem which, although not easy to solve, continues to be tackled.”

“Progress on renewables continues, although like so much else it took a blow during the Covid-19 lockdown when supplies could not get to Gibraltar.”

“This is now picking up and results will be seen soon. At the same time Waterport Power Station is now only on standby mode, being used minimally as North Mole LNG Power station bears the brunt of power generation.”

Furthermore, the Government stressed that there is “no wanton destruction of trees”, adding that the Government has introduced further legislation to tighten the enforcement of the Environment (Protection of Trees) Act.

It added that every possible step is taken to prevent the removal of trees, adding that when removed these are transplanted wherever possible.

Minister for the Environment, Dr John Cortes, said: “Together Gibraltar simply have no idea, or appreciation, of the hard work being done by public servants in monitoring and improving the environment, be it out at sea or in their persistent approach to tree protection.”

“Their ranting criticism of everything that they think is topical, while conveniently ignoring all the positives, is typical of their immaturity.”