MediaToday Newspapers Latest Editions

MALTATODAY MIDWEEK 30 November 2022

Issue link: https://maltatoday.uberflip.com/i/1485962

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 15 of 15

16 maltatoday | WEDNESDAY • 30 NOVEMBER 2022 NEWS Ta' Qali: 'forest' and obstacle course proposed JAMES DEBONO A 39,000sq.m plot of agricultur- al land in Ta' Qali is being eyed by its owners, developer Darren Desira , for an afforested obsta- cle race-course. The project is the branchild of Mad Fitness Limited, a com- pany which Desira owns with Bilom Group owner Michael Bugeja. The plans are for a race- course with outside gym and 'information office', that will come with the planting of 836 trees, including 154 Cypress trees and 114 Sandara Gums on the 17,800sq.m, with under- ground reservoirs to water the trees. But over 7,400sq.m will be covered by beaten earth for the obstacle course, and a further 3,100sq.m for the outside gym and fitness centre, and 418sq.m of hard paving for the entrance. Changing rooms and show- ers, sanitary facilities and an information centre with out- side tables near the entrance are included in the project. The owners say the Ta' Qali Action Plan regulates formal and informal recreational ac- tivities in the area, although the plan itself designates this particular area for horticultur- al and agricultural activities. MaltaToday is informed that the land is still being tilled by farmers who have been offered money to move out of the land. Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) is a sports activity where athletes run through a variety of different obstacles, in races inspired by military training methods to test physical and mental endurance. Courses may also include climbing over walls or up ropes, monkey bars, carrying heavy objects, and traversing bodies of water or mud, or crawling under wire or netting. Konrad Mizzi back at PAC as MPs engage in tit-for-tat over line of questioning Former energy minister Konrad Mizzi appears in front of the Public Accounts Committee in session marred by MPs' bickering over what questions he should be asked KURT SANSONE A meeting of the Public Ac- counts Committee in which former minister Konrad Mizzi was testifying had to be sus- pended with government MPs accusing Opposition counter- parts of bad faith. The PAC is probing the find- ings of the National Audit Of- fice into the Electrogas contract and Mizzi was called to testify again on a security of supply agreement (SSA) signed be- tween government and Socar Trading on LNG at the time the contract was awarded. The SSA, which was rescind- ed in December 2017 and is no longer in force, was released to the media last summer after a freedom of information re- quest. Opposition MPs on the PAC said the revelation constituted new information and had asked for Mizzi to testify again on the LNG SSA. Although the SSA had not been in the public domain the NAO had access to it and ana- lysed it as part of its investiga- tion. On Tuesday, Mizzi gave a short presentation on the LNG SSA and confirmed it had not been passed on to the European Commission for review because it was an agreement between government and Socar that did not involve any transactions with Electrogas. "We had legal advice from the law firm Clifford Chance that it did not constitute state aid and it did not constitute a trans- action with Electrogas," Mizzi said. But when government MPs objected when Darren Car- abott, the committee's chair, moved on to ask about other matters that had already been raised with the former minister in previous testimony. Labour MP Glenn Beding- field insisted that the meeting be suspended so that the com- mittee reviews the minutes of the meeting when it was agreed that Mizzi should testify again, limitedly on the SSA agree- ment. Carabott objected, insisting there was never an agreement on what to ask Mizzi. Nation- alist MP Rebekah Borg asked government MPs what were they afraid of. "Why are you not letting him answer? You are afraid of letting him answer." Labour Whip Andy Ellul ac- cused Opposition MPs of un- gentlemanly behaviour. "When we agreed to allow Konrad Mizzi to testify again it was on condition that he testify on the 'new' information that came to light and you yourself, Mr Chairman informed the witness that what he testified about in the past forms part of the exist- ing inquiry," Ellul said. When Carabott insisted on asking Mizzi about the forma- tion of the evaluation commit- tees that judged the award of the tender, Bedingfield forced a vote. In the heat of the exchange, Bedingfield belted out: "Let us get the transcripts of the meet- ing so that you will make a fool of yourselves (Ġibu t-tran- scripts ħa taqgħu għan-nejk)." When the meeting continued, the minutes were read out with either side claiming they were right. Eventually, Konrad Mizzi was called back in and Carabott asked him whether he had per- sonally chosen key people to sit on the evaluation committees but the former minister in- sisted he had already testified about this previously. Former minister Konrad Mizzi

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of MediaToday Newspapers Latest Editions - MALTATODAY MIDWEEK 30 November 2022