Front Ħarsien ODZ has taken note of the proposal by the Nationalist Party which states that ODZ projects should be subject to two-thirds majority approval in Parliament. Front is proposing the following to ensure that this proposal is consistent in principle and application.
1. The requirement of a two thirds majority for ODZ projects should be an additional safeguard in those cases where ODZ development is approved by the Planning Authority following a full and transparent planning process.
2. In case of PA refusal, this should be seen as final (apart from tribunal appeal), and no vote should be taken in parliament.
3. Under no circumstances should a 2/3 parliamentary majority be sufficient for ODZ applications to go ahead, as these should always require PA approval beforehand.
4. Under no circumstance should ODZ applications be approved by a simple parliamentary majority. Should the 2/3 majority not be reached after the 3rd vote, the application will be deemed as refused.
5. The process should complement SPED and the Planning Authority process.
6. The Parliamentary Committee for the Environment – which also comprises civil society representatives, should take part in the parliamentary process.
7. The two thirds majority requirement should also apply to any revision in development boundaries.
8. A national consultation process should define the parameters concerning which type of ODZ projects would require such approval. For example, projects qualifying for EIA should qualify.
9. SPED should be a more comprehensive policy document so as to avoid dubious loopholes
10. Existing policies regulating development in the ODZ should be reformed in a way that such development is further curtailed.