The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry stated that the country cannot accept fatalities as collateral damage of a successful construction industry.
The Chamber issued a statement, saying that the need for a complete and holistic reform of the building and construction industry has never been greater. It added that its Economic Vision for Malta 2020-2025 outlined proposals 52-55 which were focused on the subject.
This comes after a construction worker tragically lost his life while another was seriously injured after a construction site partially collapsed in Bormla on Thursday morning. This was the 4th construction-related fatality for this year.
The Chamber had proposed that the Government take immediate corrective action and impose the agreed-upon sanctions in the event of malpractice or abuse of the new construction regulations. By doing so, it would strongly show that the reforms have drawn an unwavering line across the previous laissez-faire approach to construction.
The Malta Chamber also proposed that the construction industry be regulated by the state. Stringent criteria would be established for the provision of operating licences to constructors so that the construction industry makes the related reforms and investment to reach the standards present in other EU member states.
Another proposal detailed that the new Building and Construction Authority be equipped with the appropriate resources and tools, and a strong enforcement function that would allowed it to operate without fear or favour. That trust and confidence would be re-established within the Planning Authority and the Environment and Resources Authority, by both entities having their enforcement functions strengthened, while a robust spatial planning capacity would be established within the Planning Authority.
The Chamber called for the above proposals to be taken seriously especially in light of the latest useless loss of life. It said that this is the failure of a poor regulatory system, and that this must be remedied.
“The government appointed a commission to ensure safety in this domain” – Repubblika
Repubblika deplored the death of the construction worker, stating that the Government appointed a commission to safeguard against such incidents over four months ago.
The civil society group called on the Government to ensure that Malta’s legislation protects both workers and residents from the greed of the few. These are the few that ‘may be providing resources to the political parties, but only have their own interests at heart’.
It went on to say that yesterday’s incident confirms that the situation is unsafe, and that the state cannot continue to turns a blind eye to the fact that Malta’s laws are not adequate, as are the means to put into practice the existing legislation. It also denounced the destruction of the island itself, just so ‘some people can make a fast buck’ while disregarding others’ safety, peace and privacy.