Malta Chamber to champion reform of construction industry

Ray Attard

Monday morning the Malta Chamber will be convening a working group experts in diverse fields with the aim of spearheading a radical reform of the construction industry. The Chamber will be publishing the key performance indicators that must be achieved and the timeframes within which these should be achieved.

Perit David Xuereb, President of the Malta Chamber said this while being interviewed on 103 Malta’s Heart Saturday morning. The interview was made in the wake of yet another tragedy resulting in the death of Miriam Pace from Hamrun which Xuereb described as a “disaster in waiting”.

“We will not take a back seat”

“The Chamber is not ready to take a back seat. We are going to champion the reform. We should not wait for many other disasters to get our act right. As a perit I am part of this industry and am really sorry that the credibility of this industry is at historic lows”, said Perit Xuereb.

While acknowledging that the Malta Developers Association and the Kamra tal-Periti did a lot of work he noted that they did not achieve a breakthrough and as a result, the credibility of the industry is rock bottom.

He repeated that the Chamber will not be a passive observer or take a back seat.

“We will champion the needed reform.  We will not wait for others but would like to cooperate with others. We will criticize whoever needs to be criticized it targets are not met within established timeframes. We should not have lesser standards than other countries”, said an assertive Xuereb.

“The perpetrators are a majority”

Throughout the interview, the Chamber’s President was very critical of the way the industry is operating saying that the number of those who disregarded the rules and basic safety measures was very large. The perpetrators are in a majority, said a distraught Xuereb.

He then dropped a bomb.

“In Malta, we do not even have building regulations. We are the only European country which does not have a set of building regulations.”

Xuereb said that twenty-five years ago he had been invited to sit on a committee tasked with the writing of such regulations.

“A draft was written but no further progress was made. I am embarrassed whenever I am asked by foreigners to give them a copy of such regulations.”

He said that as the years rolled by many in the industry starting  saying that there was no need for such regulations as they would increase costs and as “we know what we are doing.”

As a result of the recent tragedies, no one is saying so any longer.

Newsbook.com.mt and 103 Malta’s Heart are media partners of this initiative.