“Once bitten, twice shy: no motor racing circuit, no EP vote”

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6 years ago the Labour Party tried to deceive the motor sport followers by an ambiguous electoral promise.  It did not promise to develop a motor racing circuit. It simply promised that it would seek to identify a site for such a circuit.

Dr Joseph Muscat visited one of the events of the Malta Drag Racing Association at the Ħal Far Raceway in February 2013, to try and impress motor sport followers that he supported the development of a motor racing circuit.

It is likely that the majority of motor sport followers gave the Labour Party the benefit of the doubt. The Parliamentary Secretary for Sport of the time also believed in the promise!

During 2013, the Labour government issued a call for proposals on reclaimed land. It received 21 projects from 17 different companies, among which was one for a “race track”.

The “evaluation committee” met on 18th December 2013, but nothing was heard after that. An exhibition of the projects was also announced, but it never took place.

5 years later, on 12th March 2019, the Minister for Education in reply to Parliamentary Question 9398 submitted by Hon. Dr. Godfrey Farrugia, Democratic Party, stated that the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) was still conducting studies about land reclamation, so the government could not commit itself to a race track on reclaimed land!

This means that the Labour government took 17 investors for a ride and took their money in the form of fees in 2013, because the relevant studies had not been conducted. Has the Labour government returned the money to the investors?

In September 2015, the Labour government went through the motions of issuing a call for expressions of interest for a Motor Recreation and Education Park.

On 5th August 2016, the Privatisation Unit of the Labour government announced the 5 proponents who had submitted their proposals.

Nothing has been done since then.

In 2017, the Labour Party made another electoral promise, this time covering the development of a racing circuit at Ta’ Qali, but two other years have elapsed and no progress has been made.

Is it possible that the Labour government is having second thoughts after the Church Environment Commission objected to such a project? Where was the Church Environment Commission when the Church distributed large areas of land for the building of villas and houses? Was the environment not important then, as long as the Church collected the money from the leases?

Motor sport followers refuse to be fooled any more. 6 years are more than enough. Once bitten, twice shy. No motor racing circuit, no European Parliament vote. Motor sport followers will either stay away from the European Parliament elections, or they will write the words “motor racing circuit” on the European Parliament ballot paper!

In those localities where the Councillors have not supported the development of a motor racing circuit in their respective locality, motor sport followers will either stay away or write the words “motor racing circuit” on the Local Council elections ballot paper. The time of reckoning has arrived.

Alfred A. Farrugia