The Parliamentary Select Committee set up to investigate the black dust reported in Fgura and other areas was described as historic today by Nationalist MP Jesmond Mugliett, who said this was the first time that a parliamentary body would scrutinise the technical operations of state entities, thereby raising the status of Parliament and pushing for greater accountability.

The committee, appointed in early December, held its first meeting today and discussed its proceedings.

It was chaired by Speaker Michael Frendo with Franco Debono (PN), Leo Brincat and Joe Mizzi (both PL) as the other members.

The committee agreed that it should request copies of all reports and studies carried out, as well as a number of theses written, on the phenomenon in the past 10 years, thus avoiding duplication of effort.

Once the reports and studies had been received and read, the committee would meet again and question their authors.

Mr Mizzi presented a set of 18 parliamentary questions he had asked about the matter and said the replies would also constitute valuable information.

The committee will meet again before the Easter recess.

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