Aaron Farrugia skirted questions about the proposed Marsascala marina, saying he formed part of a government that would decide on the bay's future "as a whole".
"I am not one minister or a one-man government. I am part of the government. We move forward once we decide as a whole," the Environment Minister said when asked whether he was in favour of the proposed yacht marina.
“The government discusses the positive and negative aspects of projects during cabinet meetings. Then, as one voice, we decide and proceed from there,” Farrugia told Times of Malta on Sunday.
Residents, activists and councillors have over the past weeks expressed concern and frustration over Transport Malta’s call for tenders to construct a yacht marina in Marsascala, claiming that the project will spell ‘suicide’ for the village.
A site map published in TM’s pre-qualified document shows popular swimming zones being replaced with pontoons, some 16,000 square metres of land will be reclaimed and the number of moored vessels increase from 500 to 700.
When asked for his opinion on the project, Farrugia said that during internal meetings he had flagged positive and negative aspects of the development.
“As the Prime Minister said, while we want the project to move forward, we must also take on the residents feedback and try to safeguard the bay - we want these two aspects to complement each other."
Previously, Transport Minister Ian Borg had said that while the government was “listening and following” what people had to say, the marina was needed as more people were buying pleasure boats.
Farrugia would not say what positive and negative aspects he had flagged.
Projects, he added, were also amended following such meetings.
"Architects go back to the drawing board, just as we are seeing in the case of the Msida Creek. We do not rubberstamp plans.”
Misquoted by the media'
On Sunday Farrugia told Times of Malta that he had been "misquoted" by the media, which said that he had compared the construction of the marina to that of the airport.
“I was asked what I thought of the local council's vote, to which I replied that I was not surprised, as no local council would vote in favour of a marina in their locality. I was completely misquoted,” he said.