Jason Micallef has been given another publicly remunerated job, this time as coordinator of the Ta’ Qali National Park, Times of Malta is informed.
The former Labour Party general secretary’s new appointment will be in addition to his roles as chairman of the PL’s TV station and the government’s Valletta Cultural Agency.
A spokesman for the Environment Ministry confirmed Mr Micallef will be coordinating the government’s efforts to regenerate the park, but did not specify how much he will be paid for his efforts.
“The Ministry for Capital Projects, in view of this project to be implemented and delivered, has appointed Mr Micallef to act as coordinator for this capital project,” the spokesman said.
Mr Micallef’s remuneration in this regard is considered as “standard” and in line with similar roles within other government ministries and entities, he said. He did not specify the “standard” remuneration for his direct appointment by Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg.
Mr Micallef will be receiving at least €18,000 a year for his new role
Sources confirmed Mr Micallef will be receiving at least €18,000 a year for his new coordination role though it is not known what qualifications he possesses in the new area of work.
Soon after the 2013 general election, Mr Micallef, a former general secretary of the Labour Party who unsuccessfully contested the election, was appointed chairman of the Valletta 2018 Foundation during Malta’s stint as Europe’s capital of culture.
At the time, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had defended the controversial appointment of a chairman of a partisan TV station to oversee a national event.
Dr Muscat had promised that following his appointment, Mr Micallef would step down from his role in Labour’s media company to concentrate on his new role. This failed to materialise.
Following the Valletta 2018 events, the government decided to keep the organisation set up by Mr Micallef, including many V18 employees, to morph into the Valletta Cultural Agency.
With a budget of some €20 million, the Ta’ Qali National Park will be expanded significantly by some 450,000 square metres and is expected to be concluded in 2022.
Apart from planting some 80,000 new trees, plans include a new picnic area, children’s playground facilities, the rehabilitation of the farmers’ market, a four-kilometre cycling and jogging track, a park for bicycles and a lagoon area.