GUG com­ments on Gozo Ini­tia­tives in the 2018 Bud­get

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

Last week the Min­is­ter for Gozo, Dr Justyne Caru­ana ad­dressed the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives with her Bud­get speech, re­gard­ing Gozo ini­tia­tives.

The Gozo Univer­sity Group was very pleased to learn that the min­istry will start the pre­lim­i­nary study and lo­ca­tion iden­ti­fi­ca­tion for some sort of prospec­tive ac­com­mo­da­tion for Goz­i­tan stu­dents in Malta. It is a well-known fact that th­ese stu­dents face fi­nan­cial prob­lems when leav­ing their home in Gozo. Had this new hos­tel be built, it would lift a heavy bur­den off their shoul­ders. The GUG has been dis­cussing this mat­ter for a long time so it is very glad that some­thing is be­ing done.

An­other is­sue ad­dressed dur­ing Dr Caru­ana’s speech was the Park and Ride at Mgarr which was men­tioned in the elec­toral man­i­festo last May. A ten­der and the cost ben­e­fit anal­y­sis that should iden­tify a busi­ness model and pos­si­bly even a site have been is­sued. This will make com­mut­ing much eas­ier for stu­dents and work­ers who have to cross over every day.

Be­sides th­ese is­sues, the fast ferry pro­posal was spo- ken about dur­ing the EY Con­fer­ence, which was held at the In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal Ho­tel on Wed­nes­day. This was first men­tioned last year by the former Min­is­ter for Gozo An­ton Re­falo. The Gozo Chan­nel chair­man, Joe Cor­dina, promised that this ser­vice will be in op­er­a­tion by next year. It will of­fer two morn­ing trips as well as two af­ter­noon trips.

Last May, the Prime Min­is­ter said that there were sev­eral com­pa­nies who were in­ter­ested in this ser­vice and that the jour­ney from Gozo to Malta would take around 45 min­utes. Af­ter the last Bud­get, this or­gan­i­sa­tion was dis­ap­pointed that this ser­vice did not come up. When it was an­nounced last week, the GUG was quite pleased that it was fi­nally be­ing given the im­por­tance it de­served.

The Gozo Univer­sity Group hopes that th­ese ini­tia­tives are car­ried out with the out­most care as thou­sands de­pend on all of th­ese ser­vices. We hope that as the min­is­ter her­self said, th­ese ini­tia­tives would “help more Goz­i­tans to live, work and suc­ceed in Gozo.”

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