Equality Rights group GGR - Citizenship in Democracy EQUALITY RIGHTS GGR

News and Information from Gibraltar on Equality, Human, Gay and Social Rights

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Government owes Gibraltar an explanation!

Felix Alvarez, Chairman of Equality Rights group GGR, has today expressed concern regarding information that Ocean Village Investments Ltd is said to be purchasing Marina Bay Complex Ltd, thus taking control over the two existing marinas in the area in order to create a super-complex.

“Whilst we clearly welcome moves for the economic development of Gibraltar, we have to question the processes which are currently at work on this and other developments on the Rock. We have to wonder where this is all leaving the ordinary Gibraltarian, as decisions appear to be be made with what appears to be little or no prior warning or information to the public. This is contrary to the rightful expectation that the public should be able to consider plans on the part of either Government or large private concerns on matters which touch on policies and actions which may affect the present and future well-being of this community,” Mr Alvarez stated. "We also wonder on what principle of equality it is that the most desirable building sites in Gibraltar are being swallowed up by expensive construction projects whilst sidelining ordinary Gibraltarians to the less desirable plots around the Rock!"

“Additionally, it is a duty of Government to ensure that we have properly and impartially-constituted development and planning bodies which provide opportunities for members of the public to not only obtain information on planned developments with sufficient notice so as to make their scrutiny effective, but also for citizens to present objections or suggestions within the remit of the process. As things stand today, we are not confident that Government is living up to these requirements, though we welcome their addressing these issues publicly if they feel our opinion requires rectification. Government owes Gibraltar an explanation for all of this and furthermore,” Mr Alvarez continues, “the fact that large private concerns should, in effect, be able to swallow up other concerns without the opportunity for public intervention, scrutiny or control so as to create what, for Gibraltar, verges on superownership raises important questions regarding what the future holds for Gibraltar both as a country and as a people,” Mr Alvarez ends.