This week the Minister for Gozo, Dr Justyne Caruana addressed the House of Representatives with her budget speech, regarding Gozo initiatives.
The GUG 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 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 spoken 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, Mr 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 “help more Gozitans to live, work and succeed in Gozo.”