The latest GSD press release, this time in opposition to the new park at Queensway, shows their desperation and how they are struggling to maintain relevance in today’s Gibraltar.
The Government is working this new scheme and already making provision for additional parking in the area and considering how to accommodate cycle lanes throughout. The GSD should welcome that. Instead, they are out trying to drum up populism of the worst sort.
Moreover, the comical inconsistency in their stand is astounding: they are condemning the loss of a few trees, while opposing the planting of 31 new ones! In fact, the inconsistency is so ridiculous and such an utter joke that it would be unfair on any comedy character to compare the GSD to them!
In this press release, the GSD are clearly taking a stand against a Green Gibraltar, against the benefits that green areas bring to health and wellbeing.
The GSD are unashamedly joining the ranks of the climate sceptics and showing the lie of their past (clearly insincere) rantings on air quality.
While the Government is proceeding with the Green agenda which was massively backed by the people at last year’s General Election, by a factor of more than double the meagre support garnered by the GSD, the GSD are now even turning away from all their (clearly insincere) environmental language at the time.
In addition, the GSD have their facts wrong. No large Eucalyptus trees are being removed and all the large specimens are being retained. Two small Eucalyptus in poor condition will make way for many additional trees, while the pepper trees will all be transplanted to other locations around Gibraltar. There will, as a result, be a net increase of 29 trees in Gibraltar following completion of this project.
While it is true that some parking will make way for this green area, Government emphasises again the need to review our use of cars, and reminds the GSD that they had similar criticisms of Commonwealth Park when it was being planned. Now everyone can see what an indisputable asset our Commonwealth Park has become for the whole of the community, despite the GSD being against it from the word go.
The Government has a duty and a responsibility to look beyond COVID-19 and Brexit, and to deploy resources to continuing improvements that will support the recovery of the community from the point of view of health and wellbeing. This totally justifies investments in such projects. This, and the importance of greening Gibraltar and our responsibilities to combatting climate change and improving air quality, are things that the GSLP/Liberals will not forget, no matter the challenges facing us.
And the GSD try to use one of the oldest tricks in the book – that of urging the Government to not meet its manifesto commitments so that, come a General Election, they can criticise the Government for just that! The insincerity expressed by the GSD and their leader is simply crass and not what Gibraltar wants or needs, as the electorate so roundly demonstrated at the last election when they were relegated to their worst electoral result in over twenty years under his leadership.
Minister for the Environment, the Hon John Cortes, said: “Clearly, Gibraltar is the only place in the world where blue and yellow do not make green! I never thought I’d miss Trevor Hammond in the GSD. At least he stood, in his own confused way, for what he believed to be environmental ideals. The GSD today has lost them all. But then, that is hardly surprising given that it has clearly lost its sense of environmental direction, choosing instead a ‘Trumpian’ path, best exemplified by the fact that its election candidates have been supporting the Trump, climate change denying, Paris Accords abandoning, election campaign. Although I should perhaps have seen this coming, I must say I am genuinely disappointed with Keith Azopardi. I had thought he cared about the environment. He clearly only cares about trying to scrounge votes here and there. The People will see through that. They always do.”