October 10, 2021| Parliamentary Secretariat for Citizenship and Communities|
4 min read
How do you quantify a good quality of life? There are various ways and means. Having all your basic needs met and affording life’s essentials are obvious, non-negotiables when it comes to a decent lifestyle. However, as the old adage goes: man does not subsist on bread alone.
We have recently witnessed unprecedented investment in projects that are important to the nation, because they add zest, life and motivation to the ordinary everyday. Not only do these projects contribute towards an optimised quality of life, but they are investments that are happening in our national interest and are beneficial from an economic perspective, both in the immediate and in the long run. The Government is not only investing in numbers, structures and buildings, but it is investing in what lies closest to the nation’s heart.
A prime example is the new €20 million motor racing track announced for Ħal Far. This is not just exciting news for motorsport enthusiasts, it is also a boost for the Maltese economy. Excuse the pun, but it is another way for the country to motor ahead. The economic figures are impressive, and the project will create jobs for many years to come. I must add that this investment is not just about numbers. For years, motorsport enthusiasts had to either make do with the current substandard conditions, or else go abroad in order to practice what they love. This discriminatory situation was both frustrating and dangerous, since many resorted to practices that were not exactly safe for motorsport athletes and for onlookers.
The NDSF’s investment means that not only are these problems solved, but that southern Malta will be placed on the Mediterranean map as ‘the’ place to be for motorosport enthusiasts. That’s a very good way to turn a currently negative situation into a very positive one, for both enthusiats and entrepreneurs alike. The latter will certainly benefit from the amount of visitors that will be eyeing Malta. This, in turn, will create full and part time jobs, address issues such as tourist seasonality, and direct a sport that is loved by thousands towards a professional turn.
What about the quality of life of neighbouring residents, you may ask. This is indeed a very valid question. It is interesting to see many different plans of this project that have been presented along the years. This has even brought about the criticism of some, who may argue that this is yet another plan that will never transpose to reality. The truth lies in the fact that such a massive project requires massive studies. I would rather have the government take a cautious but studied approach, to ensure that the race track actually reduces and not increases current noise levels. I would rather have the government take its time to find a site where no ODZ land is taken up. I would rather have people by the likes of the FIA President express his enthusiasm in helping Maltese authorities ensure that vehicles reach a certain standard when it comes to noise and pollutants emmitted.
This investment from the NDSF is not alone in delivering long term benefits. We will all gain from the financial support being funnelled from the NSDF to our athletes. Who doesn’t want their nation to win? Yet winning means investing: in the right coaches, equipment and resources. An unprecedented five million euro are being invested in Maltese athletes who will compete in the European Small Nations Games in 2023. Not only will this investment motivate current athletes, but it will set the right tone. In short, the government has sent a clear message: it believes in our local talent, and it wants to elevate it to the next level.
All this means peace of mind for those who take their passion seriously. Whilst I mention peace of mind, I can’t but mention the government’s intent to provide band clubs with security of tenure. The government intends to negotiate with private property owners in order to acquire band club premises, eradicating their fear of eviction. The owners will get a fair price, band clubs will get certainty, but the country will benefit too, gaining new assets. The band clubs are not being gifted buildings. These properties will be capital, owned by us all.
The fact that the right funds are available to support so many people in their endeavours is not a happy coincidence. Rather, it is the result of this government managing foreign direct investment in a way that is reaping the greatest benefit. Initiatives that lead to residency or citizenship are resulting in this type of investment. If there ever was any doubt about the benefits resulting from these initiatives, that doubt is slowly but surely morphing into a realisation that these initiatives are resulting in projects that serve the greater good.
Daniel Camilleri is Communications Coordinator, Ministry for Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement.
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