Rosia Tanks protest on Tuesday

The South District Association is calling on all those people who oppose the way that the Government has handled the ?Rosia Tanks Affair? to come out and protest on Tuesday 7th February 2006 between 1.15 pm and 1.45 pm at Convent Place, Gibraltar.

As part of the Protest, ?Lord Nelson? will present the Chief Minister with a book of evidence containing all the witness statements that the SDA was prevented from producing in Court, another copy of the 3000 strong petition, letters supporting the preservation of this historic site and other documentation.

Although the main focus of the campaign continues to be to ?Save the Rosia Tanks? from imminent destruction the manner in which the Government continues to treat those who have raised concerns about the construction of Nelson?s View leaves a lot to be desired. The SDA recognises that there are wider issues at stake here that need to be examined. For this reason it is calling on the Government to set up an independent public inquiry to examine and report on the process by which this decision was reached, and, if necessary, implement its findings.

The speed at which the Government seems to have rushed to give the necessary permissions to demolish the tanks is unprecedented in Gibraltar and points to an intent to push through decisions without giving those raising concerns a forum in which to voice these.

Since the campaign began back in October 2005, following the announcement that ?affordable? homes are to be built in the South District, the SDA has sought ways to express their concerns to Government . The Association has been and continues to be completely ignored. OEM International Limited, the Development and Planning Commission (DPC) and the Government have not recognised the SDA since the start of the campaign. If the Supreme Court was able to recognise the SDA as an ?interested? party and asked the Government, the DPC and OEM to involve the Association in discussions and they have not, then it feels that it has no option but to ask those people who are opposed to the destruction of the Water Tanks to support this protest.

The SDA believes that, even at this late stage, the Government and the other interested parties can meet with representatives of the SDA to enable them to have an opportunity to present the evidence gathered about the historic nature of the Water Tanks and the Rosia Bay area . The Association believes that it can convince the Government that saving the Water Tanks is a wise decision and that it makes sense to build 'affordable' homes on another site. The Government is still in time to change its mind and the SDA is asking the Chief Minister to reconsider before this valuable heritage site is lost forever.

Further the SDA is calling on the Government to list the Rosia Water Tanks and the Vistualling Yard immediately, to save these historic sites and develop them for leisure and tourist uses. An example of what is possible appears on the website and the Association is urging all who can to log on to see for themselves what can be done.