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9th June 2020, 16:42

GSD 'does not support' Government's joint venture transaction with Chinese sub-state owned construction company

The GSD says it does not support the Government's joint venture transaction with a Chinese sub-state owned construction company to build a privately funded nursing home that will be handed over to an undisclosed private investor.

In a statement, the Opposition party states it will continue to probe this transaction, as it says serious questions arise that are currently unanswered.

Shadow Minister for Finance, Roy Clinton, says while Sir Joe Bossano announced the project to build the prefabricated nursing home on the Rooke site as part of the National Economic Plan, he fails to see how it will generate sustainable jobs or aid the local construction industry - as, he says, all the real work and value added is to be done in China.

Mr Clinton says that even if a factory for the modules were to be established on the Rock, it does not have the ability to load the containers onto ships in any volume, especially as Gibraltar exits Europe.

He says the Gibraltarian client for the project has been revealed by the architect's plans as Community Supplies and Services Limited - but asks who's behind that company, who the ultimate investor is, and how this is all being financed. Mr Clinton says he will be seeking the name of the ultimate beneficial owner of the company in Parliament, as well as details of the premium paid and the lease granted without tender.

Mr Clinton says there is a multitude of additional questions to be asked on planning permission, as well as the terms on which the accommodation will be offered to the elderly if it is not to be run by the Government. The GSD also questions the decision to build a new nursing home on only four percent of the Rooke site, given what he describes as the Government's recent, "lavish" spending on sports facilities - adding that Gibraltar's elderly deserve better than to be housed in boxes akin to shipping containers.