PL candidate complaining about rangers is environment minister’s advisor

Her contract shows she is tasked with advising the minister on environmental protection but her expertise is questionable.

 

The 28-year-old Labour MEP election candidate who made headlines last week for her controversial declaration that there are too many rangers trying to protect the environment is Minister Miriam Dalli’s advisor on environmental protection.

Marija Sara Vella Gafà, Labour’s Gudja Mayor, was put on Miriam Dalli’s payroll as her person of trust on environmental matters in 2022.

She is paid some €54,000 for her full-time job, according to her contract obtained by The Shift through a Freedom of Information request.

Apart from a basic wage of €41,000, Vella Gafa is also paid a raft of allowances, including a fully expensed car, an expense allowance, and a €5,000 ‘expertise’ allowance, which raises her income to around €54,000.

Her contract does not clarify Vella Gafa’s ‘expertise’.

Vella Gafa’s job is to advise Dalli “on any duty which may be assigned to her by the minister”, mostly on environmental issues.

Vella Gafa’s controversial statement last week was seen as aimed at attracting the hunters’ vote.

Just a few weeks before the electorate is called to the polling station, the environment advisor posted on social media about the presence of pro-environment rangers in the countryside.

Vella Gafa said the presence of ten voluntary rangers from the Malta Ranger Unit, an NGO,  was “exaggerated”.

She declared, “The time has come to find a real and tangible balance between Maltese pastimes and the protection of the environment”.

The PL MEP candidate added that “it is time we were clear what right someone has to enter private property for environmental protection reasons.”

The hunters federation FKNK uses the same line against bird watchers monitoring illegal hunting during the spring season. The government has opened the season annually, despite hunting in that period being in breach of the EU’s Birds Directive.

The environment minister did not answer questions about whether she agreed with her environment advisor’s stand.

Vella Gafa’s comments were immediately rubbished by the Malta Ranger Unit, calling them “misinformation based on rumour”.

The unit said there was no evidence to support Vella Gafa’s allegations, while “on the contrary, there is evidence of severe threats towards rangers”.

In her introduction to the electorate through her social media page, Vella Gafa described herself as a fan of Minister Miriam Dalli, who was her ‘mentor’ in Labour’s LEAD programme to attract new talent in politics.

Vella Gafa comes from a staunch Labour family. Her father, Paul, the former owner of Velprint Ltd, is now also a political appointee serving in Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi’s private secretariat.

                           

Sign up to our newsletter

Stay in the know

Get special updates directly in your inbox
Don't worry we do not spam
                           
                               
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

10 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Carmelo Borg
22 days ago

Very very CHEAP PROPAGANDA.
LAST WEEK 2 PERSONS WERE CAUGHT WITH THOUSANDS OF DEAD PROTECTED BIRDS .
SHAME ON YOU MADAME

simon oosterman
simon oosterman
22 days ago

She is the steriotypical Maltese: Less enforcement is better!

Sim72
Sim72
21 days ago

She is the quintessential Maltese: Rotten and blissfully ignorant to the core.

Paul Henry Berman
Paul Henry Berman
22 days ago

The only way to get a job with the PL is to be clueless and obedient, public money thrown away every day on people not capable of waiting on tables

P montebello
P montebello
22 days ago

Nixtieq li din il persuna tispjega s slogan taghha dwar il banek li huwa prominenti fuq il kampanja taghha ghal mep. Jien ma fhimtx xi trid tghid.

carmelo borg
21 days ago
Reply to  P montebello

HA NAGHDLEK JIEN : MOHH TA PIZELLA

Bamboccu
Bamboccu
21 days ago

Jahasra.
Certa nies jitbassu u jippuppaw.
U kif kien qala darba dak……..
Tfal u Pozi ghar-ritratti.

KLAUS
KLAUS
21 days ago

Once again, where you have made a fool of yourself here.

PL NOW STANDS FOR POOR LIARS 🤥 .

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
21 days ago

“Talk sense, or forever be silent”.

Sound advice to be followed by Consultants, Advisors, Chairmen, CEOs – and a whole host of well-paid appointees slurping at the trough – when recommending ways of storing food-waste, of reading away the time during power outages and taking to the roads before sunset to arrive in good time.

joe caruana
joe caruana
21 days ago

Dumb and dumber

Related Stories

Saudis behind Bonnici Brothers’ €37 million power station tender
The government has confirmed that the Maltese company awarded
ERA approved the axing of 3,400 protected trees in seven years
The Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) has approved the

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo