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August 8th, 2013:

Legco to vote on landfills next year: Lam

Thursday, 08 August, 2013, 7:48pm

NewsHong Kong


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Villagers living near the Tuen Mun landfill were keen to voice their opinions when Carrie Lam (left) visited. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

Carrie Lam visits affected villages to canvass support and hear views of disgruntled residents

The government hoped to reapply for funding to expand the city’s three landfills early next year, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said yesterday after visiting two villages close to the Tuen Mun facility.

The proposals to extend the Tuen Mun, Tseung Kwan O and Ta Kwu Ling landfills would be tabled in the Legislative Council together. The government tried to seek funding for the expansion from Legco last month, but withdrew the Tseung Kwan O plan amid strong opposition. Lawmakers decided to defer scrutiny of the other two sites.

Lam said this was the first of a series of visits to places affected by the landfills to hear residents’ concerns.

She and Secretary for Environment Wong Kam-sing talked to representatives from Ha Pak Nai village in Yuen Long and Lung Kwu Tan village in Tuen Mun.

Lam said the visit was to fulfil her earlier pledge that she and Wong would visit the three districts most affected by the proposed extension. “We will continue to do these visits and also to engage the stakeholders and to talk with the three district councils,” she said.

However, the visitors were greeted by dozens of protesters when they arrived at the villages and residents said they would oppose any expansion.

Lung Kwu Tan village representative Lau Wai-ping said residents had made multiple complaints about how the landfill was polluting the sea and producing foul smells, but the government had not addressed their concerns properly.

He hoped the government could understand the impact of the landfill on the lives of the villagers.

Ha Pak Nai village representative Cheng Wai-kwan said their village was only 300 metres from the landfill, and residents had endured foul smells for years. “Stopping the expansion is our only request,” he said.

Lam said she recognised the residents’ concerns about the expansion plans. She hoped to work on laws banning unmodified trucks, which leaked, from accessing the three landfills; allowing only construction waste at the Tseung Kwan O landfill; and increasing incentives for people to use refuse transfer stations in the summer.


Tuen Mun landfill

Source URL (retrieved on Aug 9th 2013, 6:35am):

Protest as top officials visit landfill



Wendy Wong reports


Chief Secretary Carrie Lam

Protest against landfill extension. Photo: RTHK.

Dozens of villagers living near a landfill in the north-west New Territories have staged a protest as the Chief Secretary, Carrie Lam, and the Environment Secretary, Wong Kam-sing, visited the site.

The villagers have been complaining about the landfill’s stench and are strongly opposed to its planned expansion.

Speaking after meeting the villagers, Mrs Lam, said the visit showed the government was committed to addressing their anxieties.

Lung Mei activist confident on judicial review for artificial beach plan

Thursday, 08 August, 2013, 3:35pm

NewsHong Kong


Ernest Kao

The first hearing for a judicial review request over the government’s decision to allow an artificial beach near Tai Po is to begin as early as Monday morning, says an activist group.

Ho Loy, a member of Save Lung Mei Alliance who is asking the court to stop beach construction, had applied for leave for judicial review at the High Court in June on grounds of a flawed environmental impact assessment by the government.

“We are very confident that the court will grant leave to us as all our indications have been based on pure science and fact,” said Ho, who is filing the request under her name. “I am sure the court will make a fair and impartial judgment.”

Ho, whose separate application for legal aid has yet to be approved, said she expected the legal campaign to be prolonged but “winnable” and expected initial legal fees to be upwards of about HK$200,000. She said she did not expect a result until after September.

“We had intended to push for a later court date, but lawyers from the opposition refused and we are now being forced to appear before court next week,” Ho said. “If the court case takes longer, we do expect legal fees to increase…possibly to about HK$1 million or more.”

The alliance on Thursday called on supporters to donate HK$300 each for the legal campaign. It said it hoped to gather at least 1,000 donations.

Ho is also asking the court to order new environmental assessments for the project, which began in June. The assessments would evaluate measures to protect nearly 200 marine species said to inhabit the site, including the rare Hippocampus kuda species of spotted seahorse.

A 200-metre artificial beach is to be built on the site for HK$200 million.

But a marine and ecological impact assessment by the Civil Engineering and Development Department in 2006 concluded that Lung Mei “contained mainly low-quality habitats”. The assessment was commissioned by the Environmental Protection Department.

“The environmental assessments were not serious, not to mention the huge amount of conflict of interest,” said Roy Tam Hoi-ping of Green Sense. “Impact assessments paid for by the government or by developers can never be conducted independently.”

Alliance member Paul Zimmerman said: “If we cannot raise enough money then Loy will have to make the decision whether she wants to continue or not… but this will be better judged after the first court hearings and when the legal aid application has been completed.”


Lung Mei beach

Source URL (retrieved on Aug 8th 2013, 5:55pm):

Top officials face landfill protest


Opposition to landfill expansion. File photo.

Villagers living near a landfill in the north-west New Territories plan to demonstrate later today when the Chief Secretary, Carrie Lam, and the Environment Secretary Wong Kam-sing visit.

The villagers have been complaining about the landfill’s stench and strongly oppose its proposed expansion.

Business group calls for creation of innovation and technology bureau

Published on South China Morning Post (

Home > Business group calls for creation of innovation and technology bureau

Business group calls for creation of innovation and technology bureau

Thursday, 08 August, 2013, 12:00am



Bien Perez

Business and Professionals Federation report proposes new bureau and free public Wi-fi

An independent group of businesses and professionals has called on the Hong Kong government to pursue sweeping changes, including the creation of a new policymaking agency and free public Wi-fi services, to ignite a culture of innovation. a 32-page report released yesterday, the Business and Professionals Federation of Hong Kong (BPF) proposed that the government form an Innovation and Technology Bureau to establish, promote and track innovation policy.

Former chief secretary David Akers-Jones, president of the BPF, said at the launch that the group’s report is “a wake-up call” for the city, which has lagged behind its peer group of economies – Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Israel – in terms of investments in innovation.

The BPF was founded in 1990 as a non-political successor to the so-called Group of 89 members of the Basic Law Consultative and Drafting Committee.

It also urged the government to set up a co-ordinating body, which could be called “Tech Hong Kong Advocates”, as the city’s counterpart to Britain’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. Other proposals included offering more innovation-focused programmes for the city’s 300,000 small and medium-sized businesses and for schoolchildren.

A universal free Wi-fi initiative would help narrow the digital divide between those with unfettered access to communication and information and those with limited or no access to such resources in the city, the BPF said. It proposed the government and internet services providers bear the cost of this public service.

The BPF described the state of innovation in Hong Kong as “immature”, with annual investment in technological innovation at only 1 per cent of the city’s gross domestic product. BPF vice-chairman Gregg Li Ka-lok said: “We should be targeting 3 per cent as a medium-term goal.”

The report also found that the government, local industries and entrepreneurs “are increasingly disconnected from one another”.

The BPF report has come nearly a month after the latest Global Innovation Index (GII) survey ranked Hong Kong seventh among the world’s top 10 leading markets for innovation. The GII survey is a benchmark of the innovation capability of 142 economies worldwide.

Source URL (retrieved on Aug 8th 2013, 10:26am):