Clear The Air News Blog Rotating Header Image

Lam faces off with landfill opponents

Administration chief Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor will attend a special meeting of the Tuen Mun District Council tomorrow to face opponents of the proposed landfill expansion.

Kelly Ip and Ashley Wu

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Administration chief Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor will attend a special meeting of the Tuen Mun District Council tomorrow to face opponents of the proposed landfill expansion.

The meeting was proposed by council chairman and Heung Yee Kuk lawmaker Lau Wong-fat, who has vowed to fight the proposal to be tabled before the Finance Committee on Friday.

But the chief secretary noted that the proposal only seeks funding for a feasibility study, as she admitted the HK$35 million sought may not be sanctioned.

She said the proposal for funding the expansion will be made only in 2015, and the government will have to bring around Tuen Mun residents by then.

“I am not confident the proposal will be passed this Friday, but I will continue our effort to persuade lawmakers in the time remaining,” Lam said.

Committee chairman Tommy Cheung Yu-yan has accepted a government request to open three other sessions next Wednesday and Friday to continue discussing the HK$35 million proposal if it fails to pass this week.

This comes after a Tseung Kwan O landfill expansion funding proposal was withdrawn amid strong opposition. “[That] landfill is relatively closer to residences. It is more controversial,” Lam said. “We will propose the [Tseung Kwan O] plan to the Legislative Council again after making amendments.”

Lau warned of hundreds of Tuen Mun residents going on hunger strike outside Government House tomorrow night.

“The government should withdraw all landfill expansion plans instead of just the Tseung Kwan O plan,” he said. “We should be treated equally.”

But Chief Executive Leung Chun- ying stressed the importance of the proposed feasibility study in Tuen Mun.

“Consultations would continue at a community level, even if the funding is approved,” Leung said. “We will study how to reduce adverse effects of the landfill on Tuen Mun residents.”

Environment undersecretary Christine Loh Kung-wai said bureau officials will speak to lawmakers and Tuen Mun residents ahead of the committee meeting, stressing that the government will not give up on expanding the three landfills, the third being at Ta Kwu Ling.

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong lawmaker Gary Chan Hak-kan said the party has always supported funding for initial research on the Tuen Mun expansion.

“The funding is only for initial research,” he clarified. “We will actively monitor the government before deciding whether to support the expansion later.”

New People’s Party lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun called for the funding proposal to be withdrawn, while the Civic Party led a protest march to Government House yesterday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *