NGOs say time to drop Lantau mega project

Friday, July 12, 2019

An alliance of green groups says the Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor should demonstrate to the public that she is sincere in mending social rifts – by withdrawing plans to reclaim over 1,700 hectares of land off Lantau island, RTHK reports. 
Lam announced the Lantau Tomorrow Vision project in her policy address, with the aim to boost land and housing supply. 
But the alliance said today that Lam had ignored  public opposition, just like she did over the extradition law bill. 
It said the reclamation project would cost too much – a record HK$624 billion of taxpayers' money – and the government should instead make use of existing brownfield sites.
The alliance's spokesman, Paul Zimmerman, said the government should now drop a HK$550 million funding request for a study relating to the project, even though the item had been put at the bottom of the Legco Finance Committee's agenda.
Zimmerman, who represents Designing Hong Kong, said Lam can take away an area of conflict immediately if she makes it clear that she is dropping the plan.
The other groups in the alliance include Greeners Action, the Save Lantau Alliance, and Green Sense. 
In her media briefing last week, Lam had promised to revamp the government's style of governance by reaching out to the people more and listening to views from various sections of society. 
She also appealed to the public to give her administration another chance, admitting its approach to the extradition bill saga had been a failure.