Carrie Lam's landfill plea to Tuen Mun council falls on deaf ears
Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has failed to persuade the Tuen Mun District Council to support a landfill extension study, despite her renewed commitment to previously pledged sweeteners.
At a special council meeting that the chief secretary attended with environment minister Wong Kam-sing, councillors told them to withdraw the plan.
They also passed a motion urging lawmakers to veto the government's request today for HK$35 million for a feasibility study on extending the Tuen Mun tip.
Even councillors affiliated with the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, whose legislators have pledged to support the plan, joined the opposition.
Earlier in the day, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said "Tuen Mun residents are owed" for their tolerance of polluting facilities in their district.
He also said that past planning standards and mindset could not be applied in planning Tuen Mun's future development. But his attempt to offer words of comfort proved futile.
After the council meeting, Lau Wong- fat, council chairman and a legislator said he would vote against the funding at today's meeting of the Legislative Council Finance Committee that will discuss the funding.
His six fellow lawmakers from the Business and Professionals Alliance will decide this morning how to vote.
"The best option now is for the government to withdraw the request. If so there is no need for a filibuster and all will end in 15 minutes instead of 30 hours," he said.
Radical lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung has said he will mount a filibuster at today's meeting, the last in this legislative session.
Lam said the landfill was necessary under the principle of "shared responsibility and differentiated care".
"It is wrong to accuse us of being biased against Tuen Mun residents," she said.
Lam described as "unsatisfactory" progress on 10 shortlisted district-improvement measures promised in 2009 after the council gave conditional support to a sludge incinerator.
She said the Highways Department had promised to complete in two years an upgrade of Nim Wan Road, a key access route to the landfill, while a crematorium site in the district would be rezoned.
Lam will also seek extra money for a footbridge that was put on hold because of a lack of funding.
But she could not promise a rail link between Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan - now served by light rail.