Once again Edwin Tong, of the Civil Engineering and Development Department, is misrepresenting the facts ("General support for multi-pronged land supply approach", April 24), in another desperate attempt on the part of the administration to convince the public that reclamation outside Victoria Harbour is both welcome and urgent.
Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po, addressing the Legislative Council finance committee on April 10, advised that the stage 1 public engagement exercise on enhancing land supply strategy ended in March 2012. A whopping 50,000 submissions were received through various channels. A majority of the public supported the "six-pronged" approach of rezoning land, redevelopment, land resumption, reclamation outside Victoria Harbour, rock cavern development and reuse of former quarry sites.
Mr Chan discussed in detail plans for reclamation at five sites and feasibility studies on some cavern developments. Proposals were put forward elsewhere on possible redevelopments at ex-quarry sites. However, if you take the time to read the report on the Civil Engineering and Development Department website, the summary reveals that there is little enthusiasm for reclamation. It says that there was no consensus on increasing land supply through reclamation outside Victoria Harbour.
Strangely, the report on a public consultation that was supposed to be based on a six-pronged approach is titled "Increasing Land Supply by Reclamation and Rock Cavern Development". So where are the initiatives with regard to rezoning, redevelopment and land resumption? Like the other 49,999 respondents, I put forward suggestions with regard to all six options.
As those members of the public now familiar with the all- too-predictable public consultations designed to support a predetermined outcome suspected all along, it is now glaringly obvious that there is no multi-pronged approach. The administration has no intention of addressing the issues of rezoning, redevelopment and land resumption. It intends to forge ahead with reclamation, whether we like it or not. Stage 2 of the public engagement has completely jettisoned all but the reclamation option and some innocuous rock cavern development.
What is the administration hiding from the public? It has only itself to blame that collusion/fear of the large property developers, reluctance to take on the Heung Yee Kuk and vested interests in the reclamation industry are some of the assumptions being widely touted in the community.
Mary Melville, Tsim Sha Tsui