Green groups have won a major victory with the postponement of plans to create a public dump on Green Island on the western edge of Hong Kong island. The decision, announced at yesterday's meeting of the Advisory Council on the Environment, means the scheme has been shelved for about a year while engineers carry out hydrology, ecological and marine traffic studies. The Government planned to fill the Sulphur Channel between Kennedy Town and Green Island using construction debris, creating 37 hectares of land as the first phase of the Green Island reclamation. The fill would have provided the site for a road link between Hong Kong island and the proposed Lantau port development. But the dump was condemned by the public, shipping companies and environmentalists because of fears it would jeopardise marine safety and destroy an important wildlife habitat. 'Green Island is used by birds and once it stops being an island birds will no longer be there,' said Peter Wong Hong-yuen, council chairman. 'The implication is not to go ahead and alter the hydrology before you know what the full implications are.' Mr Wong said the studies would help resolve public opposition to the scheme. Nineteen groups made formal objections last December. 'It shows the Government has an open mind,' he said, although the question of how Lantau port will be linked to Hong Kong Island if the dump is scrapped permanently remained unresolved. The Government has also announced a $41 million 30-month study to consider ways of encouraging sustainable development. Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands Bowen Leung Po-wing said the aim was not to deprive future generations of fresh air, clean water, adequate food and the basis for continued prosperity. Mr Leung said 'it would be disastrous' if legislators refused to approve cash for the study.