Let public see document

I REFER to Mr A. G. Cooper's letter headlined, ''Government serious about cleaner Hongkong'' (South China Morning Post, July 8) and would like to make a few comments.

Firstly, the polluter pays principle should aim primarily at cutting pollution at source.

It should encourage people to pollute less and thus avoid paying.

However, the recent publicity campaign by the Government on sewage charges stresses the problem and the responsibility each citizen has to share, referring implicitly to the cost of handling the problem.

It may give a false impression that as long as we pay, we can pollute.

Secondly we, in the Conservancy Association, do not share the view that when a document has not been finalised, it should not be released and it is too early to criticise it.

The purpose of public consultation is to keep the public informed of and involved in the preparation of the final draft of the document, which is planning and designing a sustainable community in Hongkong.

It seems strange to have a document that stresses community participation, but which does not involve the community during its formulation.

Green groups, including the Conservancy Association, Friends of the Earth, Green Power and the World Wide Fund for Nature Hongkong, have been ''briefed'' twice on the review.

However, we were disappointed because we were not even given the document.

We have urged the release of the document before it is finalised so that we can have more constructive input into its final shape.

The Government should stop paying ''lip service'' to public consultation.

GORDON NG Spokesperson The Conservancy Association