A hospitality industry academic pledged yesterday to seek redress for members of the industry, as she announced she would stand for election to the Legislative Council. Lilian Wong Sin-yung said she would fight on issues including the sewage charges imposed on the industry, which she described as unfair. Dr Wong, dean of hotel, service and tourism studies at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Training, was flanked by about 25 supporters as she announced she would run in the catering functional constituency against incumbent Tommy Cheung Yu-yan of the Liberal Party and Democratic Party candidate Josephine Chan Shu-ying. The food and beverage industry has been struggling to recover from the economic downturn and the Sars outbreak. Yeung Koon-yat, founder of the Forum restaurant, said despite an improving economy and growing tourist numbers, the industry faced considerable challenges. 'Not only do we have to shoulder the burden of the various fees imposed on us, but rents are rising again and business has not rebounded significantly,' he said. 'The situation today is even worse than when I started out over 50 years ago.' The introduction of sewage charges by the government in 1995 was cited as a major cause of discontent by restaurant proprietors who showed up to back Dr Wong. She said the charges had been maintained over the years and now the government was considering raising them. She argued that the sewage charge was biased against operators in the food and beverage industry because of the emphasis it places on certain pollutants while neglecting others. The catering constituency has about 7,700 registered voters.