Updated at 6.42pm: Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao Sau-tung said on Thursday the government could not ban the demolition of Hunghom Peninsula - even if it amended the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance. The response came after environmental groups called on Dr Liao to exercise her power under the ordinance to veto the demolition, local radio reported. But Dr Liao said the respective ordinance did not include large-scale demolitions. Although she was personally against flattening the seven new blocks in Hunghom, legislation was not the answer. 'It is not right that we actually give up the rule of law in Hong Kong to legislate on one project, retrospectively, or [through] back-door legislation.' She said the bureau would investigate whether the ordinance was applicable to future demolition projects. The government would consult the public and pass the issue onto the Legislative Council if it planned to amend the ordinance, she added. Dr Liao said developers would set up an independent committee to monitor the demolition work. She has also requested them to submit a demolition plan to the Environmental Protection Department. New World Development and Sun Hung Kai Properties announced on Monday that they would pull down the new housing estate next June. The move has outraged green groups and activists, although developers claimed that up to 95 per cent of the construction debris would be recycled.