THE Government has been caught out again applying double standards in environmental matters. The Commissioner for Administrative Complaints, Arthur Garcia, has found that it acted improperly in approving a landfill and a golf course in country parks. However much the Government may be pledged to environmental improvement - whatever lip-service is paid to openness and transparency - expediency, not principle, directed decision-making on these projects. Only unaccountable bureaucrats and the businessmen who stood to profit from their blinkered view of the territory's environmental needs could have assumed it was acceptable to build the proposed Shalotung golf course on country park land without full public consultation. Although the need for a new landfill site was less commercial than administrative, the approach to the status of country parks showed the same bureaucratic contempt for the public at large. It is time the Country Parks Ordinance was tightened up to eliminate any doubt that it applies to government departments. The Governor said in October's policy speech that saving the environment needs everyone's commitment. Government should be setting an example. Full public consultation and environmental impact assessment are also vital before any change to park boundaries. The public is entitled to know the territory's green lungs are preserved as amenities for all - not sold off to the privileged few or arbitrarily buried in rubbish. Despite his conclusion that the departments concerned had not acted in bad faith, Mr Garcia's remarks will have touched a nerve. Let's hope his successor, Andrew So Kwok-wing, will also be a thorn in government's side.