…says an otherwise delightful email from Lantau. With just a day to go before the deadline for submissions, here’s the latest on that incinerator saga. Citizens have drawn up a plan (here’s a summary and a brochure) that they say is cheaper, cleaner, more sensible, greener and generally better than the government’s waste strategy, which involves building a massive facility on reclamation at Shek Kwu Chau, the island south of Lantau.
Why would our top officials go for an option that is worse in every way than the alternative in the Living Island Movement/Designing HK/Dolphin fans/etc proposal? Where do you start? It’s easier for them. It doesn’t upset vested interests like New Territories land owners. It does please vested interests like the construction industry and bureaucrats who like big projects to run. This could be a long list. I won’t mention the scurrilous rumour about members of Islands District Council backing the government so their relatives can start up little ‘fish farms’ that will qualify them for hundreds of thousands of dollars of government compensation every year, because who would imagine hard-working local representatives would ever do such a thing?
Even if you’re not interested in the fate of Shek Kwu island, world’s only habitat of the lesser green-tongued banana rat, bear in mind that (by my reckoning) the activists’ proposal would put waste management facilities delightfully close to both Disneyland and potentially valuable residential sites owned by senior figures in the Heung Yee Kuk – so what’s not to like?