Public participation in expanding Lantau's horizons

 

Contributed by Lantau Development Alliance.

In mid-January, the Lantau Development Advisory Committee (LanDAC) submitted a work report to the government, putting forward proposals on how best to balance environmental conservation and economic development on Lantau, while meeting Hong Kong’s sustainable development needs. A three-month public engagement exercise has since been launched to collect views from members of the public. Representatives of the Lantau Development Alliance (LaDA) have also joined the exercise to contribute ideas.

To facilitate public engagement and to encourage residents to put forth their views by the end of this month, the government is holding a series of exhibitions and presentations in different districts. Three public forums, held in February and March, saw all sides of the debate represented. While some residents were looking forward to Lantau’s development, other attendees conveyed their concerns about the environment and increase in traffic. Many different expectations were expressed.

Government officials attending the forum emphasised that Lantau’s development is linked to the long-term economic and social development of Hong Kong. They made it clear that the government has no pre-established position, and that further study will be conducted based on opinions collected. Members of the public are being encouraged to submit their opinions through public consultation activities, so that a blueprint can be drawn up.

Government representatives also acknowledged the importance of additional transport facilities to the development of Lantau, and revealed that the government will conduct a study on traffic policies for the island.

Most stakeholders attending the forums adopted an open and professional mindset, and they took the floor enthusiastically. Even though some members of the public showed reserve towards the proposals because of their lack of awareness of the issues, it was clear that everyone wanted to build a better community. The development of Lantau covers a wide range of issues, including social, economic, transportation and environmental protection. We need to strengthen communications between all parties so that more ideas can be discussed.

The Lantau Development Alliance (LaDA) is a group of local organisations and enterprises on Lantau that have come together to promote the social and economic development of the island. Visit www.lantau-da.com.hk.

 

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