Legco’s Finance Committee on Friday began vetting a funding request for studies related to the “Lantau Tomorrow Vision” project which involves creating a new metropolis on artificial islands.
Chairman of the committee, Chan Kin-por, said around six hours had been set aside for discussion of the HK$550 million funding application.
The meeting got off to a good start with no opposition from any of the lawmakers, although a few did ask for a clarification here and there.
Finance sector lawmaker Chan Chun-ying, for example, questioned development chief Michael Wong on whether there would be a consultant capable of conducting such a large-scale study.
DAB lawmaker Lau Kwok-fan, meanwhile, asked if the government would consider different financing options for the project, which is expected to cost well over HK$600 billion.
Lau's partymate Ann Chiang wanted to know if officials would take into account climate change and rising sea levels during the reclamation work.
Despite the support from pro-establishment councillors, the opposition camp – which resigned en masse from the council this month – have long opposed the plan, saying it will ruin Hong Kong’s environment and empty the public coffers.
Conservation groups have also demanded the immediate withdrawal of the mega reclamation project, saying there are many other options for the government to acquire land for development.
Rezoning sites and taking back brownfield sites, they say, are viable alternatives that the government should consider.