The Development Secretary Michael Wong on Saturday played down suggestions that Legco had approved a feasibility study funding request too quickly for the Lantau Tomorrow Vision project, saying eight hours of discussion was rather long.
On Friday, Legco's finance committee signed off on the HK$550 million study for the massive reclamation project in waters off Lantau. The government wants to reclaim the land for much-needed housing.
But there was little opposition to the government's request for the money following the resignation, or disqualification, of pro-democracy lawmakers.
Speaking to reporters after appearing on an RTHK programme, Wong said there had nevertheless been critical questions from pro-establishment lawmakers and officials had addressed them in the same way as in the past.
Wong again defended the cost of what will be the city's costliest infrastructure project. It has an estimated price tag of HK$642 billion.
"We will look very carefully at the financial aspects, including different financial models," he said. "So I think the government will take a decision when all the data has come in and look at them scientifically... rationally."
Wong also said the government would discuss any resulting proposals with the community before finalising anything.
Meanwhile, the former observatory chief Lam Chiu-ying said the funding approval was disappointing, as the need for the artificial islands wasn't justified.
Writing on his Facebook page, Lam said Hong Kong's population was expected to peak in 2039 with 8.1 million people - and that was about a million fewer than the assumption made by the government's task force on land supply.
He said the large-scale reclamation would put Hong Kong at the bottom of the country's conservation efforts and it would also violate the Convention on Biological Diversity, of which China is a signatory.
Lam said the project would not only bring shame on Hong Kong but on the country as well.