Lam won’t condemn wetland dumping or amend law to stop it

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has refused to condemn wetland dumping and has ruled out any changes to the law to preserve Lantau and other threatened areas.

Lam admitted in Legco yesterday that there were “loopholes in the law”  but said that some “behaviour that looks like it is harming the ecology may not in fact be illegal.”

Lam’s comments, her first on the issue since protestors dumped waste on her doorstep on Sunday, were in response to a question from legislator Eddie Chu, who brandished a toilet seat found in a Pui O landfill.

Chu asked the CE if she would condemn those who “have exploited legal loopholes” to damage Coastal Protection Area land on South Lantau.

He also asked if she would amend the law to ensure its preservation.

Lam declined to answer, but acknowledged there was “room for improvement in monitoring and enforcement.”

She called for stronger public education “to protect our beautiful coastline and other rural areas.”

Lam’s responses fail to distinguish between fly-tipping, which is illegal, and landfilling, which has become government-authorised waste dumping in rural areas.

They also fly in the face of her own policy, which is to conserve South Lantau generally and Pui O wetland specifically.

In her October policy address Lam said Lantau would be conserved by the new Sustainable Lantau Office, based on the Sustainable Lantau Blueprint issued last June.

“Measures for conservation of Pui O wetland are being explored,” it states.

Yet when it comes to ensuring these “treasured” ecosystems can be preserved, Lam not only is unable to offer any “measures” – she cannot find fault with the steady destruction taking place.

It is clear the CE has no intention of taking on powerful rural interests to stop wetlands from disappearing under a mountain of construction waste.

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