A win-win solution proposed by Civic Party for the Preservation of Queen’s Pier
No consensus reached after the Queen’s Pier Forums
The Civic Party observes that the two forums held at the Queen’s Pier yesterday have not resolved the dispute regarding conservation and development. From the perspectives of law, reason and passion, the government continues to emphasize the procedural correctness of its decision, but it fails to respond to the “reasonableness test” posed by the civil society and professional groups, and also fails to address the public sentiments towards the history and culture of the site which are held dearly by many members of the community.
Sustainable development demands win-win solution
The Civic Party believes that the government should take a leadership role in nurturing a win-win solution for the conservation of Queen’s Pier. It should not simply close the door and make all parties losers – including the civil society, the government itself and Hong Kong as a whole. In view of this, the Civic Party proposes that the government should model on the dispute resolution mechanism used by the Government with respect to the controversy of the Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme (SSDS) in 2000 and create a win-win situation for all. The specific measures are as follows:
1. Set up an Independent Review Panel
The government should appoint 4 to 6 experts in engineering and conservation to an independent panel, including international or local experts to be recommended by the concerned groups. The IRP shall recommend the best option for the conservation of Queen’s Pier in line with international best practice.
2. Invite technical tenders for in-situ preservation options
On the basis of the in-situ preservation option currently proposed by local professionals, the IRP will invite open tenders for engineering and design within a period of two months. The outcome of the tenders should be used by the IRP as reference for final recommendation.
3. All parties pledge to abide by IRP’s recommended option
Provided that all parties agree to the rules of the procedure at the outset, the government and civil society groups will pledge to abide by the recommended solution of the IRP and promote this as a win-win solution.
The Civic Party estimates that the above procedure can be completed within 4-6 months, in line with the completion of the urban design review currently undertaken by the Government for Central Reclamation. Indeed, there has been a 24 month delay by the government for such design review since it received instruction from the Town Planning Board in August 2005. The government should make the best use of the next six months to create the best possible solution for Hong Kong in the pursuit of sustainable development.
The Civic Party
30 July 2007