Respect Public View and Conserve Government Hill
During the period from Jan 19 to Feb 2, 2011, the Civic Party conducted a telephone polling through random sampling to ascertain public views on the government’s redevelopment proposal for Government Hill.
A total of 1130 members of the public responded in the survey. The findings show a clear picture: 73% of those interviewed support the retention of Government Hill for public use, which is nearly five times more than those who support the rezoning of the Hill to commercial use (13%). Moreover, 61% of those interviewed believe that preserving the integrity of the historic site at Government Hill is more important than providing grade A office space to the business sector, far more than those who hold opposite views (13%). Overall speaking, the public is opposed to the sale of Government Hill, the demolition of CGO West Wing, or placing much importance to enriching government coffers when planning for the future of the Government Hill. A majority of the public also fear that the redevelopment plan will lead to environmental degradation and more traffic congestion in Central. (see attached for details)
Ir Albert Lai, Vice Chairman of the Civic Party pointed out, “The public view against the government’s redevelopment plan is even sharper than the earlier public view opposing the application for the Asian Games. There is no reason for the Government to force through the project against the wish of the public. Lately there are comments urging “conservationists to give way to the government’s redevelopment plan”. Now it is clear that over 70% of Hong Kong people are “conservationists” at heart. The real issue is this: why should the very small number of developers eyeing the sale of Government Hill not give way to the majority of Hongkongers, and insist that a historic site be privatized for the profit motive?”
Hon. Tanya Chan, a Civic Party legislator commented, “The government should respect public opinion now and stop the project. It has completely lost its credibility in the Asian Games saga and cannot afford to repeat the same mistake. This year Government’s budget surplus is estimated to be over $70 billion. If it still insists to sell off a public historic site, it will only confirm many people’s suspicion of government collusion with big business. We hope that the government will not mistakenly believe that it has to pay little political price because the project does not require Legco approval.”
The Civic Party will continue to work with other NGOs on this issue.