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Construction waste island is necessary, government says 

Despite growing environmental concerns, the government remains adamant over plans to build an island from discarded construction materials.

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PUBLISHED

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Less than 1 minute Minutes

Senior officials, including Environmental Protection Bureau director Ramond Tam, have continued to voice their support for the government’s proposal to build a controversial island from construction waste off the coast of Hac Sa Beach, TDM reports.

During a legislative assembly session yesterday, Tam said that the construction of the “ecological island” – as the government has been attempting to frame the project – was necessary, as the SAR needed a new site to dump construction waste within its borders. 

He shot down suggestions that the waste could be moved outside Macao, noting that “for some mixed construction waste and other types of construction waste, they can’t be resolved through inter-regional transfer.” 

Tam also pointed out that the government had very little room to manoeuvre in terms of where it can dump the waste locally, due to the lack of available space and “environmental constraints.” However, the site chosen for the island is itself environmentally sensitive, being the habitat of the endangered Chinese white dolphin and one of Macao’s most scenic stretches of coast.

[See more: Construction waste island clashes with dolphin sanctuary]

Tam attempted to minimise the project’s impact on the dolphins, flatly contradicting an earlier government-funded study that found that the “entire marine area” of Macao was necessary for the survival of the animals.

The Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo Arrais do Rosário also defended the plans yesterday by reassuring legislators that the project was receiving input from mainland Chinese experts.

The waste island’s location, he said, “where it is built, whether it will be built and how it is built – all these are studied and evaluated by mainland institutions from the start to the end.” 

While the government views the project as an answer to Macao’s waste problem, environmentalists oppose it and the Macau Green Students Union has set up a petition to raise awareness of the project’s adverse impact. 

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