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Sunday, Jun 16, 2024

Confusing English in Fanling Golf Course report gives opposite meaning

Confusing English in Fanling Golf Course report gives opposite meaning

An Australian journalist chided authorities for their bad English in an Environmental Protection Department PowerPoint slide about the Fanling Golf Course development that left readers with the opposite of what was meant.
At the Advisory Council on the Environment's (ACE) meeting last Wednesday, a PowerPoint slide read that the council "has voted on the acceptance" of an environmental impact assessment report (EIA), when it was supposed to mean they had voted on whether the report should be accepted.

The assessment was in fact not passed.

"We all know HKSARG really isn't very good at putting out clear, concise, understandable press releases," Tweeted Aaron Busch, a stay-at-home dad who has lived in Hong Kong since 2014.

"You're only here because I've been deciphering them for you for the past three years," he added, referring to his work as a self-professed independent citizen journalist retweeting pandemic news and summarizing government press releases on his Twitter account @tripperhead throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

"But with this one, I'm even more confused."

The council clarified on Friday the presentation slide was "meant to point out that the ACE had voted on whether the EIA report should be accepted rather than having voted to accept the EIA report".

The minutes reads: "Members were invited to cast their votes for endorsing the EIA report with conditions through the anonymous voting function of 'Zoom'. After voting, eight members voted for the proposal, six voted against it and four abstained."

The motion was not passed, with the council voting to seek further information.

At Wednesday's meeting, the ACE primarily endorsed a plan to build public housing flats on the golf course.

Members only approved six of the eight requirements in the EIA.

They requested authorities to revise the layout to preserve 0.39 hectares of woodland and improve the handling of a cemetery.

Authorities have proposed to build 12,000 public housing flats on a nine-hectare plot of the golf course.

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