Dear DB residents,

The Transport Department (TD) sent out a consultation paper asking for local views on the ferry company's, (DBTPL) application to extend the existing operating licence for 2 years until 30 April, 2015. No one would object, as the ferry service is a vital life-line for our community. Further, the Principle Deed of Mutual Covenant mandates that the ferry service be provided by the developer.

On 25 February, 2013, TD issued a separate consultation to increase ferry fares by 9.5%. This proposal was fiercely opposed by DB residents, as demonstrated at the 2 public consultation sessions held on 3rd and 12th April 2013. My questionnaires sent to DB residents also showed that 94% of respondents objected to the 9.5% increase.

The ferry licence was due for renewal by 1 May. At 8:37pm on 30 April, TD issued a notice to DB residents approving the full 9.5% fare increase with effect from 12 May, 2013. In justifying the decision, TD stated it had to approve the increase, otherwise HKR would have terminated the service at 12:00am on 1 May, i.e. in less than 4 hours. Furthermore, in mid-April, HKR changed their application to reduce the licence extension period to only one year, to 30 April 2014. This means that HKR can apply for another fare increase next year.

I immediately sent out a survey to gauge DB residents' views of the approved fare increase. The overwhelming majority of the replies object, and regard the way TD handled and approved the application as outrageous.

In order to express our anger I have applied to the police and received permission for a march and demonstration this coming Saturday afternoon, 11 May, 2013, from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. Details are as follows:-

Date:                       Saturday, 11 May 2013

Time:                       3:00pm to 6:00pm

Venues & Route:    

3:00pm:                   DB residents gather outside Pier 3

3:15pm to 5:00pm: Marching started from Pier 3 via Man Kwong Street, Man Yiu Street and Lung Wo Road to Legislative Council Public Area

5:00pm to 5:45pm: Demonstration at Legislative Council Public Area

5:45pm to 6:00pm: Hand in our petition to the Secretary for Transport and Housing

You presence and participation is important as we will show all Hong Kong people and the press our strong objection against TD in bowing to the developer’s empty threats and sacrificing the residents’ rights and interest.

Yours sincerely

Amy Yung

Islands District Council Member (Discovery Bay)

Please feel free to forward this news to your friends and neighbours in DB.