Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday voiced support for a plan to appeal against a Taipei High Administrative Court ruling that suspended two Central Taiwan Science Park expansion projects.
Wu again cast doubt on the professionalism of the Taipei High Administrative Court in the case, saying that cases such as these needed to be handled by judges who had a high level of knowledge in a related field of expertise.
“There has never been any case in the past in which administrative courts have ruled on a case related to [the thoroughness of] an environmental impact assessment [on a development project,]” Wu said. “If there is a medical [controversy] in the future, will the court also rule how deep the surgical cut should go [during an operation] and how many stitches should be made?”
PHOTO: LO PEI-DER, TAIPEI TIMES
Whether it was appropriate for administrative courts to judge an environmental impact assessment should be discussed, he said.
The court on Friday ordered the park to suspend all expansion activities in Cising (七星) in Houli Township (后里), Taichung County, as well as in Erlin (二林), Changhua County, because the environmental impact studies were incomplete.
Late last night, Wu said in a press statement that the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and the National Science Council had decided to appeal the case to the Supreme Administrative Court.
National Science Council Minister Lee Lou-chuang (李羅權) said the injunction handed down by the court was controversial and should be challenged.
He said the council would ask the EPA to conduct another environmental impact assessment within a month for the Houli expansion, as required by law.
If everything goes well, Lee said, the assessment would be completed by October and hopefully construction at Houli would resume.
The government would try its utmost to prevent businesses from suffering losses, Wu said yesterday.
“It is necessary to respect the court’s judgment, but the most important issue is to keep government policies consistent and coherent and to avoid investor losses,” he said.
Corporations decided to invest in the park because they had confidence in the government, therefore the government was obliged to protect their interests, he said.
“This is a case of concern for the nation’s economic development, investor confidence in Taiwan’s investment environment and environmental protection,” Wu said.
Wu said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politicians should sympathize with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government instead of making sarcastic remarks about the court ruling.
The opposition should remember that the two expansion projects, as well as the Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology plant, were all approved under the former DPP administration, he said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA
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