Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, at the question-and-answer session of the media session today (September 27) on the quarterly land sale programme for October to December 2018:
Reporter: As a lot of sites have been allocated for public housing, are there still enough in the land sale programme that allow you to have it for private flats?
Secretary for Development: If you look at the figures for the first three quarters of 2018-19, you will know that in the fourth quarter, we need to put up land that can provide more private housing. I said earlier that the Chief Executive announced in late June this year that there is a site on Anderson Road, providing about 1 160 flats. Originally, it will be put up for tender. The decision has been made that it will be used to provide public housing. As I said before, I used the analogy of left hand and right hand, but here, we are not talking about net addition of land, we are talking about using land either for private housing or public housing. I have also explained the rationale underlying the Government approach. Indeed, we are giving more emphasis to public housing and I think that is something the community would agree with.
Coming back to private housing, we will do the best we can in the remaining time of this year to provide the supply. At this stage, I would not make any conjecture, but you can safely assume that in the fourth quarter, we will be providing more land that would be capable of providing more private housing units than the first three quarters.
Reporter: Did the Chief Executive have a conclusion in her Policy Address? Wouldn't that actually pre-empt all the work that the Task Force on Land Supply has done and basically make the whole exercise futile because she already has her own ideas in mind and that the public engagement is basically just not really useful?
Secretary for Development: I think the Policy Address is for the lady to call, so the Chief Executive will decide on the exact content to be put into the Policy Address. I will not make any conjecture. As I said before, the public engagement exercise conducted by the Task Force has been most meaningful, very fruitful, in terms of enhancing the understanding in our community about the pros and cons of different options and also about the severe shortage we are facing in terms of land supply. I do think that it is very fruitful and will not be undermined by any other things.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.) Ends/Thursday, September 27, 2018
Issued at HKT 18:48