Following is a transcript of the meet-the-media session by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, after the Executive Council meeting today (October 7):
Reporter: What is the decision you've made today?
Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands: I've reported to the Executive Council this morning about the outcome of the court case. The court has ruled in favour of the Government and it would be legally in order for us to resume work in the harbour. However before we decide to resume work, I have reported the whole case to the Executive Council. The Executive Council has taken into account the fact that at the moment there is a very heated public debate on the whole question of reclamation. And so we are going to proactively approach the other side to try to see whether there are still common grounds for us in this particular matter. We will also be approaching the appropriate panel in the Legislative Council so that there is an opportunity for a public debate on this particular issue so that people understand the rationale we are advancing in our course and also for us to reply to any criticism against us.
Reporter: What sort of works would be carried out?
Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands: Insofar as works are concerned, we will restrict ourselves to dredging work which will not cause irreparable damages to the harbour. We will not commence any piling work until we have completed the process of briefing LegCo and listening to various views.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
End/Tuesday, October 7, 2003