Following is the transcript of the media session by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, after a meeting with a representative of The Society for the Protection of the Harbour today (September 22):
Reporter: What do you think you have achieved at the meeting? What is the next step forward? Do you think you can resolve it?
Mr Suen: I am not sure whether we can in fact resolve our differences of views, but I think at least we have a chance to explain our respective point of views. For example, in explaining the need for a width of land to accommodate the cooling system, there was a suggestion from Mr Chu that perhaps we can locate it on the landward side of the road. But there are of course other technical consideration which I am not privy to, so I have asked my colleagues in the engineering departments to come up with a more detailed explanation of why we need to have that sited on the seaward side. I understand that there are engineering considerations, consideration pertaining to the quality of the water and so on and so forth.
Reporter: Why do you keep on pushing ahead of this project despite that there might be legal dispute?
Mr Suen: I think it's got to be understood that there is an ongoing contract which has been signed before the delivery of the judgment by the court. In accordance with our understanding of the criteria laid down by the court relating to the needs for reclamation project, we have applied the same three tests as laid down by the court to the Central reclamation and we can satisfied those tests. In the light of all that, and in view of the fact that we got an ongoing contract, we do not feel that there is overriding public justification to stop the project. But of course if there is an injunction to be sought, we are obviously bound by the results of any court action.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript)
End/Monday, September 22, 2003