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CS sets date to attend LegCo Subcommittee meeting

The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Rafael Hui, will attend a meeting of the Legislative Council Subcommittee on West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) Development later this month to brief LegCo members on the latest development of the project.

Mr Hui said he was pleased to note that the Subcommittee had agreed to hold a meeting on February 21 or 28 for the Government to brief LegCo members on the latest development of the project.

A spokesman for the Chief Secretary for Administration said, "The Government must consult the Executive Council before formulating the next steps for the WKCD project."

The Chief Secretary for Administration telephoned the Chairman of the Subcommittee, Mr Alan Leong, on February 7, suggesting two dates for convening a meeting of the Subcommittee so that the Government could brief members on the latest development of the project. Mr Hui will personally attend the meeting.

The spokesman said that the Subcommittee on WKCD Development held a total of 23 meetings since its establishment under the LegCo House Committee. The Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, and the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho, had attended several meetings of the Subcommittee together with government officials to listen to members' views and respond to questions raised. The Chief Secretary for Administration attended a House Committee meeting in last October and briefed members on the development parameters and conditions proposed by the Government.

The spokesman added that the Chief Secretary for Administration had pledged that the Government would brief LegCo after studying the Subcommittee's Phase II Study Report and having formulated concrete proposals for the next steps for the WKCD project. During that period, the Government was still awaiting responses from the three screened-in proponents to the development parameters and conditions proposed by the Government.

The Government received responses from all the screened-in proponents a day before the Lunar New Year holidays. All of them expressed an interest in continuing to participate in the WKCD project. They have also raised some specific questions about the proposed development parameters and conditions, including arrangements for the carving out of commercial and residential portions, use of sale proceeds from the carved-out portions, contributions towards the $30 billion fund, etc.

The Government then wrote to the Chairman of the Subcommittee, indicating that the Government needed time to study the proponents' responses, and would only be able to give an account to the public and LegCo on the next steps for the WKCD project later.

Ends/Friday, February 10, 2006
Issued at HKT 20:38

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