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Government responds to LegCo Subcommittee on WKCD Development meeting

In response to press enquiries on the Legislative Council Subcommittee on West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) Development meeting scheduled for tomorrow (February 3), a Government spokesman said today (February 2):

"The Government made an immediate response to the Report on Phase II Study of the Subcommittee which was released on January 6. The Government sent its written response to the Subcommittee on the same day, and briefed the media. (Please refer to the press release issued on January 6.)

As stated in the concluding remarks of the Subcommittee's Report on Phase II Study, the Subcommittee understood that the Government was awaiting responses from the screened-in proponents to the proposed development parameters and conditions. The Report, quoting the Government, said that if less than two of the screened-in proponents expressed a positive response by the end of January 2006, the Government would undertake a review as to how WKCD should be further proceeded with. It is stated in the concluding remarks of the Report that 'Should that happen, what are being recommended by the Subcommittee in this report on its Phase II study will provide a convenient starting point from where the Administration could proceed further with the WKCD project.'

The Government announced on January 27 that it had received responses from the three screened-in proponents. All of them expressed an interest in continuing to participate in the project. The Government therefore will continue with the development of WKCD under the Invitation for Proposal framework. The proponents had 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.

We need time to study the proponents' responses, and will consult the relevant departments and the Executive Council before deciding the next steps.

We will give an account to the public and the Legislative Council on the next steps for the WKCD project after consulting the Executive Council."

Ends/Thursday, February 2, 2006
Issued at HKT 22:34

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