The Government published in the gazette today (December 1) the increase in maximum fines under the Waterworks Ordinance (WWO) and Waterworks Regulations (WWR) in line with past cumulative inflation.
A spokesman for the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau said that the prime objective of increasing fines was to maintain the deterrent effect of the fines provisions in the WWO and WWR with a view to protecting Hong Kong's precious water resources.
The maximum fines for illegal taking of water, unauthorised alteration of fire or inside services, and unauthorised interference with waterworks are increased from $5,000 to $25,000.
"The revision of fines has responded positively to the growing expectation of the community at large for the Administration to deal stringently with unlawful acts especially in relation to unmetered water consumption.
"The increase in fines will not affect the majority of citizens, who are law-abiding, but will enhance water conservation and protection of the water supply system. We will continue to conduct a regular review of the fines and other provisions in the WWO and WWR in future," the spokesman added.
The monetary value of the maximum fines in the WWO and WWR, after inflation adjustment, is substituted by the corresponding levels of fines pursuant to the standard scale stipulated in the Criminal Procedure Ordinance. This will facilitate future revisions by a single legislative measure when the maximum fines become outdated because of the changing value of money.
Ends/Friday, December 1, 2006