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Transcript of remarks by SDEV at media session

Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, at a media session after meeting with locals and concern groups on the North East New Territories New Development Areas (NENT NDAs) project yesterday (June 25):

Reporter: Mr Chan, do you think that the meeting is a failure because most villagers walked out soon after it had started?

Secretary for Development: I don't think that. We had a very good dialogue with those villagers and residents who are keen to work with the Government for a package that can cater for their needs, and on the other hand would facilitate the development of the (NENT NDAs) project.

Reporter: Mr Chan, are you confident that the funding request can be put to a vote on Friday?

Secretary for Development: This funding application is for the early stage detailed design work and site investigation. The amount is $340 million, which is not a big sum, but it is important in the sense that even with the funding approval and after doing the detailed design, we still need to go back to the Legislative Council to apply for funding for the main programme. The main programme, according to the current estimation, will not start until 2018. With that timetable, the first batch of housing units would only be available in 2023. Every step is very important, in the sense of having a timely supply to the market to cater for the housing needs of Hong Kong people. I hope that the legislators can understand the situation. With all the explanations and clarifications as well as additional information that we provided in the past few weeks, I hope the legislators would have a better grasp of the situation and support our funding because the project is very important for Hong Kong.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Thursday, June 26, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:02