SDEV speaks to the media

Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, at a media session after attending a ceremony for the Kai San Road Opening and Community Planting Day at the Kai Tak Development Area today (August 16):

Reporter: Is there a timetable for the renovation for industrial buildings, especially as there are a lot of fire incidents happening recently? Also, would you consider doing the safety of the buildings first? What is the exact plan?

Secretary for Development: At the moment, we are putting forward to completing the reviews concerned within about six to nine months, but we are not certain about that yet because the Chief Executive only announced the options concerned yesterday, so we are working on the details. We do need some time to determine the timeline, etc. With regards to enforcement issues, the departments concerned, including the Buildings Department, the Lands Department and the Fire Services Department, they've all stepped up applicable enforcement measures. But I would emphasise this point, like the Chief Executive said yesterday, it used to be the Government's measures that when something bad happens, would look only at enforcement. Now that's something we need to do: we do need to make sure that enforcement is carried out in an effective manner, but there is another side of the issue, which is providing the incentives concerned, sometimes through the operational and market mechanism, so as to make some of the problems to actually go away in a more natural manner. That's exactly what we are doing and the two-pronged approach that we are talking about.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:25