Transcript for Secretary of Development's remarks

Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development (SDEV), Mrs Carrie Lam, after attending a radio programme today (July 28) (English portion):

Reporter: Why is it impossible to preserve the Queen's Pier at the current site?  What message have you got to those fighting to save Queen's Pier ahead of the meeting tomorrow?

Secretary for Development: The problem of preserving the Queen's Pier in-situ has been explained rather extensively. In short, it is the integral part of the Central Reclamation Phase III, which has started already since 2003. Although we have examined various options to try to achieve that objective, I'm afraid that the conclusion of the Government, which is supported by the major professional institutions, is that it is simply no technically feasible way that we could do without compromising very significant part of the work which in turn will undermine the need to improve the traffic condition in that very important part of Hong Kong Island. I think this also reflects the general feeling in the community that where the essential works need to be undertaken, we should no longer prolong the delay unnecessarily. As far as the friends who have been stationing in Queen's Pier for several months, I have to say that I have every sympathy for them. I have absolutely no query that they are doing out of their passion, not because they have particular vested interests in mind. But the time has come for us to move on. That is why my attendance at the open forum tomorrow at Queen's Piers is meant to create a platform for us to continue to engage these friends and other perservation groups to look ahead. The setting of the Development Bureau, as the Chief Executive has pledged, is to ensure that in future in all development projects, we are there to strive to meet the balance among development, environment and heritage conservation. The Government has every sincerity to achieve that objective.

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

Ends/Saturday, July 28, 2007
Issued at HKT 15:14