SDEV speaks to the media

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, at a media session during the media visit to Lantau today (February 15):

Reporter: Mr Chan, how would you, or the Government, settle the concern raised by the concern groups or residents regarding the ecological value or environmental impact (of Lantau development)?

Secretary for Development: I think there are some misunderstandings. First and foremost, communication is very important. We will be engaging them to have a constructive dialogue and to let them fully understand what we are proposing. On the other hand, if you look at the report of the Lantau Development Advisory Committee, all along we have emphasised on balancing and enhancing development and conservation. In fact, 70 per cent of Lantau Island is country parks, and there are eight sites of special scientific interest. We are fully aware of the community's concern about preserving the ecology of Lantau Island, and it is our genuine aspiration to conserve and enhance that aspect. So down the road, I think communication is very important.

Reporter: What is your expectation in terms of improving tourism?

Secretary for Development: In undertaking the development options for Lantau, we are not just focusing on tourism. To us, it is important for Hong Kong people to be able to better enjoy this island because of its ecological value and heritage. Tourism is one of the considerations, but not the sole consideration. We have to strike a right balance.

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

Ends/Monday, February 15, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:57