LCQ16: Shek O Quarry Following is a question by the Hon Audrey Eu Yuet-mee and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (April 1):
It has been reported that upon completion of the rehabilitation works for Shek O Quarry (SOQ) in December this year, the Government plans to develop the quarry into a water sports centre and construct artificial nesting sites to provide a habitat for peregrine falcons. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:
(a) the latest progress and total expenditure of the SOQ rehabilitation works;
(b) what benefits in conservation are expected of the artificial nesting sites; and
(c) the planning and operational arrangements for the water sports centre, as well as details of the relevant tourism and transportation support plans?
Government's Metroplan of 1989 identified Shek O Quarry (SOQ) as an area of degraded landscape that required rehabilitation, and put forward the concept of developing the rehabilitated quarry into a water sports centre. Consultant ornithologists also recommended that artificial nesting sites be constructed on cliffs as part of the rehabilitation works to provide a habitat for peregrine falcons.
In January 1994, the then Civil Engineering Department (CED) commenced the SOQ rehabilitation works. In January 2002, CED briefed the media on the scope of the rehabilitation works, including tree planting trials, artificial nesting sites and the concept of developing the rehabilitated quarry into a water sports centre.
My reply to Hon EU's questions is as follows:
(a) The rock excavation works at the quarry are near completion, while the beautification and rehabilitation works are approximately 70% completed. Trees planted are growing well and cover the slope surfaces extensively. The whole project is expected to complete by June 2010.
The SOQ rehabilitation works contract is a revenue earning contract. The contractor is granted Rights and Permissions to excavate, import and crush rock materials for sale at the obligation of undertaking the design and construction works, and paying Government sums as stipulated under the contract. As such, the Government does not need to pay for the SOQ rehabilitation works.
(b) In 2002 and 2003, three artificial nesting sites were constructed, each measuring 0.8 metre (height) x 1.5 metres (width) x 0.7 metre (depth). The benefits of the artificial nesting sites in conservation can be assessed when the cliffs and surrounding areas regain tranquility and a near natural environment upon complete rehabilitation of SOQ.
(c) As shown in the approved Tai Tam and Shek O Outline Zoning Plan No. S/H18/10, SOQ remains in an "undetermined" zone. Planning Department is currently examining possible land uses of SOQ after rehabilitation. This includes consulting relevant government departments on developing the site into a water sports centre.
Ends/Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Issued at HKT 14:52