SDEV speaks on reclamation outside Victoria Harbour and rock cavern development

Following is a transcript of remarks (English portion) by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, speaking to the media today (November 10) after attending the launch ceremony of the Stage 1 Public Engagement on Enhancing Land Supply Strategy:

Reporter: When is the revenue going to take place and how much revenue is expected by the Government?

Secretary for Development: It is too early to talk about revenue. We start at the Stage 1 of the public engagement on reclamation outside of the Victoria Harbour and cavern development. The purpose of a Stage 1 is perhaps to engage the community to agree on certain criteria, that is the need for doing reclamation outside of Victoria Harbour and cavern development, and we are going to use this approach, what are the key factors that the Government should bear in mind and whether there is a general community consensus. I think we will move into very definite site identification in Stage 2 of the exercise. But I can assure you that we will be extremely careful in selecting suitable sites for reclamation outside of the Victoria Harbour.

Reporter: What is the Government's preferred option? What do you think about the accusation that the Government has focused too much on commercialisation as to conservation?

Secretary for Development: First of all, I don't think it is fair to suggest that the Government has focused too much on commercialisation, as opposed to conservation. In recent years, whether it is in heritage conservation or nature conservation, the Government has made a lot of progress and initiatives. Indeed, even in creating land, it is not so much for commercialisation purposes. It is for meeting Hong Kong people's needs, particularly housing needs. That's why the Chief Executive has set a sort of target of trying to produce land that will be sufficient for providing an average of 40,000 housing units per year in the next 10 years. So, this is a very tall order for us, and that is why we need to find various means to produce land.

As to your first question, What is our preferred approach? In fact, as you can see from the gimmick that we have used for this public consultation, which is a puzzle made up of six pieces, I would say that we need each and every one of those six strategies in other to have a balanced and sustainable supply of land to meet Hong Kong's various needs.

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


Ends/Thursday, November 10, 2011
Issued at HKT 20:27