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Transcript of SDEV's remarks

Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, at a media session after attending the Lantau Development Advisory Committee's first meeting today (March 8):

Reporter: Can you give me a brief recap of what you have just said in English? And also can you say how environmental interest can be involved in the discussion when you have no green groups (in the Committee)?

Secretary for Development: In the meeting we talked about a number of things, first is the house rules and confidentiality of discussion papers, how the papers are to be classified, which are going to be published, and which are going to be kept confidential. We had a good discussion about declaration of interest. We have decided to adopt a relatively stricter declaration system. On the one hand, members would need to fill in a form to declare their interest in Lantau Island and the neighbouring islands. Furthermore, they have to make declaration of interest during the course of discussion of any particular items if they have an interest in it. We then moved on to talk about the current projects, be it infrastructure or others that the Government has in mind in relation to Lantau Island. We also talked about the development constraints, and how to better utilise this particular island in the context of its strategic location. Afterwards, six to seven members gave some initial suggestions, and we had a brief exchange of views. We also agreed to discuss the strategic positioning of Lantau Island in the next meeting when we have the opportunity to organise the various suggestions presented during the first meeting.

Reporter: How about the environmental groups?

Secretary for Development: On environmental protection, this has been discussed and this is a point that many of our members put a lot of emphasis. In the Committee, we have Professor KC Ho (Professor Ho Kin-chung), who is in the environmental field; and we have Mr Andrew Lam (Mr Andrew Lam Siu-lo), who is the chairman of the Antiquities Advisory Board.  We also have Mr Billy Lam (Mr Billy Lam Chung-lun), who is a member of Country and Marine Parks Board. So all in all, in the future consideration of Lantau Island development, we have to strike a balance between conservation and development. We must understand that these two do not necessarily conflict with each other, and it is not a zero-sum game. They are not mutually exclusive and could be complementary to one and other.

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

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Ends/Saturday, March 8, 2014
Issued at HKT 20:59

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