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Old November 13th, 2011, 02:24 PM   #781
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 08:40 AM   #782
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SDEV speaks on reclamation outside Victoria Harbour and rock cavern development
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Government Press Release

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.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 12:18 PM   #783
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Old December 11th, 2011, 08:54 AM   #784
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11/19 - Wan Chai section



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Old February 1st, 2012, 05:38 PM   #785
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 01:26 AM   #786
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thanks for the photos, but do not go very slowly with the works?, in which year end?
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 03:17 AM   #787
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The official sites still say 2011 (obviously need updating). I'm also curious as to when the park and buildings will be ready ontop of Phase III! The wait had better be worth it! It's been a construction site for so long...
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 02:18 AM   #788
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seems like a lot of people forgot about the subway extension underground too.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 09:31 PM   #789
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Extra care sunk into harbor bypass
The Standard
Friday, February 10, 2012

Waters in the inner harbor may appear to be choked by filth, yet advanced construction technology will be used to build a tunnel on the Central-Wan Chai bypass to cut marine pollution.

Chun Wo Development managing director Clement Kwok Yuk-chiu noted the firm has three contracts to build the bypass from Central to North Point.

But it has decided not to build a tunnel with immersed tubes. Instead, advanced excavation methods will avoid dredging sediment and thus protect marine species.

And Chun Wo has scaled down the size of the construction site to minimize inconvenience to pedestrians and office workers.

The bypass - a road and tunnel project along the north shore of Hong Kong Island - was delayed for several years because of a judicial review.

Protesters said the planned reclamation was against the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance.

But a Court of Final Appeal ruling in 2004 allowed the project to proceed if reclamation was scaled down.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 04:26 AM   #790
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LCQ12: Population projection and land demand
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Kam Nai-wai and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (February 22):

Question:

The Government announced 25 proposed sites for reclamation outside the Victoria Harbour and consulted the public on the policy on developing land and enhancing land supply to meet, among others, the future needs for infrastructure and housing in Hong Kong. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the Hong Kong population projections for 2011 which were made by the authorities in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006; the discrepancies between such figures and the actual population in 2011; the reasons for the discrepancies, and whether they have conducted reviews and introduced improvement in respect of the discrepancies in such projections;

(b) of the Hong Kong population projections for 2030 which were made by the authorities in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006; the respective differences in results between each projection and the one immediately preceding it, and the reasons for such differences;

(c) of the respective percentages of permanent and non-permanent residents of Hong Kong in the population of 8.9 million people projected for 2039 by the authorities at present; the monitoring system and examination measures put in place by the Government to prevent over-development of land (including reclamation and over-development which cause unnecessary damages to the natural environment and ecology) due to serious errors in the estimation of future population;

(d) of the area and percentage of developed land in the 1 100 square kilometres of land in Hong Kong at present; the respective numbers of the lots used for public and private housing as well as commercial, industrial and agricultural purposes, and their respective areas and percentages in the area of brownfield sites; the number of industrial and agricultural sites among them which may be developed into sites for housing or commercial purposes; among the greenfield sites, the respective areas of sites which are subject to the Country Parks Ordinance (Cap. 208) and the regulations for special areas, as well as respective percentages of such areas in the total land area in Hong Kong; the number of remaining greenfield sites which are not subject to the Country Parks Ordinance or the regulations for special areas, the respective percentages of the areas of such sites in the total land area in Hong Kong, and the possible purposes of development for such sites;

(e) whether the authorities have conducted any comprehensive assessment of the land demand in Hong Kong, the territory-wide land-use planning and the progress of land development, e.g. development of long-abandoned quarries, idle government, rural and industrial sites (including former government quarters, vacant school premises and community facilities as well as expired short-term tenancy sites, etc.), as well as the remaining areas for development in Tung Chung, the new towns in the Northeast New Territories, North Lantau, Sham Tseng/Tsuen Wan and the frontier closed areas, etc.; if they have, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; whether they have studied the development of existing greenfield sites to enhance land supply; and

(f) whether it has conducted any comprehensive study covering all aspects of society in Hong Kong on the various benefits and costs (e.g. employment, economic activities, construction costs and environmental costs, etc. arising from development projects) of reclamation vis-赋-vis those of developing dry land, so as to compare the overall benefits and costs between the two approaches; if it has, of the details, and whether it will make public the outcome and information of the study?

Reply:

President,

The Government is currently conducting a public engagement exercise on enhancing land supply strategy with a view to consulting the public on reclamation on an appropriate scale outside Victoria Harbour and rock cavern development and establishing the site selection criteria. During the consultation process, some opined that the preliminary site criteria were too abstract and sought specific examples of reclamation sites to facilitate public discussion. Having reviewed Hong Kong's shoreline and excluded severely constrained sites unsuitable for reclamation, we proposed 25 possible reclamation sites to facilitate the public's consideration of the site selection criteria from social, economic and environmental perspectives in accordance with the sustainability principle. To date, the Government has yet to reach a decision on the proposal for reclamation outside Victoria Harbour and the site selection criteria. The types and sites of reclamation are also subject to changes in the light of public opinion. In the next step, we will consider the public's views on reclamation, formulate the site selection criteria and identify possible sites before further consulting the public, and the local communities and organisations concerned. We aim to identify about 10 reclamation sites for detailed feasibility study and further public consultation.

My reply to the various parts of the question, having consolidated the information provided by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), is as follows:

(a) and (b): The C&SD published population projections in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2007, using the base populations of 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2006 respectively. The differences between the projected 2011 population in these population projection series and the actual population figure in mid-2011, and between the current population projection for 2030 and the previous projections are tabulated in Annex 1.

In compiling each series of population projections, the C&SD had taken into consideration the latest population, social and economic development conditions and the local trends in fertility, mortality and migration patterns. The differences between projections and the actual population were mainly due to unexpected changes in the trends of population, social and economic development of Hong Kong in different periods.

Since 2000, the C&SD has updated the population projections at intervals of two to three years, taking into account the latest population, social and economic development conditions. As shown in the information above, each successive update in population projections would further narrow the differences with the actual population figures.

(c) In 2010, the C&SD projected on the basis of the latest 2009-based population data that the 2039 population would reach 8.89 million. In other words, our population is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 0.8% for the next 30 years, which is lower than the actual average annual growth rate of 1.1% for the past 30 years. This population projection has not differentiated between Hong Kong Permanent Residents and Hong Kong Non-permanent Residents.

Our population projection methodology, which is internationally approved, applies appropriate statistical projection methods and makes reference to the latest population, social and economic development conditions, the latest trends in fertility, mortality and migration patterns, and input from the relevant bureaux and departments on the various assumptions of the population projection exercise. Moreover, as mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) above, the C&SD will update the population figures according to the actual conditions from time to time to minimise errors in the population projections.

Implementing any developments, whether they be developments on land or reclamation projects, require a relatively long lead time for preparation work, including going through the statutory procedures, undertaking technical and environmental impact assessments and public consultation. At the preparatory stage, the projects are subject to continuous evaluation in the light of the latest conditions to assess their justifications and urgency. The projects would be planned and implemented in an orderly manner. As such, there would not be excessive development of land that would infringe the public interest and endanger the natural and ecological environment of Hong Kong.

(d) The total land area of Hong Kong measures about 1 108 square kilometres, which can be divided into built-up and non-built-up land. The respective areas of the various sites mentioned in the question are as follows:

(i) The built-up area measures about 263 square kilometres, representing 23.7% of the total land area in Hong Kong. There is no statistics on the number of land lots used for various purposes. Agricultural land is not classified as built-up land. (Annex 2)

(ii) The non-built-up land measures about 845 square kilometres and accounts for about 76.3% of the total land area in Hong Kong. (Annex 3)

It is worth noting that the remaining non-built-up land is mainly wetland, wetland conservation areas, wetland buffer areas, water gathering grounds, hilly land, slopes and woodland, etc. that cannot be or is not suitable for development and are subject to various development constraints. As far as the development of the agricultural lands is concerned, most of these lands are privately owned with fragmented ownership, and are lack of infrastructures. To meet the demand for development, we have identified agricultural lands with higher potential for planning and development, including parts of the land in the North East New Territories New Development Areas and Hung Shui Kiu New Development Area (NDA). We will also actively explore other available land including the ex-quarry sites, green belt areas that are devegetated, deserted or formed, as well as deserted agricultural land.

(e) Land demand is driven by population growth, economic development and public's aspiration for a better living environment. Population growth will increase demand of land for housing and public facilities. Economic development will increase the demand of land for commercial developments including offices and hotels. Improving the living environment including lowering the development density, increasing open spaces and protecting the natural environment can only be materialised with more land. With regard to land supply, the Government has assessed the supply under the existing land supply options (including resumption, redevelopment, rezoning, re-use of ex-quarry sites). We have reviewed all projects under implementation and planning stages, including property development projects above railway stations, urban renewal projects, revitalisation projects of industrial buildings, future land supply in the NDAs (including North East New Territories NDAs and Hung Shui Kiu NDA, the Kai Tak Development Area, Tung Chung and Tseung Kwan O) and rezoning of industrial sites, green belts and agricultural lands. Among these, the NDAs, rezoning of green belts and agricultural lands will involve the development of the currently non-built-up land, which are affected by the problems of land resumption, clearance, fragmented ownership, conservation of heritage, cultural and ecology, etc. It is difficult to ensure timely and sufficient supply of land to meet the demand. Therefore, if we simply count on land development under the current land supply options, the long-term land demand of Hong Kong cannot be met and a land reserve can hardly be built up for Hong Kong.

(f) We have conducted preliminary assessments on the impacts of reclamation and other land development options arising from the social, economic and environmental aspects, and have made a broad analysis. On the economic aspect, rezoning, redevelopment and resumption are all market driven with a high degree of uncertainties, whereas reclamation is suitable for building up a land reserve to alleviate the impact brought by economic cycles and the uncertainties in the market. On the social aspect, rezoning, redevelopment and resumption will affect the existing community and economic activities which require decanting sites, whereas reclamation can provide the required land and solution space. On the environment aspect, redevelopment will generate public fill, whereas reclamation can effectively collect the public fill. The above information has been released in the public engagement activities and uploaded onto the website for the public engagement at www.landsupply.hk. As for the benefits and costs of specific reclamation and land development projects, the assessment can only be made after conducting detailed planning and engineering studies. There is no comprehensive study at this stage.

Annex : http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/2...1202220312.htm
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Old March 8th, 2012, 05:29 AM   #791
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Greens slam reclamation over sinking marine life
The Standard
Thursday, March 08, 2012

Reclamation projects have caused fish stocks to decline by 70percent over the past two decades, a green group claims.

Green Sense believes sand dredging and depositing - crucial processes when reclaiming land - inevitably disturb marine life and the spawning grounds that replenish it.

"Reclaiming land, and not overfishing, is the primary cause of habitat destruction which results in the loss of marine life," Green Sense president Roy Tam Hoi-pong said. He added that when reclaiming land, two separate sites are damaged since sand is normally dredged from one area and deposited in the zone to be reclaimed.

Hong Kong and Kowloon Floating Fishermen Welfare Promotion Association secretary Keung Siu-fai said since dredging began 20 years ago, fishermen have been complaining about a diminishing catch rate of 50 to 70 percent.

Also, the variety of fish caught is much smaller. Stocks of the yellow croaker fish and Chinese bahaba are almost depleted.

Ho Kin-chung, dean of science and technology at the Open University of Hong Kong, said reclamation causes erosion of the seabed as large quantities of mud are dumped into the sea, destroying the breeding ground of shrimps and small marine organisms that fish feed on.

Fish are also poisoned by chemicals released during dredging operations.

Tam said he will raise his concerns at the open hearing of the Legislative Council on Saturday.

The public consultation on the government's reclamation plans will end this month.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 02:29 PM   #792
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Oh this is the construction site I've seen when I was at Apple Store.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 04:42 AM   #793
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Loss of internet blamed on cable cut by bypass diggers
The Standard
Monday, April 16, 2012

Hong Kong Telecom (6823) has blamed the contractor responsible for the Central-Wan Chai Bypass for causing a breakdown in services to 17,650 commercial and personal users on Friday by damaging cables.

In a preliminary report yesterday, the SAR's leading telecom services provider claimed China State Construction Engineering (HK) damaged three cross-harbor fiber cable routings in Causeway Bay typhoon shelter at about 3:45pm on Friday.

By Hong Kong Telecom count, about 9,000 active commercial broadband and 4,500 One Communications customers were affected.

The company also said 4,000 consumer broadband customers in the west of the New Territories suffered a slowdown and that 150 NowTV customers were impacted.

Some securities brokers also said they noticed access was slow and that some customers had needed to call in their orders during the last few minutes of trading on Friday.

Others affected included the new Government Headquarters in Admiralty as well as commercial users from Central to Quarry Bay, the south side of Hong Kong Island and Tung Chung.

Hong Kong Telecom diverted network traffic through redundant routings, and by 7:15pm more than 90 percent of commercial and residential broadband services had been restored.

The office of the Communications Authority received 16 complaints.

Hong Kong Telecom intends to file a claim for damages against China State Construction.

A spokeswoman for that company, which is part of state-owned China State Construction International (3311), declined to comment yesterday.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 07:53 PM   #794
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Old July 19th, 2012, 08:31 PM   #795
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Harbourfront development experiences shared in seminar co-organised by Development Bureau and Barcelona
Government Press Release
Tuesday, July 17, 2012



The Energizing Kowloon East Office (EKEO) of the Development Bureau and the city of Barcelona jointly held a seminar entitled "A Different Waterfront Makes a City Different - Barcelona Experience" at the EKEO at Hoi Bun Road, Kwun Tong, this evening (July 17). Over 200 distinguished local advocates of harbourfront planning, architects, construction professionals and urban planning experts joined the discussion to share their ideas on harbourfront planning and urban development at the seminar.

Led by the Mayor of Barcelona, Mr Xavier Trias, the Barcelona delegation visiting Hong Kong paid a courtesy call on the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, this morning. With more than 20 years of experience in harbourfront development, Barcelona serves as a successful example of harbourfront transformation, and can offer invaluable insight for the Energizing Kowloon East initiative and help Hong Kong further enhance the development of harbourfront areas.

The seminar today was chaired by the Permanent Secretary for Development (Works), Mr Wai Chi-sing. Other attendees included the Chairman of the Harbourfront Commission, Mr Nicholas Brooke; the Director of Architectural Services, Mr Leung Koon-kee; the Director of Civil Engineering and Development, Mr Hon Chi-keung; the Director of Drainage Services, Mr Chan Chi-chiu; the Acting Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services, Mr Alfred Sit; the Director of Highways, Mr Lau Ka-keung; the Director of Planning, Mr Jimmy Leung; and the Head of the Energizing Kowloon East Office, Mr Ling Kar-kan.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 02:29 PM   #796
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Note the dredgers along the coast to reclaim the Wan Chai - Causeway Bay stretch.

Source : http://www.fotop.net/Rudy

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Old August 18th, 2012, 10:36 AM   #797
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By dc925 from a Hong Kong photography forum :

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Old October 27th, 2012, 01:44 PM   #798
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Speech by SDEV at Construction Industry Council Conference 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
Government Press Release

Following is the speech delivered by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, today (September 28) at the Construction Industry Council (CIC) Conference 2012 "Manpower Sustainability of Construction Industry cum Zero Carbon Building Development in Hong Kong":

S S (Chairman of the CIC Mr Lee Shing-see), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

This is an important conference and also a very good opportunity for old friends and partners to meet again. For myself, I am both honoured and humbled to be going back to my roots, as the old adage goes. I say this because, as some of you may be aware of, about three decades ago I started off my career as the Chief Accountant and Secretary to the Council at the Construction Industry Training Authority (CITA).

I am most delighted to see that, since then, the industry has made tremendous progress. What was once a fragmented, unregulated industry is now an integrated whole that strives for excellence.

Let me briefly recap. The CIC was established in 2007 to become the construction industry co-ordinating body. Encompassing all sectors of the construction industry, the CIC has a strategic mission to spearhead reforms and sustain momentum to achieve continuous improvements across the construction industry. A year later, the CITA amalgamated with the CIC, putting training and trade-testing under its purview. In June this year, we passed a bill at the Legislative Council that paved the way for the amalgamation of the Construction Workers Registration Authority with the CIC. I am glad to learn from S S that the logistics work for the amalgamation is well under way. May I take the opportunity here to sincerely make an appeal: the CIC is a collaborative industry-wide platform established for us all. We should all make full use of the CIC to propagate improvements across the entire industry.

Back to the conference, the two subjects discussed today are pivotal to the future of the industry. I understand that you had a fruitful discussion this morning on manpower, which is the cogwheel that drives forward the industry. Zero-carbon buildings, about which we will hear extensively from experts after the lunch, will play an increasingly important role in future projects.

The Government will champion policies and initiatives in this direction, but we certainly need the support from industry stakeholders. For future development, we will adopt a dual-pronged strategy - on the one hand we will strive to enhance land supply, and on the other we will continue to invest in infrastructure. I believe this is conducive not only to the sustainability of the construction industry, but also to the long-term competitiveness of Hong Kong.

On enhancing land supply, let me start off with a wake-up call. We definitely need more land to underpin Hong Kong's development in the coming years. Land is a scarce resource. We are already facing a housing shortage. Our local population is expected to increase to 8.47 million by 2041. No doubt, this will inevitably drive up the demand for housing, health care, education and employment opportunities. At the same time, we will need to maintain a quality living environment. Hence, an important element of our development strategy is to enhance land supply as a backbone to sustain our development.

We have been working hard developing a land reserve to ensure a stable supply of land without being affected by economic fluctuations and societal changes. Even during times when demand for land declines, potential sites will continue to be identified, formed and reserved in advance. The land on reserve can be released for development to meet housing, social and economic needs and unexpected opportunities within a short time, thereby enhancing our flexibility to respond to changes.

Reclamation was once the main solution to the land shortage problem in Hong Kong. Over 6,800 hectares of land in Hong Kong, that is 6 per cent of our land, were created from reclamation. Reclamation within Victoria Harbour to create new land is now legally constrained under the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance. We therefore need to explore possible alternatives to expand land resources, while staying prudent in pursuing reclamation on a limited scale.

Our strategy is to adopt a flexible mix of land supply options, including measures to generate new land, as well as measures to optimise the use of existing developed land. This broadly boils down to four "R"s - rock cavern development, reclamation outside Victoria Harbour, rezoning of under-utilised land and releasing industrial land for other uses. I will spend more time on the first two "R"s today, as they both involve capital works and are therefore more relevant to the construction industry.

Our first "R" is rock cavern development, which many consider a novel concept. Sixty-four per cent of the land area in Hong Kong is particularly well-suited for rock cavern development. In fact, we have developed rock caverns before to accommodate public utility facilities, such as the Island West Refuse Transfer Station, the Stanley Sewage Treatment Works and the Western Salt Water Service Reservoir. More recently, we have relocated the Western Salt Water Service Reservoir into a cavern and its original piece of land has been developed into the University of Hong Kong's Centennial Campus. But these projects have only been done on a project-by-project basis without a long-term strategy.

To fully utilise the potential of cavern development, we have embarked on a feasibility study this year to map out a long-term strategy for cavern development and to devise a cavern master plan for the territory. We will evaluate tangible economic costs and benefits as well as the intangible social and environmental costs and benefits of the development proposals in the feasibility study.

Reclamation is our second "R". While we will not contemplate reclamation within Victoria Harbour, reclamation at suitable locations outside the harbour on a controlled, appropriate scale should be considered.

When pursuing reclamation, one major concern is its potential impact on the physical environment, marine ecology and the fisheries industry. We will advocate the deployment of cutting-edge technologies and the use of suitable environmental mitigation measures during the construction stage. With the support of industry stakeholders in developing and adopting clean technologies, negative impact on the environment will be minimised.

Reclamation can, in fact, be considered a suitable option of land supply. The large amount of public fill generated from redevelopment and infrastructure projects, as well as contaminated mud dredged from fairways, can be used in local reclamation. Using public fill in local reclamation is a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative than the delivery of the fill to Taishan in the Mainland for reclamation.

Reclamation and rock cavern developments are indeed two of the measures of the Government's six-pronged approach to increase land supply as announced in the 2011-12 Policy Address. We have also been stepping up efforts to build up a sustainable land reserve through the release of industrial land for non-industrial uses; looking into the use of green belt areas that are devegetated, deserted or formed; examining Government, Institution or Community (GIC) sites; and exploring the possibility of converting some degraded rural areas in North District and Yuen Long into housing sites.


Remarkable progress has been made in identifying land. For example, from our latest round of review on industrial land, about 30 hectares of industrial land in Tsuen Wan, Yuen Long, Tuen Mun and elsewhere have been recommended for residential use. Thirty-six GIC sites and government sites have been identified as suitable for residential development, providing a total of about 11,900 private and public housing units. The Planning Department is now actively following up on these sites and will consult the community on the required rezoning. The Government is also pursuing studies on degraded rural areas in North District and Yuen Long. These innovative measures will help expand Hong Kong's land resources to help us respond to the future opportunities and challenges.

I have spent some time covering our measures to sustain land supply. While they will provide the basic ingredient for development, we also need to invest in infrastructure to enhance connectivity and to keep up our overall competitiveness. The annual expenditure on capital works has undergone a threefold increase from $20.5 billion in 2007-08 to an estimated $62.3 billion this year. We are also anticipating annual expenditure of over $70 billion in the next few years. This is the result of the implementation of the strategy of promoting economic growth through infrastructure development.

Each year the World Economic Forum publishes a Global Competitiveness Report. The report ranks the competitiveness of economic entities around the world by assessing a number of indicators including the infrastructure index. As Asia's world city, Hong Kong has consistently been one of the forerunners in the ranking. In the latest report released earlier this month, Hong Kong was ranked ninth among 144 economies and achieved the best score in the world on the infrastructure index. This is the best ranking for our city since the establishment of the index. The high level of competitiveness of Hong Kong will certainly help attract businesses and foreign investment.

These commercial activities will need to be sustained and supported by the construction of prime office towers, hotels and conference venues. In the coming years, one of our main objectives is to ensure a steady and adequate office supply. To this end, we are dedicated to creating a new central business district in Kowloon East to support Hong Kong's economic development. The supply of office space will be increased by 4 million square metres. This includes 1.1 million square metres at the Kai Tak Development and 2.9 million square metres in Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay. Taking into account the existing stock of 1.4 million square metres of office space in this district, Kowloon East has the potential to supply a total of 5.4 million square metres of office space. This would be twice as large as the existing office space in Central.

We will also improve the connectivity of Hong Kong with other economies. For land routes, the Hong Kong and the Shenzhen authorities are building a seventh land-based boundary control point at Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai, which will be the first boundary control point directly accessible by both pedestrians and private vehicles. This is a major project under the 12th National Five-Year Plan, and is scheduled for commissioning in 2018. For air routes, to cope with air traffic demand up to 2020, the Airport Authority is taking forward a midfield expansion project at the Hong Kong International Airport to provide a new concourse, additional aircraft stands and apron facilities. These measures, when completed in 2015, will increase the annual handling capacity of the airport to 70 million passengers and 6 million tonnes of cargo. Environmental impact assessment for the third runway is under way and is expected to complete by the end of 2014.

Infrastructure projects will also create jobs and sustain the healthy development of the construction industry. Benefiting from a number of capital works, the unemployment rate in the construction industry dropped by nearly 9 percentage points from a post-financial tsunami peak of 12.8 per cent to the current low level of about 4 per cent.

In order to sustain a robust and skilled workforce to deliver infrastructure projects in a timely manner for the economic growth of Hong Kong, we strive to nurture quality and sufficient local construction manpower. To this end, we have secured a total of $320 million to support the CIC for attracting new blood and further enhancing training for the construction industry. With the support of and collaboration with the construction industry stakeholders, the efforts have started to deliver encouraging results. The total number of registered construction workers has increased from about 271,000 in April 2010 to over 294,000 in September 2012, an increase of about 8 per cent in just two years. Among recently recruited trainees under the CIC's enhanced training programme, about 60 per cent are aged under 35 and most of them are new entrants to the industry. We envisage that the demand for construction manpower can largely be met by the local workforce. There may be cases of labour shortage occasionally on novel construction methods or due to short-term exceptionally high demand for a particular trade. We will not consider importation of labour lightly.

We all know that sustainable development is not simply about having sustained economic growth. We will continue to attach importance to our heritage, our quality of life and our environment. Partnerships are continuously forged in conservation of heritage and revitalisation of historic buildings. Walls and facades of many of our skyscrapers are now decorated with shades of green through adoption of skyrise greening technologies. Construction projects are gearing towards a more eco-friendly, low-carbon regime by devising innovative and creative solutions. I understand that the Permanent Secretary for Development (Works), Mr C S Wai, briefed you this morning on the Government's low-carbon initiatives and I will not repeat them here.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is beyond dispute that stable and adequate investment in terms of land and manpower resources is fundamental in sustaining the healthy and long-term development of the industry. On stability, the local construction industry has experienced booms and busts over the years. This cyclical pattern is also common in other advanced economies including Australia and Singapore. During high tide, there are more projects than the industry could take up, but this could transition quickly into a low tide when there are too few projects. It is understandable that we have heard calls from the industry for evening out construction workload. However, before this can even be contemplated, we must aim to have a complete picture of the total planned construction output of the entire industry. Statistics indicate that the public sector to private sector ratio of construction workload has been about 4 to 6 over the years. While the Government can manage our share of public works as far as the public sector is concerned, we alone cannot turn the tide. We need collaborative efforts from the private sector for better sharing of information on future workload, such that the entire industry can work hand in hand to capitalise on this golden age of construction.

On adequacy of resources, I have outlined the Government's measures to sustain the future development of the construction industry and Hong Kong at large. From a wider policy perspective, I have been asking myself this question: Are we doing enough? The construction sector contributes 3.5 per cent to Hong Kong's gross domestic product and employs about 8 per cent of our workforce. This achievement is the result of massive investment of public resources over the past few years. However, when compared to countries such as Australia, Japan and Singapore, Hong Kong's construction expenditure only takes up a modest share of our GDP. In the Hong Kong context, we can ask ourselves how many resources should be put into the construction industry in the future, bearing in mind changing economic and social circumstances and other priorities. This is not an easy question. I do not have an answer. I do not want a ready answer now. I certainly will welcome views and suggestions from you and engage in dialogue for the better future of the industry.

Last but not least, I wish you all a fruitful discussion this afternoon. For our overseas visitors, do enjoy Hong Kong. Shop until you drop. And for everyone, good health.

Thank you.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 01:26 AM   #799
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Worker dies in pipes tragedy
The Standard
Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A construction worker was killed and three others injured, one seriously, in a suspected explosion at a construction site in Wan Chai.

The site is part of the Wan Chai Development Phase II - at the crossroads of Hung Hing Road and Wan Shing Street, close to the shoreline.

At about 4pm yesterday, construction workers heard a loud bang from a water-filled trench - four meters deep and five meters long - into which two workers, wearing diving equipment and other safety gear, had ventured.

Cheng Chi-wai, 56, was declared dead while a 35-year-old worker of Nigerian nationality, who has been working in Hong Kong for four years, was taken to Ruttonjee Hospital.

He was later transferred to Queen Mary Hospital, where his condition is serious. Two other workers were slightly injured.

Bosco Chan Bun-pui of the Civil Engineering and Development Department for Hong Kong Island said the workers were attempting to connect new and old submarine sewage pipes.

The deputy project manager said he had not received any report about an explosion and will investigate.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union chairman Chow Luen-kiu believed that an inflatable PVC ball, which served as a plug between the two pipes, may have exploded. "It may have happened when water from the other side rushed in," Chow said.

Cheng, who had been working at the same site for two years and who received HK$1,500 for each session, is survived by his wife and daughter.

In a separate accident yesterday, a 35-year-old construction worker fell to his death while cleaning windows at a flat in Sham Shui Po.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 12:43 AM   #800
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Not part of the main Victoria Harbour but the nearby waters leading to it :

LCQ19: Reclamation plan in Sham Tseng/Tsuen Wan
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (November 7):

Question:

The Chief Executive has indicated in his election manifesto that he plans to restart, eight years later, the reclamation plans for which feasibility studies have been completed, including the reclamation plan in Sham Tseng/Tsuen Wan which the Government decided to shelve in 2003. On the other hand, I have learnt that Tsuen Wan Bay is located within the Victoria Harbour, and that according to the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance (Cap. 531) and the relevant judgment handed down by the Court of Final Appeal, the authorities must establish that there is an overriding public need for reclamation before it may implement reclamation plans within the Victoria Harbour. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it has decided to restart the reclamation plan in Sham Tseng/Tsuen Wan eight years later; if so, of the reasons and justifications for that;

(b) whether it has studied, in making the decision mentioned in (a), if there is an overriding public need for the reclamation plan in Tsuen Wan; if the result of the study is in the affirmative, of the details; if the result of the study is in the negative, why the Government can restart the plan eight years later; and

(c) whether it will undertake to uphold the policy adopted by the Government of the previous terms to permanently shelve the reclamation plan in Sham Tseng/Tsuen Wan, in order to ensure that the living environment of the residents in the district will not deteriorate; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

President,

The manifesto of the Chief Executive sets out the guiding thoughts and objectives on Land, Planning and Transportation. On increasing land supply, he affirms that land underpins all social and economic activities because land is required for resolving housing problems, developing trades and industries, and providing public and community facilities. As such, it is critical to provide land resources in a timely manner and on an appropriate scale for the sustainable development of Hong Kong. In view of the strategic and visionary nature of land planning and utilisation and the need to break out from the silo mentality, the manifesto sets forth short, medium and long term measures. They include identifying short term usable land (to be completed in 2 to 3 years), expediting land supply in newly developed zones (to be completed in 3 to 8 years) and planning for long-term land supply (to be completed after 8 years). Moreover, a multi-pronged approach shall be adopted for expanding land resources. This includes identifying land which has supporting infrastructure and can be developed readily, developing land with development potential, implementing new development areas for land supply and exploring reclamation outside Victoria Harbour, with a view to increasing land supply in a flexible manner and building up land reserves to meet the development needs of the community, enhancing our competitiveness, raising the quality of life and housing progressively, and meeting the future demands arising from economic re-structuring and demographic changes.

The reply to the three parts of the question is as follows:

(a) The manifesto of the Chief Executive has mentioned restarting the reclamation plans for which feasibility studies have been completed as a guiding thought on long-term land supply after 8 years for maintaining the sustainable development of Hong Kong. These reclamation plans for which feasibility studies have been completed cover areas scattered all over Hong Kong and the manifesto has quoted some districts such as northern Lantau and Sham Tseng/Tsuen Wan for illustration purpose. The manifesto also mentions actively exploring the feasibility of other reclamation areas outside Victoria Harbour in order to meet the long-term land demand.

(b) and (c) The present status of the reclamation plans in Sham Tseng/Tsuen Wan as referred to in the question is as follows:

(i) The reclamation plan in Tsuen Wan refers to the study entitled "Tsuen Wan Bay Further Reclamation - Area 35 Engineering, Planning and Environmental Investigation" and the proposed works lie within Victoria Harbour. The Government appreciates the ardent aspirations of the public to protect and preserve Victoria Harbour, which is an invaluable natural asset of the people of Hong Kong. Therefore it announced the cancellation of a number of proposed reclamation plans within Victoria Harbour, including the one in Tsuen Wan, in October 2003 having regard to the enactment of the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance and a judgment of the Court of Final Appeal on reclamation. For any proposed reclamation plan within Victoria Harbour, it is foremost to tackle the issues on the overriding public interest.

(ii) The reclamation plan in Sham Tseng of Tsuen Wan District refers to the "Planning and Engineering Feasibility Study for Sham Tseng Development". The Study was for a proposed housing development located outside Victoria Harbour and was completed in 2003. The Government did not take forward the reclamation plan in Sham Tseng on the basis of the then housing demand of Hong Kong. However in view of the insufficient land supply situation of Hong Kong in recent years, the Government commenced the Study on Enhancing Land Supply Strategy: Reclamation outside Victoria Harbour and Rock Cavern Development last year and launched the stage 1 public engagement activities. This Study includes reviewing reclamation plans for which feasibility studies have been completed, identifying other suitable reclamation sites, and listening to the views of the public on reclamation site selection criteria for conducting preliminary technical studies. The views of the public collected during the stage 1 public engagement revealed that there was general consensus on the site selection criteria that encompassed social, environmental and economic effectiveness, with emphasis on the impacts on the community, environment and marine ecology. We will select potential reclamation sites carefully according to the above selection criteria and are planning to put forward several potential reclamation sites in the first quarter of next year for commencing the stage 2 public engagement.
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