LCQ16: Development of tourism in Lei Yue Mun
Following is a written reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, to a question by the Hon Paul Tse in the Legislative Council today (June 20):
It has been learnt that some representatives of the commercial tenants in Lei Yue Mun (LYM) are gravely dissatisfied with the extremely slow progress made by the Government in the enhancement and construction of ancillary tourism facilities in LYM (LYM Waterfront Enhancement Project) (the Project), thus hindering the development of tourism in LYM. Some members of the Kwun Tong District Council (KTDC) have relayed to me that KTDC has unanimously supported the works under the Project (e.g. the pier works project approved in 2005 and the waterfront development project approved in 2009), but a member of another District Council, who is a member of the Civic Party, has continuously raised questions at different stages in respect of issues such as sewage, water quality improvement, road base and fire prevention, etc., and the works projects are yet to be implemented. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) whether it has assessed the additional expenditure on works projects caused by the delay in the Project; if it has, of the assessment findings; if not, whether it can assess immediately;
(b) whether it has assessed if the aforesaid political party or other political parties would, by means of seeking judicial review of environmental impact assessment reports, hinder the implementation of the Project; if it has, of the assessment findings; if not, whether it can assess immediately and give an account of its policy to tackle this issue;
(c) whether it has assessed if the delay in the development of the ancillary tourism facilities in LYM waterfront (including the breakwater, waterfront promenade, streetscaping and public landing facility, etc.) will undermine the ancillary facilities in the district for the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal which will commence operation next year and the synergy effects to be brought about by the terminal; if it has, of the assessment findings;
(d) given that the SAR Government of the new term, which will commence on July 1 this year, intends to expand the organisation of the Government Secretariat to include five Secretaries of Departments and 14 bureaux, whether the Government of the new term will set aside manpower resources to iron out the controversies in the councils of various levels so that the various projects for upgrading the tourism facilities in LYM will be implemented as soon as possible; if it will, of the contents of its plan; if not, whether it will immediately formulate a plan for setting aside manpower resources; and
(e) in the face of the aforesaid new questions which keep emerging, of the Government's way of compromise to avoid further delay in the various enhancement works projects?
To enhance the attractiveness of the Lei Yue Mun waterfront and to capitalise its strength on seafood cuisine, the Administration is planning to take forth the Lei Yue Mun Waterfront Enhancement Project (LYM Project). The scope of the Project includes the construction of a public landing facility, a breakwater and a waterfront promenade; the provision of several lookout points and streetscape improvement works along the footpath linking up the lookout points; as well as the construction of a new viewing platform, etc.
We consulted the Kwun Tong District Council (KTDC) on the project framework, its scope of works as well as the conceptual design in 2005 and 2007 respectively. We further presented the fishermen's concerns on marine traffic safety, and the Marine Traffic Impact Assessment prepared by the Civil Engineering and Development Department to the KTDC in May 2008.
Gazettal for the marine works of the LYM Project was made in October 2009 under the Foreshore and Sea-bed (Reclamations) Ordinance. The relevant statutory procedures are still in progress.
My reply to the five parts of the question is as follows :
(a) The latest estimated total expenditure of the LYM Project is $228.05 million. The total expenditure has increased by $20 million as compared with the original estimate. The increase is caused by the yearly price adjustment factor.
(b) During the gazettal of the project works, we received public views concerning the public hygiene situation in Lei Yue Mun. To meet the concern on sewerage problem, the relevant department commissioned a consultant in late 2010 to explore possible interim and long-term measures for improving the sewerage handling facilities in the area. The consultant has consulted the local community on its sewerage review report. The local residents generally agreed to the preferred options for the sewerage improvement schemes proposed by the consultant.
In response to the concerns raised by the objectors, the relevant works department also commissioned a consultant in 2011 to conduct a Preliminary Environmental Review in assessing the potential impacts of the proposed works on air quality, noise, water quality in the vicinity, waste management, etc. It is envisaged that with the implementation of the recommended mitigation measures, all possible impacts will be controlled at acceptable levels.
The works department submitted an application under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance for an environmental permit for the proposed dredging works. The permit was granted by the Director of Environmental Protection in March 2011. We have not received any petition for judicial review of the related permit so far. In case a petition is received, it will be dealt with in accordance with the statutory requirements.
(c) The Kai Tak Development (KTD) project covers the ex-airport site and the adjoining hinterland districts. The new cruise terminal is one of the major infrastructures of the KTD project. The Administration has a comprehensive plan to develop the transport network and infrastructures to tie in with the commissioning of the new cruise terminal. To heighten cruise passengers' interest in visiting Hong Kong, we will strengthen the promotion of shore excursions itineraries. The LYM Project is not part of the KTD project and its works progress will not have any impact on the KTD project.
(d) Workload arising from LYM Project will be absorbed by the existing staffing of the relevant policy bureaux and departments. No additional staffing is required.
(e) We will endeavour to balance the views of the parties concerned so as to expedite the process in completing the statutory procedures under the Foreshore and Sea-bed (Reclamations) Ordinance and to implement the Project. Subject to the authorisation of the Executive Council and the funding approval by the Finance Committee, the related works departments will speed up their work as far as practicable to ensure that the construction works will be carried out promptly.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012