Continuous Infrastructural Development
93. Continuous infrastructural
development is necessary to maintain Hong Kong’s
vitality as Asia’s world city. With the upturn
in our economy, an early reactivation of the plan to
reprovision the Central Government Offices and the Legislative
Council Building, shelved some time ago, will help meet
a practical need and create thousands of jobs badly
needed by the construction industry. The Legislative
Council earlier agreed in 2003 to construct the new
Central Government Offices and Legislative Council Building
on the Tamar site. The project will facilitate the administration’s
closer interface with the legislature, and therefore
enhance co-operation. The choice of the site has been
approved by the Town Planning Board, is consistent with
the development of Central District and accords with
the long-term public interest. It is also cost-effective.
We will consult the Legislative Council later and hope
that Members will render us their support as before.
94. To meet the demand
for public transport, we will be completing various
major infrastructural projects. The construction of
the KCRC Lok Ma Chau Spur Line is progressing well and
is expected to be commissioned in 2007 as scheduled.
Route 8, being constructed, will be completed in two
phases in 2007 and 2008. The KCRC South Kowloon Line,
construction of which has just started, will be completed
in 2009. We are also actively planning for the Sha Tin
to Central Link and the West Hong Kong Island Line,
and assessing the feasibility of the KCRC Northern Link
and the MTRC South Hong Kong Island Line. On the management
side, the two rail companies have entered the final
stage of discussion on their merger. We will make a
public announcement as soon as the outcome is known.
95. The Government
endeavours to provide people with more convenient cross-border
transport links. The governments of Hong Kong, Guangdong
and Macao are actively pursuing advance work on the
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge linking the west side
of the PRD. The three governments are examining the
draft feasibility report on the project and hope to
seek approval from the Central Authorities and proceed
with construction as soon as possible. Separately, the
Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor will be commissioned
next year when the control point at Shekou is completed.
We are also studying the KCRC’s feasibility report
on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link,
and will discuss with the relevant Mainland authorities
the interface between the Hong Kong and Guangdong sections.
96. In the next two
years, infrastructural projects with a total value of
$6.5 billion will be completed at Hong Kong International
Airport at Chek Lap Kok. These include a second passenger
terminal building and the AsiaWorld-Expo complex. The
Government will conduct an ecological study on the site
selected for Container Terminal 10 at northwestern Lantau,
and work out the optimal timing for the construction
of the terminal based on the updated port cargo forecast.
We also strive to construct a new cruise terminal as
soon as possible and will invite expressions of interest
on this item from the private sector next month.
97. We have conducted
a six-month public consultation on the development of
an integrated cultural district in West Kowloon. The
results show that the community generally supports the
development of a cultural landmark in West Kowloon.
They consider that it will not only enrich our cultural
and arts life, but also promote tourism and create jobs.
They hope to see an early decision on its construction.
In response to community demands, we plan to introduce
new development parameters and conditions within the
existing development framework. The Chief Secretary
for Administration briefed the Legislative Council last
Friday on the findings of the consultation exercise
and the next steps. We will listen to the views of the
Legislative Council, the Town Planning Board, the community
at large and the screened-in proponents on the new parameters
and conditions. We hope to decide on the specific way
forward early next year.
98. Through the Commission
on Strategic Development, we will explore practical
measures, including creating an enabling environment
for the commercialisation of creative ideas, and opening
up more opportunities for exchanges and interplay among
creative talent. The Government will continue to allocate
resources to foster a rich variety of cultural and arts
activities. Cultural and arts education will be promoted
through the work of the Leisure and Cultural Services
Department, the Hong Kong Arts Development Council,
the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, the Art School
of the Hong Kong Arts Centre and the education sector.
The film industry is a flagship of our creative industries.
To strengthen the consultative framework for communication
with the industry, we will set up a film development
board to take stock of the present state, opportunities
and challenges of the local film industry before charting
a development course and drawing up a clear action plan.
With the support of various sectors, we are developing
a creative arts centre in a vacant factory building
in Shek Kip Mei. In the long term, Hong Kong must conduct
in-depth studies on the major issues pertaining to the
development of cultural and creative industries. The
Government encourages the cultural sector and community
organisations to actively study the relevant issues.
We are prepared to consider helping them set up a cultural
and creative think tank to gather and groom more talent
and experts in cultural and creative studies, who can
work with the Government to promote the development
of cultural and creative industries.