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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.


2005| Important notices
Last revision date : 12 October 2005