25. Land converted for housing development through a change of existing uses is not an inexhaustible resource. We have, therefore, accepted the multi-pronged strategy recommended by the Task Force, including reclamation in the Central Waters for developing the Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands and other options of near-shore reclamation outside the Victoria Harbour. The reclamation in the Central Waters under the Lantau Tomorrow Vision will create a vast area of new land for comprehensive planning, which will serve as an important measure of land production in the medium to long term. The strategic transport infrastructural network connecting the artificial islands will relieve congestion of the West Rail and Tuen Mun Highway. The Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands will not only provide 1 000 hectares of land for Hong Kong, but also space to build a brand-new community for the next generation.
26. I fully understand that some people in the community have concerns about the development of the artificial islands, for instance, why extensive reclamation is required, for whom new land supply and housing are provided, and how environmental protection and cost-effectiveness are ensured. We will thus continue our efforts to explain the project objectives and directions of the technical studies to the public and establish a platform for various professionals and young people to take part in the formulation of measures in areas such as urban design, land use, and smart, environment-friendly and sustainable development, and to explore how to link up the housing needs of Hong Kong people with the housing development plans on the artificial islands. By doing so, we aim to ensure that the housing development made possible by the Lantau Tomorrow Vision is for our citizens and for Hong Kong. There is no conflict between the exploratory work and the commencement of detailed studies on reclamation. I sincerely appeal to the Legislative Council to approve the relevant funding applications in due course.
27. In addition, we will re-plan the coastal development of Tuen Mun West, including securing funding to conduct a combined study on the development potential of 220 hectares of reclaimed land at Lung Kwu Tan and about 220 hectares of coastal area at Tuen Mun West, under which the feasibility of developing the coastal areas including the River Trade Terminal into residential areas will be explored.