主持︰Under what stage is it in for the Protection of the Harbour Bill for now? Have you started the lobbying now?
嘉賓︰Yeah, for my amendment in fact it consists of two parts. The first part is to state very clearly the central harbour, so my first part of the amendment is to protect the central harbour, that is the areas from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui. In fact that central harbour is also stated in the ordinance, when the ordinance was first passed in 1997.
The second part of my amendment is to allow the Chief Executive in Council to have the power to consider any works can be carried out in areas outside the central harbour, according to when they see there is a public need. So Chief Executive in Council can decide whether to carry out any public works that's according to public needs.
主持︰It seems that the current legislation is very restrictive for the development of the harbourfront, so what we see that your proposal is to give flexibility and more open options for the government to do the harbour works for HK residents. So how do you assess on the public consultation and the public opinion for your bill?
嘉賓︰In 1997 and 1999, when the bill was passed, there were so many stakeholders and so many organizations and people who supported the bill, so you can imagine those who supported the bill will oppose my amendment, unless they have changed their views. It won't be easy.
Although it's very difficult, I think we need to do something in the new era of HK. We should make some differences, we cannot just be bound by the existing ordinance and limit our feasibility to carry out any public works, that's beneficial to the society.
主持︰So assuming the amendment is passed, which sector do you think will benefit most from it? And to what extent can it alleviate the problem of the insufficient land supply in HK?
嘉賓︰My amendment is to give the government departments with more visibility and flexibility when they consider any complaining. Because of the current ordinance, the government department will not think about how to make well use of the harbourfront. So the ordinance will limit their planning and creativity ideas of how to well use of the harbourfront. In the harbour area, from Kwun Tong to Kai Tak, if you have been there, then you will find the transportation is very inconvenient and the traffic there is very heavy, always traffic jam.
The passage of my Private Member's Bill. The government can consider to build a bridge from Kwun Tong to Kai Tak, so it will ease the very heavy transport in the area. And I hope more of this kind of public works can be carried out to help people living along the harbourfront.
主持︰Even if the legislation that you propose has been passed, do you think that there will still be hurdles to overcome? Let's say, for the environmental assessments or the time planning, and the public consultation of such changing for the harbourfront. Do you think those are the hurdles that the government has to overcome over for the future years?
嘉賓︰Yes. Even with the passage of my Private Member's Bill, the government still will face many difficulties when they decide to carry out any reclamation along the harbourfront. As you said, they have to go through the time planning procedures and the environmental protection whatever. Very complex procedures. The government should consider reviewing all those ordinance. See how to make our construction or the work of our government more efficient. We have spent a lot of time on very complex planning procedures.
◆ 點新聞英文節目《EyE on U 容來熙往》，由立法會議員容海恩及梁熙主持，邀請香港社會各界包括政界、商界及專業人士，分享及討論社會熱話。