In response to enquiries from the press, a Government spokesman said today (March 23) we understand a complaint has been lodged with the Ombudsman, but we have not yet been contacted by the Ombudsman's Office.
"We can give a categorical assurance that there is no conflict of interest, the Government disclosed all material information before seeking Executive Council and Legislative Council approval for the project to go ahead," the spokesman said.
The Government appointed its Directors to look after the substantial public investment in the project on behalf of the Hong Kong community.
On the environment, the spokesman said we have scrupulously followed the law and will continue to do so.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies on the Hong Kong Disneyland Project and associated developments on Northeast Lantau have confirmed the environmental feasibility of the project.
The reports concluded that construction and operation of the project will comply with all environmental standards and legislation if the proposed mitigation measures are implemented.
On March 11, the Director of Environmental Protection (DEP) decided that the two EIA reports had met the requirements of their respective Study Briefs and the Technical Memorandum of the EIA Ordinance. Following this, the reports have been made available for public inspection since March 13 for a period of 30 days. Members of the public can provide their comments to DEP within this period.
The two EIA reports are scheduled to be presented to the EIA Sub-Committee of the Advisory Council on the Environment (ACE) in early April 2000 and the ACE full Council in mid April, 2000
After receiving the comments of the public and the ACE, DEP will decide whether the EIA reports should be approved and Environmental Permits (EPs) should be issued. The reclamation contract for Penny's Bay will only be awarded after the EPs have been issued.
As regards Cheoy Lee Shipyard, a separate subsequent EIA Study will be completed prior to the decommissioning of the shipyard to satisfy all the environmental requirements.
"We will of course co-operate fully with any investigation that the Ombudsman might wish to undertake," the spokesman said.
End/Thursday, March 23, 2000