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CE's speech at ceremony to commemorate completion of new Government Headquarters at Tamar (with photo/video)

     Following is the translation of the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, at the ceremony to commemorate the completion of the new Government Headquarters at Tamar today (August 18):

Honourable Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to today's completion ceremony for the new Government Headquarters at Tamar.  With the completion of the new Government Headquarters, we are opening a new chapter of Government services, bringing a new outlook, new vigour and new drive to both the HKSAR Government and the community as a whole.

     In my maiden Policy Address upon assumption of office in 2005, I announced the re-activation of the Tamar Development Project, which includes the construction of the new Government Headquarters, the Legislative Council Complex, as well as public open space.  Commenced in 2008, the project is now finally completed with a number of towering buildings after three and a half years.  A new landmark with great dynamics and vitality is now born on a prime site in Hong Kong.  Once again, this project has manifested the professionalism and perseverance of the Hong Kong people in that once our goal is identified, we will spare no effort in achieving it with the highest standard and quality.

     In implementing its policies, the HKSAR Government has always placed emphasis on its communication and connection with the general public.  To this end, the idea of "People Will Be Connected" is one of the major design concepts of the new Government Headquarters.

     The design of the whole project aims at providing easy public access and close connections for the community.  While some of the pedestrian facilities are still under construction, the overall concept is to facilitate public access, ensuring that members of our community will enjoy a fast and comfortable journey when getting here.  We also attach great importance to our connection with the Legislative Council.  Adjacent to our new Government Headquarters is the Legislative Council Complex.  Through this layout, the close relationship between the HKSAR Government and the Legislative Council is manifested.  It is our belief that effective administration hinges on close co-operation and concerted efforts between the Administration and the Legislature.

     Another concept adopted in the design is "Sky Will Be Blue". Throughout the development of the Tamar project, we have exerted our greatest efforts in environmental protection and we have played our part in bringing back a blue sky to Hong Kong.  I remember when I first announced the launching of this project, public views were diversified on a number of issues ranging from the choice of site and the building height to environmentally friendly facilities.  We have studied and followed through each of these issues.  For instance, we have taken the initiative to lower the height restriction of the development to ensure that at least 20 per cent of our ridgeline will not be blocked by buildings.  Various energy-saving requirements have also been incorporated, making the new Headquarters one of the most environmentally friendly government premises.  

     Complementary to the design concept of "Sky Will Be Blue" is the concept of "Land Always Green".  The Tamar project provides not only office space for the Government, but also open space for the public.  Half of the Tamar site is designated as open space, comprising mainly a large stretch of landscaped "green carpet" with nice surroundings and beautiful scenery.  Upon the opening of the Tamar Park, members of the public may slow down their pace amidst the business hub and enjoy a closer touch with nature.

     As a sign of care for the disadvantaged, we will create job opportunities for them by offering operation of the café in the Tamar Park to a social enterprise.  In addition, an open competition has been conducted to invite submissions of artwork proposals for installation at the Tamar open space for public viewing.

     The idea of "Door Always Open" is also fully manifested in the design of the new Government Headquarters, an exemplification of our strong conviction that we should always be people-oriented, open-minded and receptive to public opinion.

     Today, we gather together to celebrate the completion of the new Government Headquarters and witness the birth of this new landmark.  Nevertheless, we are clear that social impetus does not only come from magnificent buildings or hardware, but more importantly from qualities of talent, the spirit of perseverance and the pursuit of excellence.  The civil service and the whole community of Hong Kong will take these as the foundation stone for a better future.  Thank you very much.

Ends/Thursday, August 18, 2011
Issued at HKT 16:23


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