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Fishermen Claims Appeal Board appointed

     The Government today (November 5) announced the setting up of a Fishermen Claims Appeal Board (FCAB) for processing appeals regarding applications for an ex-gratia allowance (EGA) and a one-off grant filed by trawler owners and local deckhands affected by the trawl ban.

     The FCAB comprises one non-official Chairman and four non-official members. Mrs Tennessy Lee Hui Mei-sheung has been appointed the Chairman of the FCAB. The non-official members are Miss Nancy Chan, Miss Cindi Hui Ming-ming, Mr William Lee Ka-chung and Dr Paul Shin Kam-shing. The appointments have taken effect, and will last until work on all the appeal cases has been completed.

     Mrs Tennessy Lee Hui Mei-sheung is a lawyer. She is also one of the chairmen of the Transport Tribunal and a member of the Advisory Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries, the Country and Marine Parks Board, the Hong Kong Advisory Council on AIDS and the Licensing Appeals Board.

     Miss Nancy Chan is a lawyer. She is also a member of the Administrative Appeals Board and the Panel of Witness Protection Review Board.

     Miss Cindi Hui Ming-ming is a lawyer. She is also a member of the Appeal Board Panel (Town Planning), the Board of Review (Film Censorship), the Security and Guarding Services Industry Authority and the Transport Tribunal. She is an adjudicator of the Registration of Persons Tribunal.

     Mr William Lee Ka-chung is an accountant. He has served on various advisory committees in the Government.

     Dr Paul Shin Kam-shing is an associate professor. His expertise is in the marine benthos, marine ecology and conservation and environmental management and impact assessment.

     The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, thanked the Chairman and members for accepting the appointments.

     The ban of trawling in Hong Kong waters, under statute, will come into operation on December 31, 2012. Under a one-off assistance package approved by the Legislative Council Finance Committee on June 10, 2011, an ex-gratia allowance (EGA) is payable to eligible trawler owners affected by the trawl ban, and a one-off grant is payable to each eligible local deckhand employed by the affected inshore trawler owners who voluntarily surrender their vessels under a buyout scheme offered by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department or dispose of their vessels through other means.

     An Inter-departmental Working Group (IWG) has been set up by the Government to handle matters relating to applications received from parties affected by the trawl ban. Applicants who are not satisfied with the decisions of the IWG on the aforementioned EGA or one-off grant may lodge appeals to the FCAB, which is a non-statutory body formed on an administrative basis for handling the relevant appeal cases.

     With reference to the EGA and one-off grant under the one-off assistance package approved by the Finance Committee on June 10, 2011, the terms of reference of the FCAB are:

* To see that the criteria established by the IWG for processing and/or vetting applications for the EGA comply with the government policy, and are fair and reasonable (in the public law sense) to the applicants.

* To see that the IWG's decisions on eligibility and the amount of EGA granted comply with the government policy and are fair and reasonable (in the public law sense) to the applicants.

* To examine any new or additional information/evidence provided by the appellants (or their representatives) who have lodged an appeal against the IWG's decisions or by the relevant departments, and to consider the relevance of and the weight to be given to such information/evidence.

* To consider whether to uphold the IWG's decisions on the appellants' cases or to revise the decisions, and to determine the type and amount of EGA payable to the appellants, as appropriate.

     The secretariat of the FCAB is located at the Food and Health Bureau, 17/F, East Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong.

Ends/Monday, November 5, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:09


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