LegCo to debate a motion on developing a new North Lantau

The following is issued on behalf of Legislative Council Secretariat:

     The Legislative Council (LegCo) will hold a meeting this Wednesday (February 6) at 11am in the Chamber of the LegCo Complex. During the meeting, Members will debate a motion on developing a new North Lantau.
     The motion, to be moved by Mr Chan Han-pan, states: "That, as a number of major infrastructure projects in North Lantau, including the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), a new control point at HZMB, the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link and a third runway at the airport, are under planning or in progress, and the Administration is conducting a Planning and Engineering Study on the Remaining Development in Tung Chung, this Council urges the Administration to extensively consult various sectors on the development of North Lantau, and under the principle of balancing conservation and development and through holistic planning, improve North Lantau's internal and external transport links, make good use of control point facilities to develop a 'bridgehead economy', develop Tung Chung into a new community with local characteristics which is good for living, doing business and leisure activities, and capitalize on the opportunities arising from the North Lantau development to drive the economic development of Hong Kong."
     Mr Ronny Tong, Mr Tony Tse, Ms Alice Mak, Mr Vincent Fang, Mr James To, Dr Fernando Cheung, Mr Yiu Si-wing and Dr Kwok Ka-ki will move separate amendments to Mr Chan Han-pan's motion.

     Members will also debate a motion on increasing the business floor areas of the retail industry. The motion, to be moved by Mr Vincent Fang, states: "That, as Hong Kong's retail industry develops rapidly but the urban development planning in Hong Kong does not dovetail with the expansion, development direction and demand for business floor areas of the retail industry, resulting in a severe shortage of retail floor areas in Hong Kong in recent years, which leads to retail shop rents going out of control and spiralling upwards, directly and indirectly causing operating difficulties to the extent of closure of small and medium enterprises and the rise in prices of goods, and rendering people plagued by shopping difficulties and expensive pricing of goods; the Chief Executive, after taking office, has promised the wholesale and retail industries that measures would be taken to increase commercial floor areas, but this has not been mentioned in the Policy Address; in this connection, this Council urges the Government to:

(1) conduct a comprehensive review of the changes in the retail industry over the next 10 years, including the future development trends of the retail industry in respect of business floor areas, manpower, locations of businesses and business operators (including size and number), so as to work out the future development scale of retail floor areas and appropriately increase their supply year by year to ease rental increases;
(2) conduct a comprehensive review of grass-root retail businesses, including the number, business floor areas and manpower of wet markets, open-air bazaars and hawking trades, so as to assess what support should be rendered to grass-root retail businesses, and adjust the government policy on vacant shops in public markets and relax the application restrictions, etc., so as to put vacant retail floor areas on the market; and
(3) review the functions of the retail floor areas of properties under the Government, including those of the Hong Kong Housing Authority and the Hong Kong Housing Society, and explore the feasibility of using such space to support the development of grass-root, individual and specialty retail businesses, or to assist young people in starting up businesses."

     Mr Wong Kwok-hing, Ms Alice Mak, Ms Starry Lee, Mr Alan Leong, Mr Michael Tien, Mr Gary Fan, Mr Kenneth Leung and Mr Sin Chung-kai will move separate amendments to Mr Vincent Fang's motion.
     Meanwhile, Mr Andrew Leung will move a motion under Rule 49E(2) of the Rules of Procedure to take note of Report No. 10/12-13 of the House Committee laid on the Table of the Council on February 6, 2013 in relation to the Minimum Wage Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 3) Notice 2012 and Employment Ordinance (Amendment of Ninth Schedule) Notice 2012.
     On bills, the Pesticides (Amendment) Bill 2013 will be introduced into the Council for First and Second Readings. Debate on the Bill will be adjourned.
     During the meeting, Members will also ask the Administration 20 questions on various policy areas, six of which require oral replies.

     The agenda of the above meeting can be obtained via the LegCo website (www.legco.gov.hk). Please note that the agenda is subject to change, and the latest information about the agenda could be found in the LegCo website.

     Members of the public are welcome to observe the proceedings of the meeting from the public galleries of the Chamber of the LegCo Complex. They may reserve seats by calling 3919 3399 during office hours. Seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Members of the public can also watch or listen the meeting via the web broadcast system on the LegCo website.

Ends/Monday, February 4, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:39