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LC Urgent Q2: Application for Places of Public Entertainment licences

     Following is an urgent question by the Dr Hon Helena Wong under Rule 24(4) of the Rules of Procedure and a reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, in the Legislative Council today (July 8):


     At the end of last month, an explosion of theatrical powder occurred and a fire broke out in the middle of an event named "Color Play Asia" held in New Taipei City of Taiwan, causing nearly 500 casualties. On the other hand, two large-scale events named Life in Color and The Color Run, in which coloured paints or theatrical powder will be used, will be held in Hong Kong respectively at the end of this month and December this year. Some members of the public have expressed concern about whether it will be safe to attend these two events. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it will immediately require the organisers of the two events to cancel the use of theatrical powder or other inflammable paints in the events, failing which it will refuse to issue or cancel the relevant Temporary Places of Public Entertainment Licences, so as to safeguard public safety; if it will not, of the reasons for that?



     In reply to the question raised by Hon Elizabeth Quat, I have given an account of the relevant background information and how departments concerned would process Places of Public Entertainment (PPE) licences. I will not repeat the details here.

     Regarding the event to be held at the AsiaWorld-Expo on July 25, departments concerned have requested the applicant to provide further information for assessing public safety of the event. As examination of the information would take time, Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) has requested the applicant to provide the relevant information on or before July 13, so as to allow sufficient time for making assessment and handling the application.

     However, according to the announcement made by AsiaWorld-Expo yesterday, following its liaison with the organiser, the proposed event originally scheduled for July 25 will be postponed while that for December will be cancelled. As I have mentioned, as at earlier today, we have yet to be formally informed about the cancellation. FEHD will liaise with the applicants to seek confirmation of these, so as to decide whether it would need to continue processing the applications.

     In any event, for similar applications for PPE licences in future, the applicant must comply with all the licensing requirements and the departments concerned (e.g. Fire Services Department, Buildings Department, etc) must, through on-site inspection conducted, verify compliance with the licensing requirements covering such aspects as fire safety, building safety, hygiene, etc.  Only if departments concerned do not object to the application would FEHD issue a licence.

     Thank you, President.

Ends/Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:16


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