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LCQ16: Opening a site in the Central promenade for public use

     Following is a question by the Hon Kenneth Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (April 20):


     Currently, a site in the Central promenade, which is 150 metres long and has an area of about 0.3 hectare, has all along been fenced off and watched by security guards.  According to the authorities, the site has been set aside for use as a military dock by the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison (the Garrison). In reply to a question raised by a Member of this Council on March 16 this year, the Secretary for Development has advised that as the military dock is a military facility, the site is not suitable to be opened for public use before it is handed over to the Garrison. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the amount of public resources spent on the maintenance, management and security matters of the site last year;

(2) of the specific justifications for the authorities' making the aforesaid remark that the site is not suitable to be opened for public use; whether the authorities will review regularly the suitability of opening the site for public use; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(3) of the ordinance under which the Government is empowered to fence off the site and prevent members of the public from gaining access to and using the site; and

(4) whether it will take actions against members of the public who have gained unauthorized access to the site; if it will, of the actions to be taken by the Government, and whether the actions include prosecution; of the legal basis of such actions and the government departments responsible for taking such actions?



     The site mentioned in the question is the Central Military Dock (CMD). As set out in our reply to Question 22 of the Legislative Council meeting on March 16, 2016, according to the original plan, the Government will hand over the CMD to the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison (the Garrison) after completion of construction works and all the necessary procedures. At present, the statutory planning procedures for zoning of the CMD site to "Other Specified Uses" annotated "Military Use (1)" are under judicial review proceedings and have yet to be completed. The CMD is a military facility. The Government considers it not suitable to open up the CMD site for any public activities before it is handed over to the Garrison, and will continue to keep in view the progress of the judicial review and take forward the follow-up actions required to complete the handover process as appropriate.

     Pending the handing over of the CMD site to the Garrison, Lands Department (LandsD) undertakes the daily management of the site, incurring about $175,000 per annum mainly for the hiring of security guard service. The expenses on maintenance and repairs are about $100,000 per annum. For sites on government land managed by LandsD pending their handover to relevant parties, it is not an unusual practice for LandsD to fence off the sites to facilitate effective management.  In so doing, LandsD is exercising its right like other private land owners. As with all fenced off sites managed by Lands D, if any person enters into the site without permission or authorisation, Lands D will report this to the Police for follow-up. Depending on the circumstances and the nature of the conduct on-site, the Government may take further action under the relevant ordinances which could, for instance, include the Land (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance which provides for sanctions against unlawful occupation of unleased government land.

Ends/Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Issued at HKT 12:25


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