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Transcript of remarks by SEN
     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, on municipal solid waste (MSW) charging after attending a public event today (March 13):

Reporter: When are you going to table the bill (on MSW charging) and what is the latest timetable for the legislation?

Secretary for the Environment: We are going to have a meeting with the LegCo (Legislative Council)'s Environmental Affairs Panel within this month. By that time, we would announce more details about the MSW charging. Hopefully with the support, we would table the law proposal to LegCo and would like to start the Bills Committee soon, so that we can proceed to another milestone.

Reporter: Other than the business sector, what kind of opposition do you expect from the public?

Secretary for the Environment: Through the earlier public consultation and public engagement (conducted by the Council for Sustainable Development), we had been hearing concerns like how to cater for those people in the grass roots, and whether the MSW charging would incur undue burden on those people. Secondly, people would expect higher support on recycling, and third, probably is that they would like to see how the Government would publicise the MSW charging. So those are the challenges that were similarly encountered in other cities when they were launching the charging scheme. I think we are preparing for the response.

Reporter: For the preparation period, you mentioned that you may review that even when the law is enacted. Are we looking at a longer preparation period or a shorter one?

Secretary for the Environment: My response to the earlier question is that some people would like to see the formal implementation of the MSW charging as soon as possible. And I am saying that based on the earlier public engagement, the preparation period is about a year to 1.5 years. Whether it is one year or 1.5 years is subject to further considerations in the appropriate period.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Monday, March 13, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:29
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