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LCQ10: Occupation of camp sites in country parks
     Following is a question by the Hon Chan Han-pan and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, in the Legislative Council today (November 1):


     It was reported by the media last month that some people had occupied designated camp sites in country parks for a long period of time for profiteering purpose. Other people who wanted to use the camp sites would have camping areas released to them only if they rented tents and bought food from the occupiers. I have also found that some people have allegedly occupied camp sites with old and dilapidated camping equipment. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the number of complaints received by the authorities in each of the past five years about the occupation of camp sites in country parks; how the authorities handled such complaints; among them, of the number of those which were found substantiated and the follow-up actions taken by the authorities; whether the occupation of camp sites for profiteering purpose is against the law; if so, of the penalties; and

(2) whether the authorities inspected the use of designated camp sites in each of the past five years; if so, of the details; of the policy in place to ensure that members of the public have a fair chance to use the camp sites, and whether they have reviewed the effectiveness of that policy?



     Our reply to the questions by the Hon Chan Han-pan is as follows:

(1) In the past five years, the number of complaints related to occupation of camping sites in country parks received by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) is:
Year Number of complaints
2012 0
2013 3
2014 7
2015 15
2016 20

     After receipt of the complaints, the AFCD would conduct site inspections and step up patrol as necessary. In the investigations of the above complaint cases, the AFCD did not detect any occupation of camping sites for rental or food sale for profit.

     According to the Country Parks and Special Areas Regulations (Cap 208A) (the Regulations), camping and erection of tent in country parks are allowed in designated camping sites only. The sale or rental of any commodity or article in country parks without permission contravenes the Regulations and is liable to a maximum fine of $2,000 and imprisonment for three months.

(2) The AFCD has set up 41 designated camping sites in all country parks in Hong Kong. Staff of the AFCD regularly patrols the camping sites in country parks and will step up patrol during long holidays. The AFCD is responsible for the daily management of these camping sites including the handling of wastes and recyclables, cleansing of public toilets and facility maintenance. The AFCD will take appropriate follow-up action if any illegal act is detected during patrol.

     In the designated camping sites in country parks, the AFCD provides basic facilities for camping including flat areas for erecting tents, tables and benches, barbecue pits, toilets and litter/recycling bins, etc. Members of the public can use these camping facilities free of charge on a first come, first served basis. The AFCD noticed that there has been an increasing demand in camping facilities within country parks in recent years and some designated camping sites are very popular in long holidays. To meet the demand of country park visitors, the AFCD has improved the facilities of camping sites and designated more camping sites in recent years including the establishment of two new camping sites in Sai Wan and Tai Mong Tsai in 2014 and 2015 respectively, and the upgrading of the Wan Tsai campsite in the Sai Kung West Country Park in December 2016. The AFCD will continue to enhance the services and facilities for camping based on the usage and popularity of camping sites in country parks.
Ends/Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Issued at HKT 12:40
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