LCQ13: Developing a water sports complex at the Shek O Quarry site
In August 2022, the Government cancelled the tender for the development of a water sports complex at the rehabilitated Shek O Quarry site, and said that it would review the latest situation in reconsidering the way forward. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the latest progress of the aforesaid review and the expected time of completion;
(2) whether it has plans to conduct a re-tendering exercise for developing the aforesaid water sports complex; if so, whether it has looked into the introduction of new elements to avoid having to cancel the tender again; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(3) as the Government has indicated its commitment to promoting water sports in the Hong Kong community, supporting elite water sports and making Hong Kong a centre for major international water sports events, whether the Government has considered allocating more resources to facilitate the development of the aforesaid water sports complex; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(4) as it is learnt that there is a growing number of water sports enthusiasts among members of the public in recent years, and the demand for water sports facilities among the public has also increased correspondingly, whether the Government has considered making temporary arrangements at a suitable location in the vicinity of the Shek O Quarry site, so as to make an additional location available to members of the public for playing water sports; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
My reply to the questions raised by the Hon Judy Chan is as follows:
(1) and (2) The 2020 Policy Address announced the Invigorating Island South initiative, including exploring the development of a water sports centre at the rehabilitated Shek O Quarry site to provide advanced training facilities for athletes and water sports enthusiasts. In 2021, the Government launched an open tender exercise to invite a non-government partner to develop a water sports complex for the general public at the rehabilitated Shek O Quarry Site. The tender exercise was subsequently cancelled as the tenders received did not meet the requirements stipulated by the Government. The Government is reviewing the latest situation and considering the way forward. It will make an announcement at an appropriate juncture once the review is completed.
(3) and (4) In respect of the water sports, the Government is committed to promoting the sports in the community, supporting elite sports and promoting Hong Kong as a centre for major international sports events. At present, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has five water sports centres, namely the Chong Hing Water Sports Centre adjacent to Sai Kung High Island Reservoir, Stanley Main Beach Water Sports Centre next to Stanley Main Beach, the St. Stephen's Beach Water Sports Centre facing Stanley Bay, the Tai Mei Tuk Water Sports Centre next to the main dam of the Plover Cove Reservoir in Tai Po, and the Jockey Club Wong Shek Water Sports Centre next to Sai Kung Wong Shek Pier. These centres provide sailing, windsurfing and canoe training classes as well as rental services for related vessels for the public all year round. In order to further promote the development of water sports and meet the public's demand for water sports, the LCSD is actively planning two water sports centres located in Tseung Kwan O Area 77 and Ma On Shan White Head Sports Park respectively. These projects have been included in the "Ten-Year Development Blueprint for Sports and Recreation Facilities" proposed in the 2022 Policy Address.
In addition, in order to make better use of land resources, non-governmental organisations can apply for the temporary use of the vacant land for sports purposes. In fact, some non-profit-making water sports organisations have been granted the temporary use of vacant government land as water sports centres. These water sports centres, granted under short-term tenancies at nominal rent, locate in different districts (including Sha Tin, Sai Kung, Stanley and Kai Tak) and provide the public with various water sports courses and activities such as rowing, canoeing, dragon boating and windsurfing. Should an application for temporary use of vacant land for water sports purpose is received, the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau will consider whether to provide policy support on the application from the perspective of sports development, and relevant departments will also handle and process the application according to the established procedures.
The areas around Shek O Quarry have been zoned for environmentally sensitive uses, including the Shek O Country Park, Green Belts, Coastal Protection Areas, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and the Hok Tsui Marine Reserve, etc. Water sports activities could only be introduced in these areas subject to detailed feasibility studies and comprehensive planning. Temporary arrangement is considered inappropriate.
Ends/Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Issued at HKT 12:40
Issued at HKT 12:40