Council Meeting ( Agenda ) 17, 18, 19 and 24 October 2001

A 01/02-3

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 17 October 2001, Thursday 18 October 2001,
Friday 19 October 2001 and Wednesday 24 October 2001
at 2:30 pm respectively I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
1.Fugitive Offenders (Sri Lanka) Order203/2001
2.Fugitive Offenders (Portugal) Order204/2001
3.Election Committee (Subscribers and Election Deposit for Nomination) Regulation205/2001
4.Legislative Council (Subscribers and Election Deposit for Nomination) (Amendment) Regulation 2001206/2001
5.Distribution of Number of Members Among Designated Bodies (Election Committee) Order 2001207/2001
6.Electoral Affairs Commission (Nominations Advisory Committees (Election Committee)) Regulation208/2001
7.Electoral Affairs Commission (Nominations Advisory Committees (Legislative Council)) (Amendment) Regulation 2001 209/2001
8.Electoral Affairs Commission (Electoral Procedure) (Election Committee) Regulation210/2001


Other Papers

1. No.4-Electrical and Mechanical Services Trading Fund Annual Report 2000/01
(to be presented by Secretary for Works)

2. No.5-Companies RegistryAnnual Report 2000-01
(to be presented by Secretary for Financial Services)

3. No.6-The Land Registry Trading Fund Hong Kong Annual Report 2000-01
(to be presented by Secretary for Planning and Lands)

4. No.7-The Legislative Council CommissionAnnual Report 2000-2001
(to be presented by Chairman of The Legislative Council Commission)


II. Questions for Written Replies

1. Hon LAU Kong-wah to ask: (Translation)

Regarding the prices of primary and secondary school textbooks, will the Government inform this Council whether:

    (a)it has statistics on the average annual rates of increase in the prices of textbooks for each grade in primary and secondary schools in the past ten years; if so, of the details, and how such figures compare to the inflation rates in the corresponding years;

    (b)it has studied the reasons for the increase in the prices of textbooks every year, and whether it is necessary for textbooks to be revised so frequently; and

    (c)it plans to strengthen communication with the publishers with a view to understanding the difficulties they encounter as well as subjecting the prices of textbooks to some limited regulation?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

2. Hon CHOY So-yuk to ask:
(Translation)

On 21st of last month, the Secretary for the Environment and Food advised in a written reply to a supplementary question raised in this Council that, the consultancy firm commissioned to conduct the Joint-Study of Air Quality in the Pearl River Delta Region had used the air quality data collected from 11 general air monitoring stations in Hong Kong and 21 stations on the Mainland side of the Pearl River Delta Region. The firm had also chosen two locations in Hong Kong and 17 in the Mainland for collecting air samples for further analysis. The air sampling locations in Hong Kong are situated at Tsing Yi and Tai Po, whereas 12 of such sampling locations in the Mainland are situated in Guangzhou. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:

    (a)why the firm had chosen Tsing Yi and Tai Po, instead of other more densely-populated areas with worse air quality, for the purpose of collecting air samples; whether it has assessed if the samples collected from these two areas only are sufficient to reflect the air quality of Hong Kong;

    (b)given the extensive geographical coverage of the Pearl River Delta Region, why the firm, when choosing the 17 locations for collecting air samples, had decided on Guangzhou as the area in which a majority of such locations were chosen; and

    (c)of the 12 air sampling locations in Guangzhou, how many are in the busy urban areas and how many in the suburbs?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for theEnvironment and Food

3. Hon Cyd HO to ask:
(Translation)

To facilitate the news-covering activities in the Mainland of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ("HKSAR") and the Macao Special Administrative Region journalists, since early this month the relevant department in the Mainland has allowed Hong Kong and Macao media institutions to apply for setting up permanent reporter stations and stationing permanent journalists in Beijing and any places in other provinces and municipalities. Regarding the news-covering activities of Hong Kong and Macao journalists in the Mainland, will the Government inform this Council:

    (a)of the number of cases in the past five years in which Hong Kong journalists were detained for covering news in the Mainland, as well as the respective numbers of requests for assistance and enquiries in relation to news covering in the Mainland received by the HKSAR Government from local journalists, together with a breakdown of such figures by the type of cases;

    (b)of the form of assistance currently provided to Hong Kong journalists covering news in the Mainland; whether, in view of the aforesaid new policy, it will amend the existing practice in order to more effectively assist Hong Kong journalists in covering news in the Mainland;

    (c)whether it will render assistance to the local media institutions whose applications have been refused; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (d)whether it knows if the current restrictions on Hong Kong and Macao journalists in covering news in the Mainland are different from those on journalists from other territories; if they are different, of the relevant details; and

    (e)whether, in the past five years, it has proposed to the relevant department in the Mainland that "the seven points to note for Hong Kong and Macao journalists who wish to cover news in the Mainland", promulgated in 1989, should be abolished so that Hong Kong and Macao journalists can cover news in the Mainland freely; if so, of the progress in this regard; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

4. Ir Dr Hon HO Chung-tai to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that the authorities plan to build a cross-border bridge connecting Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

    (a)the proposed site for the bridge portal on the Hong Kong side, and whether additional road networks will be constructed to provide access to the proposed site;

    (b)the expected commencement date and duration of the construction project; and

    (c)the estimated costs and funding sources for the construction of the bridge?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

5. Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the provision of support to mainstream schools which have admitted students with special education needs, will the Government inform this Council:

    (a)whether, after securing the consent of the parents concerned, it will consider attaching the information of students with special education needs to mainstream schools when the authority delivers the lists of students admitted under the central allocation procedure to them, and making recommendations to the schools on how to assist such students in adapting to the school life as early as possible;

    (b)whether the Government has advised the schools on the approaches and provide them with guidelines for assessing whether individual students need special education, thus enabling teachers to identify students with such needs as early as possible; if so, of the details, and of the appropriate time for carrying out such assessments;

    (c)of the details of various kinds of support and resources provided to schools in areas such as the special education needs of students, support and services available from the Education Department and matters calling for more attention to be paid by schools; and

    (d)of its measures to assist students or schools encountering difficulties in integrated education, and the ways to resolve the differences in opinions between schools and parents regarding the best arrangements to be made for the students concerned?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

6. Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG to ask:
(Translation)

Certain contact lenses, which claim to have the effects of reducing myopia temporarily as well as slowing down myopia progression among children and youths growing up, are available in the market. It has been reported that some opticians have pointed out that the use of such lenses might increase the chance of developing corneal ulcers, and a user of such lenses has as a result lost 80% of his eyesight. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

    (a)whether it has tested the safety of such lenses; if not, of the reasons for that;

    (b)whether it will consider banning the sale of such lenses; if so, of the timing for imposing such a ban; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)how it can ensure that people will not sustain injury to their cornea for wearing such lenses?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

7. Hon Emily LAU to ask:
(Translation)

Upon completion, the residential properties Harbourfront Landmark, which is being developed by Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd on the waterfront in Hung Hom, The Summit and The Highcliff on Stubbs Road, which are being developed by other developers, will be much higher than buildings in their vicinity. In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:

    (a)of the reasons for granting approvals for these developers to develop such residential properties which are much higher than buildings in their vicinity;

    (b)whether the Administration has relaxed the building height restriction in the area in which Harbourfront Landmark is situated to allow its developer to construct buildings up to 72-storey high, and subsequently tightened the height restriction for that area so that no building of the same height can be constructed in the area in the future;

    (c)whether the Administration, in vetting and approving the permitted heights of the above real estate developments, has considered the damage they will bring to the landscape upon their completion; and

    (d)whether the Administration, in vetting and approving the permitted heights of real estate developments in the future, will give paramount consideration to the protection of landscape and require the proposed buildings to be constructed with heights similar to those in their vicinity?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Planning and Lands

8. Hon SIN Chung-kai to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the monitoring of the radiation emission level of radiocommunications apparatus, will the Government inform this Council:

    (a)which categories of radiocommunications transmission facilities must comply with the standards set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection for their installation in and importation to Hong Kong; if there are any categories of facilities or products which are not required to comply with such standards, of the reasons for that;

    (b)as several major mobile phone manufacturers have announced that they will set out information about the Specific Absorption Rates ("SAR"), a measure of the amount of radiofrequency radiation absorbed by human bodies, of their newly released mobile phones on their packaging, whether it will consider stipulating the maximum permitted SAR value for mobile phones which are on sale in Hong Kong and setting it at the same level adopted by the US Federal Communications Commission i.e. 1.6W/kg; and

    (c)of the measures it will put in place to enable the public to understand the impact of mobile phones' radiation on health?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

9. Hon LAU Wong-fat to ask:
(Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council of the total amount of Government rent collected in accordance with Article 121 of the Basic Law by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region since 1 July 1997, together with a breakdown by fiscal year and region (the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories)?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Treasury

10. Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the participation of schools in the Secondary School Liaison Officers Programme organized by the Police and the implementation of the Programme, will the Government inform this Council:

    (a)of the number of schools which have joined the programme;

    (b)of the academic qualifications and work experience of police officers who are deployed to implement the programme, as well as details of the training they have received prior to taking up such duties; and

    (c)how the authorities ensure that the police officers concerned will maintain a good attitude in their dealings with teachers, students and other staff members of the schools, and that the programme will not bring about a negative impact on campus life?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

11. Hon TAM Yiu-chung to ask:
(Translation)

I have received many complaints about the noise nuisances caused by trams in motion to the residents nearby. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

    (a)whether it measures the noise level of trams in motion on a regular basis; if it does, of the results; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)whether it has requested the Hong Kong Tramways Limited to improve the condition of tracks, such as undulations of tracks, smoothness of seams etc, with a view to avoiding loud percussive noises made by trams in motion; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)of the measures in place to abate the noises generated by trams in motion, especially during late night hours and early morning?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment and Food

12. Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the placing of broadcasting or publication advertisements for promoting this year's Project Springboard in the media, will the Government inform this Council:

    (a)whether it knows of the electronic and printing media in which the advertisements have been broadcast or published, with a breakdown of advertising expenditure by the type of media; and among the advertisements, the ones placed by the Government and those by academic institutions; and

    (b)of the criteria adopted by the Government for selecting these media?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

13. Hon LEE Cheuk-yan to ask:
(Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:

    (a)which Government departments and public organizations are planning to contract out their services to private operators in the next 12 months;

    (b)in respect of each of these departments, the respective numbers of affected employees who are civil servants on pensionable terms, civil servants on contract terms and Government employees on non-civil service contract terms; and

    (c)of the consequential number of posts to be deleted by each of these public organizations?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Treasury

14. Hon LAW Chi-kwong to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the recovery of maintenance arrears by divorcees from their ex-spouses through legal proceedings, will the Government inform this Council of:

    (a)the number of cases in which maintenance arrears were recovered by means of Attachment of Income Orders ("AIOs") last year; among them, the number of cases in which the full amount of arrears was successfully collected, and the total amount of arrears collected;

    (b)the number of cases in which single-parent families receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance ("CSSA") recovered maintenance arrears from ex-spouses through legal proceedings last year; among them, the number of cases in which the maintenance arrears have not yet been fully recovered;

    (c)a breakdown of the public moneys spent on recovering maintenance arrears (including the processing of legal aid and AIOs applications, the issuing and serving of judgement summons and subpoena, hearings, and the collection and recovering of maintenance arrears to the payees) by the Social Welfare Department, the Legal Aid Department, the Judiciary and other relevant government departments, and the total amount of such expenses; and

    (d)the government departments which are responsible for the proceedings for applying to the court for AIOs, in order to assist CSSA recipients in recovering maintenance arrears?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

15. Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG to ask:
(Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council whether it has considered designating Hong Kong waters which are less than 20 metres in depth as ecological and fisheries resources conservation areas, and imposing a ban on fishing activities in such waters; if it has, of the outcome of its consideration, and whether and when it plans to implement the ban; if it does not have such a plan, of the reasons for that? Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment and Food

16. Hon LAU Kong-wah to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the fares determined by the MTR Corporation Limited, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:

    (a)the mathematical formula adopted by the company for working out the fares charged at various stations; and

    (b)if the company has tentatively set the fares for travelling to and from various stations along the Tseung Kwan O Extension; if so, of the details?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

17. Hon CHOY So-yuk to ask:
(Translation)

The District Table-tennis and Badminton Training Scheme, organized by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department ("LCSD") in conjunction with two relevant sport associations, was launched with trainees divided into three age groups, namely "15 to 19", "20 to 34" and "35 or above". Of these, the training places provided for the "35 or above" group were substantially less than those for the other two groups. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

    (a)of the reasons for providing less training places for the "35 or above" group;

    (b)whether the LCSD has conducted surveys on the demand for sports training among middle-aged and elderly persons; if so, of the findings; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether the LCSD has formulated measures for encouraging more middle-aged and elderly persons to participate in sports training schemes?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

18. Ir Dr Hon HO Chung-tai to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that the Transport Bureau is conducting a feasibility study on the use of a magnetically levitated transportation system ("Maglev") in Hong Kong. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

    (a)whether it knows the countries which are using Maglev, and whether any train accidents involving this system have occurred in these countries; if such accidents have occurred, of the details; and how this system is evaluated by transport officials in the countries concerned; and

    (b)of the preliminary findings of the study; if there are plans to introduce Maglev into the territory, of the implementation timetable; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

19. Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung to ask:
(Translation)

As the authorities concerned are unable to contact the owners of some derelict agricultural lands, environmental problems caused by such lands are often difficult to solve. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

    (a)of the current number of pieces of such agricultural lands in the territory and the total area thereof, as well as the districts in which they are mostly found; and

    (b)as such agricultural lands are usually covered with weeds, breeding mosquitoes and insects, or are illegally used as car parks and for storing containers or miscellaneous objects etc, thus causing nuisances to the residents nearby, whether there are any policies or measures in place to address such situations, and whether it will review the effectiveness of such policies or measures?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Planning and Lands

20. Hon TAM Yiu-chung to ask:
(Translation)

Owing to the economic downturn, the income of some residents has been dwindling, while they continue to pay a substantial amount for commuting to and from work, resulting in a continuous rise in their transport expenses compared to other living expenses. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

    (a)whether it has conducted surveys on the changes that have occurred in the mode of transport for the public commuting to and from work since the onset of the economic downturn, and on the ratio of transport expenses to their income; if it has, of the results; and

    (b)whether, by reference to the Student Travel Subsidy Schemes or other forms, it will consider providing transport subsidy to the low-income people, so as to reduce their financial burden?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

III. Members' Motions

  1. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance
    Dr Hon LO Wing-lok to move the following motion:


  2. RESOLVED that in relation to the -
    (a)Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Chemical Residues) Regulation, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 146 of 2001; and

    (b)Harmful Substances in Food (Amendment) Regulation 2001, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 148 of 2001,
and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 27 June 2001, the period for amending subsidiary legislation referred to in section 34(2) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1), as extended under section 34(3) of that Ordinance, be extended under section 34(4) of that Ordinance to the meeting of 31 October 2001.

  • Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance
    Hon CHAN Kam-lam to move the following motion:


  • RESOLVED that in relation to the Estate Agents (Licensing) (Amendment) Regulation 2001, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 147 of 2001 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 27 June 2001, the period for amending subsidiary legislation referred to in section 34(2) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1), as extended under section 34(3) of that Ordinance, be extended under section 34(4) of that Ordinance to the meeting of 31 October 2001.

  • Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance
    Hon Margaret NG to move the following motion:


  • RESOLVED that in relation to the Solicitors (Professional Indemnity) (Amendment) Rules 2001, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 162 of 2001 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 11 July 2001, the period for amending subsidiary legislation referred to in section 34(2) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1), as extended under section 34(3) of that Ordinance, be extended under section 34(4) of that Ordinance to the meeting of 31 October 2001.

  • Proposed resolution under the Rules of Procedure of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
    Hon TSANG Yok-sing to move the following motion:


  • RESOLVED that Rule 13(1) of the Rules of Procedure of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, to the extent that it provides for a Motion of Thanks to be moved at a meeting not less than 14 days after the Chief Executive has presented a Policy Address to the Council, be suspended to enable a Motion of Thanks to be moved at the Legislative Council meeting of 17 October 2001.

  • Motion of Thanks
    Hon Mrs Selina CHOW:
  • (Translation)

    That this Council thanks the Chief Executive for his address.

    Amendment to Hon Mrs Selina CHOW's motion
    Hon James TIEN :
    (Translation)

    To add ", and urges the Government and the relevant organizations to increase employment opportunities and alleviate the hardship of people's livelihood by adopting more positive measures, which should include fully waiving rates payment for the next four quarters, creating 20 000 temporary posts in addition to the jobs arising from infrastructural projects, reducing the rents payable by tenants of the Housing Authority's commercial properties and public rental housing flats, and deferring to the end of March 2003 the collection of the salaries tax payable in 2002" after "That this Council thanks the Chief Executive for his address".

    Public Officers to attend listed in Appendix

    Clerk to the Legislative Council

    Appendix

    Public officers to attend the Motion of Thanks debate sessions
    on 17, 18, 19 and 24 October 2001

    Session number1234567
    Date of debate sessionWednesday
    17 October 2001
    Wednesday
    17 October 2001
    Thursday
    18 October 2001
    Thursday
    18 October 2001
    Friday
    19 October 2001
    Friday
    19 October 2001
    Wednesday
    24 October 2001
    Policy areas
    • Commerce and Industry
    • Economic Services
    • Financial Affairs
    • Security
    • Transportl Works
    • Information Technology and Broadcasting
    • Planning and Lands
    • Education
    • Manpower
    • Environmental Affairs
    • Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene
    • Housing
    • Home Affairs
    • Health Services
    • Welfare Services
    • Administration of Justice and Legal Servicesl
    • Constitutional Affairs
    • Public Service
    • General Government Policies
    Public officers to attend Secretary for Economic Services
    Secretary for Commerce and Industry
    Secretary for Financial Services
    Secretary for the Treasury
    Secretary for the Civil Service
    Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting
    Secretary for Planning and Lands
    Secretary for Works
    Secretary for Transport
    Secretary for Security
    Secretary for Education and Manpower Secretary for the Environment and Food
    Secretary for Housing
    Secretary for Home Affairs
    Secretary for Health and Welfare
    Secretary for Justice
    Secretary for Constitutional Affairs
    Secretary for the Civil Service
    Financial Secretary
    Chief Secretary for Administration