Council Meeting (Agenda) 15 November 2006


A 06/07-7

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 15 November 2006 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / Instruments L.N. No.
1.Public Health and Municipal Services (Setting Aside Places for Use as Public Pleasure Grounds) (No. 3) Order 2006245/2006
2.Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Amendment of Fourth Schedule) (No.3) Order 2006246/2006
3.Deposit Protection Scheme (Asset Maintenance) Rules247/2006
4.Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (Belgium) Order (Commencement) Notice248/2006

Other Papers

1.No.24-Report on the Administration of the Immigration Service Welfare Fund prepared by the Director of Immigration Incorporated in accordance with Regulation 12(b) of the Immigration Service (Welfare Fund) Regulation
(to be presented by Secretary for Security)

2.No.25-Report of the Director of Audit on the Accounts of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for the year ended 31 March 2006
(to be presented by the President)

3.No.26-Report No. 47 of the Director of Audit on the results of value for money audits - October 2006
(to be presented by the President)

4.No.27-Accounts of the Government for the year ended 31 March 2006
(to be presented by Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury)

II. Questions

1. Hon Audrey EU to ask: (Translation)

The Kyoto Protocol, an international convention intended for reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases and mitigating global climate change, has been applicable to Hong Kong since 2003. In this year's policy address, the Chief Executive has also pointed out that "As a world city, Hong Kong should not only attach importance to local pollution problems but also look at the wider picture. The crisis of global warming caused by the greenhouse effect is a major concern." In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has assessed the impact of global warming on Hong Kong in areas such as economic development, medical system, livelihood and welfare; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that and whether it will conduct such assessment in the future;

    (b)of the progress in fulfilling its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol; and

    (c)whether it will consider setting up an ad hoc group to examine the regulation of greenhouse gases emissions by individual industries, in particular the power stations?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

2. Hon Albert HO to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that the private niches currently provided by monasteries represent one-third of the supply in the entire niche market and many of them are operated illegally. Regarding the entire niche market, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has assessed the current situation of illegal operation of private columbaria; if so, of the details, including the locations of the illegally operated columbaria, the number of niches provided by such columbaria, the proportion of such niches in the entire private niche market, the factors conducive to the emergence of this type of columbaria, the public hygiene problems arising, the impact on town planning and the loss of revenue from the land premiums involved;

    (b)whether it has instituted prosecutions against illegally operated columbaria; if so, of the number of such prosecutions in the past three years; and

    (c)on the basis of the latest position, of the updated information on the estimated demand for public and private niches in the coming 10 years, as well as the details and progress of the corresponding planning made?
Public Officers to reply :Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food
Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands

3. Hon Andrew CHENG to ask: (Translation)

As a number of fatal traffic accidents have occurred in Hong Kong in recent months, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)in respect of the past three years, of the number of traffic accidents involving reversing goods vehicles and the resultant casualties and, concerning the traffic accidents which involved drivers of taxis, public light buses, public buses and goods vehicles as well as other types of motorists respectively, a breakdown of the number of traffic accidents and the resultant casualties by the following seven causes of accidents involving motorists: tailgating, careless changing of lanes, failing to comply with traffic signals, falling asleep or feeling drowsy while driving, falling ill suddenly, speeding and drink-driving;

    (b)whether it will expeditiously enact legislation to provide that a goods vehicle may be driven in the reverse mode only if it has been fitted with a closed circuit television system, and study the implementation of measures such as pedestrian and vehicle segregation or banning reversing of vehicles on certain narrow roads in Hong Kong; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether it will draw up measures to make it mandatory for all professional drivers to undergo annual medical examination and to attend road safety refresher courses on a regular basis, and to ensure that they will have enough time for rest; and whether it will consider increasing the penalty for the offence of dangerous driving causing death; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

4. Hon CHEUNG Hok-ming to ask:
(Translation)

It was reported that the serious hill fire broke out recently in Tai Lam Country Park spread over an area of 460 hectares, destroying 66 000 trees and affecting the animals which used to inhabit there. It is estimated that it will take more than 10 years to restore the burnt woodland. Regarding the efforts in preventing and fighting hill fires, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has reviewed the efficacy of the education and publicity efforts or measures for hill fire prevention, in view of the rise in the number of hill fires around the Chung Yeung Festival this year as compared to that of the same period last year; if it has, of the results of the review; whether it will review if the existing facilities for hill fire prevention, such as fire breaks, green belts, water storage points and water tanks are really effective in preventing fire under different topographical and terrain situations;

    (b)whether it has explored if there is room for improvement in the hill fire detection system and the roster mechanism of the fire crew stationed in the country parks so that hill fires can be timely detected and put out immediately; whether it will explore and acquire more effective fire-fighting equipment to cater for the topographical needs of the country parks in Hong Kong; and

    (c)apart from the above-mentioned measures, whether there are other options for enhancing efforts in preventing and fighting hill fires?
Public Officers to reply :Secretary for Security
Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

5. Hon WONG Yung-kan to ask: (Translation)

Recently, incidents and chaos occurred during the initial operation of some newly developed major tourism facilities in Hong Kong such as the Ngong Ping 360 cable car system ("NP 360") and the Hong Kong Disneyland. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)given that the operator of NP 360 has announced earlier that the media and the public will be informed immediately of any expected delay or suspension of cable car service for 30 minutes or more, whether the Administration has conducted any study to see if the 30 minutes specified in the notification mechanism is a reasonable period; whether such arrangement can enhance the transparency of the operation of the company; whether it is reasonable that failures of the conveyor rail system occurred a little more than a month after commencement of its operation, and whether the above incidents are detrimental to the confidence of tourists and the public; if it has, of the results;

    (b)whether it has conducted any study on the causes of the chaos and unsatisfactory operation of the newly developed tourism projects such as NP 360 and the Hong Kong Disneyland, and how the Government should modify its role in the development of these projects; if it has, of the results; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether it will conduct any study on how the Government can strengthen its regulation on and increase its support to the operators of major tourism facilities so as to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong's tourism industry and promote its long-term development; if it has, of the details of the study?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Development and Labour

6. Hon Fred LI to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the work of the Hong Kong Tourism Board ("HKTB") to promote Hong Kong as a tourist destination, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)given that the results of a reader survey on the world's best tourist cities conducted by a leading travel magazine show that Hong Kong's ranking in Asia has fallen from the third last year to the fifth this year, and tourist arrivals in Hong Kong during the recent National Day Golden Week holidays have dropped by 7% compared to the same period last year, whether the Government knows if HKTB has conducted studies on whether Hong Kong's attractiveness to tourists is diminishing; if that is the case, of the reasons for that, and whether HKTB has drawn up any counter measures in this regard;

    (b)whether it knows the mechanism and procedure adopted by HKTB for selecting Mainland media for placing advertisements, the respective budgets on various types of media in the current financial year, and the mechanism adopted by HKTB for monitoring the effectiveness of such advertisements; and

    (c)as the staff of HKTB are given a pay rise between 2% and 8% in the current financial year, whether the authorities have reviewed if the pay adjustment of HKTB staff should be linked to the performance of Hong Kong's tourism industry; if the findings of the review are in the affirmative, whether the Government will request HKTB to consider, in the light of the performance of Hong Kong's tourism industry, freezing the pay of all its senior staff?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Development and Labour

*7. Hon LEE Wing-tat to ask:
(Translation)

With regard to the use of the rooftop of factory premises for residential purpose, will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the current number of illegal structures on the rooftop of factory premises, and the number of such illegal structures in each of the 18 districts;

    (b)the number of inspections conducted on factory premises in each of the past three years, as well as the number of rooftop illegal structures recorded during such inspections, the number of prosecutions instituted, the number of convictions as well as the penalties imposed, and the reasons for not instituting prosecutions or acquittals;

    (c)the procedures involved from identifying rooftop illegal structures on factory premises during inspections to instituting prosecutions, as well as the average time taken to complete such procedures; and

    (d)the measures to prevent the proliferation of rooftop illegal structures on factory premises, and whether it will consider adopting punitive measures, such as prohibiting the conveyance of factory units which have been found to be in breach of the Buildings Ordinance?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands

*8. Hon LI Kwok-ying to ask:
(Translation)

I have received complaints from Sha Tau Kok residents alleging that the Police no longer issue the Closed Area Permits ("CAPs"), for access to Chung Ying Street, to any persons who newly moved to live in Sha Tau Kok on or after 20 April of this year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether the Police have, before implementing the above measure, consulted Heung Yee Kuk, the relevant rural committee(s) and District Council(s), as well as the residents in the Frontier Closed Area; if so, of the details of the consultation; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)of the Police's grounds for refusing to issue CAPs to Sha Tau Kok residents who have newly moved to live there; and

    (c)whether it has reviewed if that measure will result in dividing Sha Tau Kok residents into classes and splitting the local community?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

*9. Hon LEUNG Kwok-hung to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the problem of employers in the construction industry defaulting on employees' wages and Mandatory Provident Fund ("MPF") contributions, will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the respective numbers of complaints received in the past three years by the relevant government departments about employers in the construction industry defaulting on employees' wages, MPF contributions or both, together with the respective numbers of employers convicted consequently;

    (b)the respective numbers of complaints involving public works projects received by the authorities about defaults on employees' wages and MPF contributions, since the Government implemented measures in all such projects to safeguard workers' rights and interests on 1 May this year; and

    (c)any new measures to prevent employers in the construction industry from defaulting on wage payments or MPF contributions, and whether it will follow the Housing Authority's practice of adopting the On-demand Bond requirement, which was introduced last month, so that workers who are owed wages or MPF contributions by contractors or sub-contractors may recover the payments in arrears from the developers concerned directly?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

*10. Hon James TO to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that a recent research conducted by the University of Hong Kong has revealed that the greenery planted on rooftops of buildings can lower the room temperature in the top storey of such buildings by 6oC, indicating that green roofs can help reduce energy consumption. Moreover, the Government indicated in February this year that green projects had been incorporated into nearly 40 Government building projects under planning or construction by the Architectural Services Department ("ASD"). Furthermore, green roofs will be tried out by the Housing Department ("HD") in a newly established public housing estate and two shopping arcades. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)among such green projects of ASD, of the number of completed ones, together with a breakdown by the types of buildings; if none has been completed, the reasons for that;

    (b)among the completed green projects of ASD, of the number of those involving the planting of greenery on rooftops, with a breakdown by whether direct soil planting on rooftop surface or container gardening is used;

    (c)of the specific measures to encourage owners of private buildings and subvented organizations to implement roof greening projects for their buildings, in order to beautify the city and reduce heat island effect; and

    (d)whether HD plans to extend rooftop greening projects to all the existing public housing estates in the territory?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

*11. Hon Albert CHAN to ask:
(Translation)

Some members of the public have reflected to me that despite the preventive measures taken by the Hospital Authority ("HA"), many Mainland women still defaulted on payment of hospital fees after giving birth in public hospitals in Hong Kong. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)the number of cases in which Mainland women settled all bills after giving birth in local public hospitals in each of the past two years, together with a breakdown by hospitals;

    (b)the number of cases in which Mainland women defaulted on payment of fees after giving birth in local public hospitals, as well as the total amount of defaulted payment involved, in each of the past two years, together with a breakdown of such cases and the amounts of defaulted payment by hospitals; and

    (c)whether HA has considered strengthening the existing measures to ameliorate the situation of Mainland women defaulting payment of hospital fees after giving birth in Hong Kong; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

*12. Dr Hon Joseph LEE Kok-long to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that the concurrent increase in the numbers of pregnant women of Hong Kong and those from the Mainland giving birth in Hong Kong has put pressure on the local population and on the obstetrics and gynaecology departments of public hospitals. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)apart from considering increasing the delivery charges for pregnant women from the Mainland giving birth in public hospitals in Hong Kong, whether government departments such as the Immigration Department will take measures to ameliorate the situation of pregnant women from the Mainland giving birth in Hong Kong; if they will, of the details of the measures; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)of the measures taken by the Hospital Authority ("HA") to cope with the increase in demand for obstetrics and gynaecology services, which has resulted in a corresponding increase in the workload for frontline hospital staff; and whether HA has, in planning for the manpower and services of the obstetrics and gynaecology departments in public hospitals, worked out the ratio of nursing staff to patients; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)given that the children born to pregnant women from the Mainland in Hong Kong will, in the long term, have certain needs for housing, education, social and medical and health services in Hong Kong, whether the authorities have examined if the projection of the demand for the above-mentioned services by the Census and Statistics Department through updating Hong Kong's population figures every two to three years can facilitate the formulation of future population policies; if they have, of the results?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

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

In December 2004 and August 2005, the Office of the Telecommunications Authority conducted public consultation on the development of a regulatory framework for the deployment of broadband wireless access ("BWA") technologies and services. Then, in the Policy Initiatives published last month, the Government indicated that it would continue to consult the industry on this matter. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)as the Government is currently conducting reviews on the regulatory changes necessary to cater for the trend in the convergence of fixed and mobile communications services, as well as on its policy on the management of radio frequency spectrum, whether the authorities will consider the results of these two reviews in developing a regulatory framework for the deployment of BWA; if so, whether the authorities will conduct the relevant consultation after completing these two reviews;

    (b)of the work schedule for establishing a regulatory framework for the deployment of BWA technologies and services, including the time-frame for and specific details of the next round of consultation; and

    (c)given that fixed network operators can roll out the "last mile" through BWA to provide fixed network services to clients who are relying on Type II interconnection, whether the authorities have assessed if the fixed network operators will be able to finish rolling out their BWA networks before the withdrawal of the regulatory intervention for Type II interconnection on 30 June 2008?
Public Officer to reply :Secretary for Economic Development and Labour
(in the absence of Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology)

*14. Hon Frederick FUNG to ask: (Translation)

Some research institutes have pointed out that under its financial management principles, the Government tends to make conservative estimates of its revenue and over-estimate its future expenditure, resulting in great discrepancies between its budgetary estimates and the actual amounts of revenue and expenditure in many years. Moreover, Article 107 of the Basic Law provides that "The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall follow the principle of keeping the expenditure within the limits of revenues in drawing up its budget, and strive to achieve a fiscal balance, avoid deficits and keep the budget commensurate with the growth rate of its gross domestic product". In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has reviewed its existing financial management principles and accounting system to avoid the recurrence of large erroneous discrepancies between the budgetary estimates and the actual amounts of revenue and expenditure; if so, of the results of the review; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)of the estimated amounts of revenue and expenditure for the year 2006-2007 according to the latest figures, and how the difference between these amounts compares to the previous estimated surplus of $600 million; if the discrepancy is relatively large, the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether it has assessed if the surplus resources were not effectively used due to the under-estimation of revenue in the past, and whether expenditure was wrongly cut in the past as the expenditure was projected on the basis of the under-estimated revenue, so that sufficient resources have not been provided to meet the needs of the public; whether it has studied if the above-mentioned arrangement violates the principle of "keeping the expenditure within the limits of revenues" enshrined in the Basic Law; if it has, of the results?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

*15. Hon Emily LAU to ask:
(Translation)

The Government has recently procured by tender 36 Volkswagen Phaeton 3.2L large saloon cars (grade A) at a cost of $12 million. In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:
    (a)as an official from the Environmental Protection Department said, at the meeting of the Panel on Environmental Affairs of this Council on the 23rd of last month, that saloon cars of that model did not meet the fuel efficiency standards proposed by the Department for environment-friendly saloon cars, but the test report submitted by the agent concerned on the following day revealed that saloon cars of that model met the above standards, why saloon cars of that model changed within two days from not meeting to meeting the fuel efficiency standards;

    (b)as the Public Accounts Committee ("PAC") of this Council stated, in its report published in February 1999, that it totally rejected the authorities' view that the inclusion of minimum requirements for the exterior dimensions was to ensure relativity between cars of different grades, which reflected the dignity appropriate to the rank and status of an officer as a Head of Department or Bureau Secretary, whether the Government still adopted such a view in drawing up the specifications for the tendering exercise;

    (c)as PAC considered in the same report that the dignity appropriate to the rank and status of senior civil servants could be better reflected by efficiency and frugality, rather than luxury and extravagance, whether the Government considered such a view in drawing up the specifications for the tendering exercise; and

    (d)whether the guideline in the Stores and Procurement Regulations that the weight for quality score adopted in any marking scheme should be limited to 30% was followed in the tendering exercise?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

*16. Dr Hon KWOK Ka-ki to ask:
(Translation)

According to Article 24 of the Basic Law and the decision of the Court of Final Appeal in Chong Fung-yuen's case in 2001, all Chinese citizens born in Hong Kong are Hong Kong permanent residents, regardless of whether their parents are permanent residents of Hong Kong. Over the past five years, the number of babies given birth in Hong Kong by Mainland women has been rising. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)among the babies of Chinese nationality who were born in Hong Kong in each of the past five years, the number of those whose father and mother are not permanent residents of Hong Kong;

    (b)whether it has estimated the additional burden on public finance in the areas of health care, education and social welfare should all the above babies come to reside in Hong Kong; if it has, of the anticipated financial burden; if not, whether it has devised any measures to cope with the huge pressure on public services if a large number of those babies suddenly come to reside in Hong Kong; and

    (c)whether it has considered amending the existing legislation and adopting other measures in this regard to safeguard the long-term population policy of Hong Kong, and whether it has discussed this issue with the Mainland authorities; if it has, of the progress of the discussion?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

As the Macao Special Administrative Region Government, under the auspices of the Central Government, succeeded in 2005 in its bid to have the Historic Centre of Macao inscribed on the World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, will the Government inform this Council whether it has considered seeking support from the Central Government to strive for some valuable cultural or natural heritage in Hong Kong to be inscribed on the list; if so, of the details of its consideration; if not, the reasons for that? Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

*18. Hon Andrew CHENG to ask:
(Translation)

The conditions of certain leases of large scale developments may require the developer to submit a Master Layout Plan ("MLP") showing the development proposal for approval by the Director of Lands before the actual development. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether the developer may commence the construction works which have been approved by the Building Authority ("BA") before the MLP is approved; if so, whether the Director of Lands will be subject to constraints when considering the MLP because of the completion of some construction works, whether he will require the developer to demolish those completed construction works before approving the MLP concerned, and how he deals with those cases involving completed construction works which cannot be demolished or restored;

    (b)whether the developer is required, where amendments are needed to be made to the approved construction works for compliance with the requirements of the MLP, to submit such amendments to BA for approval;

    (c)of the details, including the lot number, total area, location, planned land use and the premium of the leased land, the respective dates on which the Lands Department granted preliminary and final approval for the MLP concerned, as well as the respective dates on which BA granted preliminary and final approval for the commencement of construction works, of each of the development projects involving construction works which were commenced in the past three years, but the MLPs concerned had not yet then been approved;

    (d)of the current number of development projects involving construction works which are in progress but the MLPs have not yet approved, as well as the details of each of these projects, including the lot number, total area, location, planned land use and the premium of the leased land, the date on which the developer submitted the MLP, the respective dates on which the developer applied for and was granted approval for the commencement of construction works; and

    (e)whether the authorities will stipulate that developers may not commence approved construction works before the relevant MLPs for the developments have been approved, so as to avoid the Lands Department from being subject to constraints when considering the MLPs, and avoid environmental problems and wastage arising from the restoration of construction works which have been completed before the MLPs concerned are approved?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands

*19. Hon CHEUNG Hok-ming to ask:
(Translation)

There are currently large television screens or large glass panels mounted on the external walls of some buildings in various popular shopping areas, including Mongkok and Causeway Bay. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether prior approval of any particular government department(s) is required for the installation of such fixtures;

    (b)whether third-party insurance in respect of such fixtures is required;

    (c)whether such large fixtures have caused any accidents or casualties over the past three years; if they have, of the compensation involved and the parties liable for the compensation;

    (d)whether it has assessed if these fixtures have any implications on the taking out of third-party insurance for the buildings concerned; if it has, of the assessment results; and

    (e)whether regular inspection on these fixtures have been conducted by the government department(s) concerned over the past three years; if so, of the inspection measures taken and the results?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands

*20. Hon Fred LI to ask:
(Translation)

As Hong Kong has a relatively small amount of land to accommodate a large population, the niches provided by the Government have all along been in short supply. However, a recent attempt by a local organization to hold sea burials in Hong Kong waters has come to no avail, as the procedures involved are too cumbersome. In order to effectively address the demand of the public in this regard, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether any organizations have applied for holding sea burials in Hong Kong waters in the past; if so, of the number of such applications and the number of those approved in each of the past three years;

    (b)of the application procedures for the holding of sea burials; and

    (c)whether it will adopt measures to promote sea burials, including streamlining the application mechanism and identifying suitable locations for holding sea burials, so as to alleviate the shortage of niches?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

*For written reply.

III. Members' Motions

  1. Cooperation between Hong Kong and the Pan-Pearl River Delta region

    Hon WONG Ting-kwong: (Translation)

    That, as Pan-Pearl River Delta ("PPRD") regional cooperation is an important and integral part to the implementation of the National Eleventh Five-Year Plan, and it offers enormous business opportunities for the development of Hong Kong, while at the same time posing great difficulties and challenges to the Hong Kong businessmen in the Pearl River Delta ("PRD"), this Council urges the Government to take proactive measures to promote the cooperation between Hong Kong and the PPRD region, including:

    (a)offering incentives to attract Mainland enterprises to set up regional headquarters and engage in various investment activities in Hong Kong;

    (b)assisting in the development of a set of standardized commercial terms for the PPRD region;

    (c)stepping up negotiations to expedite the construction of transport facilities linking Guangdong, and expeditiously implementing the plan to construct the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge;

    (d)increasing the Hong Kong SAR Government's expenditure on research and development ("R&D");

    (e)setting up a restructuring fund to assist Hong Kong businessmen in upgrading and transforming their businesses;

    (f)promoting the setting up of an "applied research, science and technology fund" jointly by Hong Kong and Guangdong for the Greater PRD;

    (g)establishing an applied science and technology research institute and a R&D centre for the Greater PRD; and

    (h)reflecting to the relevant Mainland departments that, prior to the introduction of major commercial laws and regulations in the Mainland, Hong Kong businessmen should be notified as early as possible and given sufficient cushion periods,

    so as to assist Hong Kong in developing new areas for economic growth, enhancing its competitiveness, facilitating economic restructuring and better complementing the country's economic development.

    Amendments to motion
    (i)Hon Howard YOUNG : (Translation)

    To add "(a) joining hands to improve the air quality in the PPRD region; (b) promoting the development of the financial industries in both places for mutual benefits; (c) striving to reduce the operating costs of the shipping industries in both places, with a view to enhancing competitiveness and promoting mutual development; (d) strengthening the cooperation in tourism to attract more tourists; (e) stepping up the efforts of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council in promoting brands of Hong Kong to the PPRD region and vice versa;" after "including:"; to delete the original "(a)" and substitute with "(f)"; to delete the original "(b)" and substitute with "(g)"; to delete the original "(c)" and substitute with "(h)"; to delete the original "(d)" and substitute with "(i)"; to delete the original "(e)" and substitute with "(j)"; to delete the original "(f)" and substitute with "(k)"; to delete the original "(g)" and substitute with "(l)"; and to delete the original "(h)" and substitute with "(m)".

    (ii)Hon Ronny TONG Ka-wah : (Translation)

    To delete "and" after "a R&D centre for the Greater PRD"; and to add "; and (i) promoting the strengths of Hong Kong, such as the rule of law and the culture of corporate governance, in the PPRD region with a view to raising the economic and corporate governance levels in that region and, through the promotion of these concepts, enabling the concepts to deepen in Hong Kong and nurturing more talents for the territory" after "sufficient cushion periods".

    Amendment to Hon Ronny TONG Ka-wah's amendment
    Hon CHAN Kam-lam:
    (Translation)

    To delete "promoting the strengths of Hong Kong, such" after "(i)" and substitute with "strengthening the exchange and cooperation between the two places in such areas"; to delete "the culture of" after "the rule of law and"; to delete "in the PPRD region" after "corporate governance,"; and to delete "that region and, through the promotion of these concepts, enabling the concepts to deepen in Hong Kong" after "corporate governance levels in" and substitute with "both places and, by doing so, further optimizing the business environment of Hong Kong".

    Public Officer to attend :Secretary for Economic Development and Labour
    (in the absence of Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology)

  2. Assisting people with disabilities in integrating into society

    Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung: (Translation)

    That this Council expresses deep regret that the government departments concerned, some statutory transport corporations and public transport operators have failed to face up to the motions passed by this Council in the 2002-2003, 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 sessions calling for improvement to transport facilities for people with disabilities and the offer of concessionary fares to them, and this Council requests the Administration to expeditiously adopt effective measures to fulfil the following demands:

    (a)examining the existing legislation and, if necessary, introducing legislative amendments or enacting laws to press various public transport operators to offer public transport half-fare concessions to people with disabilities and improve their facilities in order to reduce the barriers to the disabled, or making reference to overseas experience to provide transport subsidy for them;

    (b)allocating additional resources to expeditiously improve the Rehabus service; and

    (c)according priority to the introduction of a quota system for employing people with disabilities, and encouraging its implementation in the private sector,

    so as to enable more people with disabilities to integrate into society, with a view to achieving the objective of "A Society for All" promoted by the Government.

    Amendments to motion
    (i)Hon Tommy CHEUNG: (Translation)

    To add "on three occasions" after "motions passed"; to add "three sessions of" after "by this Council in the"; to delete "sessions" after "2005-2006" and substitute with ","; to delete "examining the existing legislation and, if necessary, introducing legislative amendments or enacting laws to press" after "(a)" and substitute with "exploring amending the Disability Discrimination Ordinance to remove legal impediments to the provision of fare concessions to people with disabilities in genuine need, and discussing with"; to delete "according priority to the introduction of a quota system for" after "(c)" and substitute with "taking the lead in"; to add "more" after "employing"; and to delete "and encouraging its implementation in" after "people with disabilities," and substitute with "so as to set a positive example for".

    (ii)Dr Hon Fernando CHEUNG: (Translation)

    To delete "this Council expresses deep regret that the government departments concerned, some statutory transport corporations and public transport operators have failed to face up to the" after "That" and substitute with ", as"; to add "were" after "motions"; to delete "and" after "concessionary fares to them,"; to delete "and improve their facilities in order to reduce the barriers to the disabled" after "half-fare concessions to people with disabilities"; to add "and considering extending the concessions to their escorts" after "transport subsidy for them"; to delete "; and" after "Rehabus service" and substitute with ", including increasing the number of such vehicles and strengthening the service;"; and to delete "according priority to the introduction of a quota system for employing people with disabilities, and encouraging its implementation in the private sector" after "(c)" and substitute with "requesting various public transport operators to draw up specific plans and timetables for improving their facilities to reduce the barriers to people with disabilities, so that they can have easy access to all major public transport facilities; (d) introducing rehabilitation taxis, which are easy to board and alight for wheelchair-bound persons; and (e) implementing in all government departments and public bodies a voluntary quota system for employing people with disabilities, requesting them to set indicators for and report annually on the employment of the disabled, as well as encouraging the private sector to follow suit".

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

Clerk to the Legislative Council