Council Meeting (Agenda) 2 December 2009



A 09/10-9

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 2 December 2009 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
1.Bunker Oil Pollution (Liability and Compensation) Ordinance (Commencement) Notice235/2009
2.Bunker Oil Pollution (Liability and Compensation) (Application Fee for Insurance Certificate) Regulation236/2009

Other Papers

1.No. 35-Report of changes to the approved Estimates of Expenditure approved during the second quarter of 2009-10 Public Finance Ordinance: Section 8
(to be presented by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury)

2.No. 36-Construction Workers Registration Authority Annual Report 2008-09
(to be presented by the Secretary for Development)

3.No. 37-Annual Report 2008 to the Chief Executive by The Commissioner on Interception of Communications and Surveillance (together with a statement under section 49(4) of the Interception of Communications and Surveillance Ordinance)
(to be presented by the Secretary for Security)

4.No. 38-Ocean Park Annual Report 2008-2009
(to be presented by Prof Hon Patrick LAU, who will address the Council)

II. Questions

1. Hon WONG Sing-chi to ask:
(Translation)

The Consultation Document on the Methods for Selecting the Chief Executive and for Forming the Legislative Council in 2012 published by the Government on 18 November has not dealt with the issue of the retention or otherwise of the Functional Constituencies ("FCs") of the Legislative Council ("LegCo"). On the contrary, it has proposed to increase the number of seats returned by FCs. On a radio programme on the following day, the Chief Secretary for Administration ("CS") even said that universal suffrage was not equivalent to abolition of FCs and it would be fair and equal as long as everyone had two votes. CS even put a counter-question of which provision in the Basic Law required that FCs had to be abolished to the audience. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it has assessed if LegCo elections which are universal and equal must include the abolition of all seats returned by FC elections;

    (b)it intends to claim that the seats of FCs with electorates expanded to cover all the voters in Hong Kong are returned by universal suffrage; and

    (c)it will undertake categorically that the LegCo returned totally by universal suffrage absolutely cannot include the FC component and that the right to nominate candidates and voting right of voters are also required to conform with the universal and equal principle?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

2. Hon WONG Kwok-kin to ask:
(Translation)

At present, an increasing number of elderly persons in Hong Kong choose to return to their hometowns on the Mainland to spend their twilight years. However, as recipients of Old Age Allowance ("OAA") have to comply with residence requirements, these elderly persons have to return to Hong Kong on a regular basis. Some elderly persons have relayed to me that because of those requirements, not only do they have to make tiring journeys between Hong Kong and the Mainland, but they also have to keep their residence in Hong Kong, which increases their living costs. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)since the relaxation of the permissible limit of absence from Hong Kong for OAA recipients in October 2005, of the annual number of elderly persons who have benefitted from the measure, and the percentages of the numbers in the total numbers of OAA recipients in the respective years;

    (b)whether the authorities will make reference to the existing arrangements under the Portable Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme and allow elderly persons to continue to receive OAA while permanently residing on the Mainland; if not, of the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether it will consider commissioning non-governmental organizations of Hong Kong operating on the Mainland to verify if OAA recipients residing on the Mainland are still alive; if it will, when such plan will be implemented; if not, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

3. Hon Vincent FANG to ask:
(Translation)

It has been learned that in recent years, The Link Management Limited ("The Link") has kept increasing substantially the rents of the shops in its shopping arcades and the stalls in its markets, resulting in many small business tenants who had operated for many years closing their business. Some of the small business tenants have indicated that they hope to continue to operate by renting the shops and stalls under the Hong Kong Housing Authority ("HA"). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the rent levels and changes in rents as well as letting rates of the shops under HA in the past three years; whether HA will make reference to the practice of establishing the Business Opportunity Centre in 2003 and simplify the procedure for letting its shops and stalls, as well as give priority to the tenants of The Link in taking up the tenancies;

    (b)given that a surveyor firm which has been appointed as the leasing adviser of the retail section of the development of Yau Tong Phase 4 is at the same time the sole leasing agent and valuer of some of the shopping arcades under The Link, whether the authorities have assessed if there is any conflict of interests in that situation; whether the adviser is responsible for determining the rents of the shops concerned; if so, how HA prevents the adviser from determining the rents according to the rent levels of the shopping arcades under The Link; and

    (c)whether HA is still implementing its divestment strategy; if so, of the details; if not, whether HA plans to improve the operating environment in its existing shopping arcades and markets, so as to enhance their competitiveness?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

4. Hon Starry LEE to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that in October this year, a special unit at 39 Conduit Road, a residential development project in Mid-levels West, was sold at an "astronomical price" of over $71,000 per square foot, breaking world records. Yet, there have been comments querying that since the buyer of that unit has also bought four lower floor units at the same time, it is doubtful whether the developer has transferred the property prices of the lower floor units to that of the special unit, so that the price per square foot of that unit is much higher than that of an ordinary unit, so as to mislead prospective buyers. Regarding the regulation of sales practices for properties, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the total number of cases in the past three years in which developers had to shoulder criminal or civil liabilities for releasing misleading information, committing misrepresentation or fraudulent acts during the sale of properties, as well as the details of the cases;

    (b)which government department is currently responsible for handling complaints about developers selling properties using misleading practices, and what legislation regulates such kinds of activities; whether the authorities will investigate if the aforesaid transaction involved releasing misleading information; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether the authorities will consider setting up an organization similar to the Securities and Futures Commission to investigate and monitor developers' sales practices for properties, so as to maintain a healthy development of the residential property market and prevent small investors from bearing unnecessary risks and losses; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

5. Hon LI Fung-ying to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that under the impact of Influenza A (H1N1) epidemic, all primary schools and kindergartens in Hong Kong suspended class between June and September this year before the commencement of the new school year, resulting in a substantial reduction in the income of school bus drivers. According to the findings of a survey conducted by the school bus trade in mid-October this year, 30% of the school bus drivers and employees experienced a substantial reduction of 50% in their income between May and August this year, and over 60% of the school bus drivers also indicated that they remained underemployed after the commencement of the new school year in September. There were even school buses being recalled by banks because the bus owners defaulted in repayment of instalments. Some members of the trade have relayed to me that since the outbreak of the influenza epidemic, schools have persistently requested that the hygiene level of school buses be enhanced. At present, the drivers must thoroughly clean their buses three times a day and the related cleaning expenses impose severe hardship on the trade. In the face of the imminent outbreak of the influenza peak season, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether the Government will consider adopting short-term measures to provide assistance to such school bus drivers and employees who are facing hardship, so as to help them tide over the difficult times; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)whether the Government will adopt measures to help the school bus trade when all schools in Hong Kong suspend classes again under the impact of influenza epidemic; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)given that the authorities stated in July this year that they would provide again an additional one-off grant of $3,000 to each secondary school, primary school and kindergarten in Hong Kong to subsidize them for purchasing epidemic-prevention equipment and necessities, whether the Government will consider the proposal of the school bus trade and provide a grant for purchasing cleaning items to each non-franchised public bus which has been granted approval by the Transport Department to provide student service; if it will not, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

6. Hon Fred LI to ask:
(Translation)

Some of the car parks under The Link Management Ltd ("The Link") have been granted waiver of government lease conditions by the Lands Department to lease some of the monthly parking spaces in these car parks to non-residents of the relevant housing estates ("non-residents"). It has been disclosed earlier that The Link has not applied for renewal upon the expiry of the waivers concerned, but has continued to lease these parking spaces to non-residents. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the car parks with monthly parking spaces leased to non-residents when The Link Real Estate Investment Trust was listed at the end of 2005, together with a breakdown of the number of such parking spaces by car park as well as the expiry dates of the various waivers; the car parks the waivers of which had expired and The Link had applied for their renewal and, among such applications, which ones have been approved and the annual waiver fees payable;

    (b)of the car parks with monthly parking spaces currently leased to non-residents, together with a breakdown of the number of such parking spaces by car park, as well as the amount of waiver fees which have not yet been settled by The Link; and

    (c)given that some non-residents have pointed out that when they rent the parking spaces, staff of the car park management companies had induced them to state that they are "residents" without asking them to submit any documentary proof, so as to pass on the liability to them, whether the authorities have looked into such situations; assessed whether the non-residents who falsely claimed to be residents, the management companies which allegedly have induced the non-residents to do so and The Link have committed an offence; what measures the authorities have put in place to regulate and prevent such activities?
Public Officers to reply:Secretary for Transport and Housing
Secretary for Development


*7. Hon IP Kwok-him to ask: (Translation)

It has been reported that there is a significant difference in the occupancy rates between the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre ("HKCEC") and the AsiaWorld-Expo ("AWE") and at the meeting of this Council on 4 November this year, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development indicated that the Government had always encouraged and facilitated AWE and HKCEC to adopt the "one show, two locations" approach, i.e., staging an exhibition at the two venues at the same time. Yet, the mega jewellery fair held in September this year, which adopted the "one show, two locations" approach for the first time, was promoted by the trades themselves. Moreover, the trades have also proposed that the Hong Kong Trade Development Council ("TDC") collaborates with them in jointly promoting the "one show, two locations" approach. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the actual work progress made in encouraging and facilitating AWE and HKCEC to stage major exhibitions using the "one show, two locations" approach, and whether it has drawn up a work schedule;

    (b)what specific measures the authorities have put in place to support the proposed collaboration between the trades and TDC in jointly promoting the "one show, two locations" approach and facilitate the collaboration between the trades and TDC; if they have no specific measures, of the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether it has assessed if the Phase 3 development plan of HKCEC will aggravate the vacancy problem of AWE, resulting in more public funds being wasted?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

In his Policy Address delivered recently, the Chief Executive has proposed that the Government "will consider making use of the vacant space in public hospitals for additional medical facilities". In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the names of public hospitals where vacant space is currently available and the area of the vacant space in each of these hospitals;

    (b)whether the authorities have decided which vacant spaces in public hospitals will be used for the purpose of additional medical facilities; if they have, of the details; what criteria the authorities have adopted for making such decisions, and whether the medical facilities concerned will be provided for use by private hospitals; and

    (c)whether it has, before putting forward the aforesaid proposal, consulted patient groups, the District Councils concerned and residents in the vicinity of those hospitals?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

It has been reported that recently quite a number of members of the public took a wrong step while using the train services of the MTR Corporation Limited ("MTRCL"), resulting in injuries as their feet were caught in the gap between the MTR station platform and the train compartment. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)the current number of MTR stations in which MTRCL has installed plastic fillers at the edge of the platforms, and the reduction in the width of the gaps between those platforms and the train compartment after installation of the plastic fillers;

    (b)the number of accidents in each of the past three years involving passengers' feet being caught in the gap between the MTR station platform and the train compartment; and among such cases, the number of those which occurred at platforms already installed with plastic fillers;

    (c)the current progress of the trial of the Mechanical Gap Filler system being carried out by MTRCL; and whether MTRCL plans to install the system at all those stations where the platform gaps are relatively wide; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (d)if MTRCL plans to increase the number of staff at the eight at-grade/above-ground MTR stations where automatic platform gates have not yet been retrofitted, as well as at other stations with wide platform gaps, so as to step up efforts to maintain order and safeguard the safety of passengers; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

*10. Hon Audrey EU to ask:
(Translation)

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited ("HKEx") conducted consultation this summer on the business feasibility of developing a carbon emissions trading platform in Hong Kong. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it has found out from HKEx the result of the above consultation; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)it has assessed the impact of developing such a platform in Hong Kong on the economy; and

    (c)it has estimated the amount of greenhouse gas emissions which can be reduced by developing such a platform in Hong Kong?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

*11. Hon IP Wai-ming to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that in mid-October this year, a young man from Hong Kong who went to Australia under the Working Holiday Scheme ("the Scheme") to broaden life experience encountered a car accident there and was paralysed. His family members had approached the Labour Department ("LD") and the Immigration Department ("ImmD") for assistance, but in vain. Yet, upon referrals made by newspapers, the departments followed up the case immediately, and this incident had aroused grave public concern. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the time LD and ImmD first received the request for assistance, as well as what their response was and the reasons for that; the dates when these departments formally follow up the case and the details;

    (b)of the total number of young people from Hong Kong who were approved to participate in the Scheme since its implementation in 2001 and, among them, the number of those who had sought assistance from the Government during their participation in the Scheme;

    (c)where young people from Hong Kong encounter accidents or need assistance during their stay overseas under the Scheme, of the government department in Hong Kong from which these people can approach for assistance, apart from seeking the assistance of the local Chinese embassies/consulates, as well as the government department responsible for following up such cases; and

    (d)whether it has ever suggested to Hong Kong young people participating in the Scheme to take out insurance before departure; whether it has plans to require future participants to do so; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

*12. Hon Andrew LEUNG to ask:
(Translation)

All along, many members of the public, groups and organizations in Hong Kong had expressed their wishes and views by way of organizing and participating in processions or assemblies, and where necessary, the Police and the Transport Department will implement temporary traffic measures such as road closures as well as re-routing of buses and minibuses. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of notices of no objection issued by the Police in respect of public processions in the past three years; among such cases, the number of those with temporary traffic measures implemented; the respective numbers of those in which such measures were implemented between 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on Monday to Friday, those which caused traffic congestion as well as those which involved closures of major roads in Central; and

    (b)what existing channels are available to members of the public to make prior enquiries about the aforesaid temporary traffic measures, so as to avoid the crowds taking part in the processions/assemblies and the areas with traffic congestion?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

Under the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme ("the CIE Scheme"), if investors invest not less than $6.5 million of capital in real estate or financial assets, they and their dependants will be allowed to stay and reside in Hong Kong. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has assessed the impact of investors investing capital in real estate and financial assets under the CIE Scheme on the prices of real estate and the disparity between the rich and the poor in Hong Kong, as well as the number of jobs created in Hong Kong by the capital concerned to date; if so, whether it will release the assessment results; if such an assessment has not been made, what criteria the authorities adopt for assessing the impact of the CIE Scheme on Hong Kong;

    (b)whether it knows if the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Singapore have implemented similar entrant schemes; if they have, of the differences between these schemes and the CIE Scheme of Hong Kong in terms of the investment amounts required, the permissible investment classes as well as other additional conditions; and

    (c)whether it will, in response to factors such as development of the real estate and financial markets in Hong Kong, attractiveness of making the relevant investments in Hong Kong as well as inflation, regularly review the requirements and effectiveness of the CIE Scheme (including the minimum investment amounts and whether investors whose applications have been rejected will still choose to invest in Hong Kong, etc.); if it will, of the details?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

*14. Hon Abraham SHEK to ask:
(Translation)

The Government Property Agency ("GPA") has recently put up 10 luxury apartments for sale by public auction, with eight of them successfully sold. In August this year, another 10 luxury apartments were also put up for sale by GPA through public auction and all of them were sold. In addition, four other government properties had been sold by GPA. The revenue from these three auctions totalled $462 million. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether any target has been set for the revenue from the sale of government properties this year; if so, of the actual revenue to date and the anticipated revenue; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)what criteria GPA has adopted for selecting the properties to be put up for sale in the market by public auction; apart from property prices, what other factors will be taken into consideration; and

    (c)whether it has formulated any plan for selling government properties by public auction in the coming year; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

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

A serious vehicle accident which happened in Tseung Kwan O on 9 November this year resulted in 36 casualties among the passengers. It was reported that at first only five ambulances were dispatched to the scene after the accident. Some of the injured did not receive immediate treatment after admission to the hospital even though they were in unstoppable bleeding, and an injured person with "fractured bones" even had to wait for two to three hours to receive treatment. Some family members of the injured are of the view that the incident has revealed that there is room for improvement on the rescue operations in respect of large-scale unexpected incidents and the medical services in Tseung Kwan O District are seriously inadequate. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has plans to review within a short period the coordination mechanism put in place between the Hospital Authority and the Fire Services Department as well as the other relevant government departments in dealing with serious accidents, so as to improve the efficiency of rescue operations; if it has, of the specific plan; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)of the respective ratios of the numbers of in-patients and emergency services attendances to the numbers of relevant healthcare personnel at Tseung Kwan O Hospital in each of the past three years; whether it has plans to enhance the emergency rescue services at that hospital including increasing its manpower before the completion of the expansion project for Tseung Kwan O Hospital in 2012; if so, of the specific plan; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether it will review the ambulance deployment mechanism in Tseung Kwan O District and increase the number of ambulance depots and ambulances on duty in that district; if it will increase such numbers, of the earliest time for implementing the relevant arrangements?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

According to the information provided by the Broadcasting Authority ("BA"), an advertisement for the property development "Lake Silver" of a property developer was broadcast in May this year on the television channels of Asia Television Limited, Television Broadcasts Limited, Hong Kong Cable Television Limited and now Broadband TV of PCCW Media Limited respectively. The advertisement was presented in a surrealistic manner using artistic presentation and computer-aided graphics. Graphically, there were shots of natural sceneries like forests and lakes, showing that the property is located in a bay area surrounded by green bushes. BA considered the advertisement untruthful and misleading, and gave an advice to those television stations. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has assessed if the above four television stations have contravened the Generic Code of Practice on Television Advertising Standards; if the assessment result is in the affirmative, whether it knows the justifications for BA to merely give an advice instead of imposing fines or other punitive measures under the law; and

    (b)of the number of complaints received by the authorities in the past three years about untruthful and misleading television advertisements; and, among such complaints, the number of those involving advertisements of property developers, the contents of such advertisements and the follow-up actions taken by BA?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

Some inmates and discharged inmates have relayed to me that the Correctional Services Department ("CSD") have exploited the interests of inmates and neglected their basic needs. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the quantities of blankets and warm clothing distributed by CSD to each inmate at present when the cold weather warning is in force;

    (b)whether at present, CSD provides at the various penal institutions for adults the same education facilities, school hours and teaching staff as those provided at the institutions for minors; if so, of the respective numbers of teaching staff and adult inmates receiving education at present, broken down by the names of the institutions; if not, the reasons for that; of the numbers of adult inmates who took university courses in the past five years and, among them, the number of those who received subsidy from the Prisoners' Education Trust Fund for the relevant costs;

    (c)whether at present, the detainees and prisoners currently receive only eight sheets of toilet paper a person per day; whether it has assessed if the toilet paper distributed by CSD is sufficient for use by those detainees and inmates who do not have an additional supply of tissue paper (limited to 10 packs totalling 70 sheets per month) from their relatives and friends; whether it will immediately increase the quantity of toilet paper to be distributed; if so, when it will be implemented; if not, of the reasons for that;

    (d)of the total number of detainees and prisoners in the various institutions at present; whether each inmate is required to carry out work at the prison workshops or other locations as arranged by CSD, and the number of inmates who are working at present, broken down by the amount and level of their monthly wage; if not, of the current number of inmates who do not accept work arrangement and the reasons for that; and

    (e)of the market value of the products and services provided by CSD to the various government departments and the Hospital Authority in each of the past five years?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

It is pointed out in a research that nearly three times as many women as men fall into "relative poverty" and, according to the Social Welfare Department's information, as at September 2009, there were 290 077 Comprehensive Social Security Assistance ("CSSA") cases with 481 128 recipients in total. In addition, there were 421 035 and 69 496 persons receiving Higher Old Age Allowance ("Higher OAA") and Normal Old Age Allowance ("Normal OAA") respectively. In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:
    (a)whether they had, in the past three years, collected data by nature of case and age respectively on the male-to-female ratio of CSSA recipients; if they had, of the details; if not, the reasons for that, and when they will consider collecting such data;

    (b)whether they had, in the past three years, collected data on the male-to-female ratio of Higher OAA and Normal OAA recipients; if they had, of the details; if not, the reasons for that, and when they will consider collecting such data;

    (c)of the respective numbers of CSSA and OAA applications not meeting the seven-year residence requirement in each of the past five years; whether they had compiled statistics on the male-to-female ratio of such applicants, as well as among such applications, the number of those for which approval had been granted with discretion; if they had, of the details; if not, the reasons for that, and when they will consider collecting such data;

    (d)given that a research has shown that the phenomenon of "feminization of poverty" emerged worldwide, whether the authorities had, in the past five years, conducted research on the issue of feminization of poverty in Hong Kong; if they had, of the relevant indicators for measuring poverty and other details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (e)whether they have analyzed the data in (a) to (d) and considered the direction of welfare policy in the light of the differences between male and female; if they have, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

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

I have received many complaints from members of the public about water seepage from the walls or ceilings of their residential premises. Although they have lodged complaints repeatedly with and requested assistance from the Water Supplies Department and the Joint Offices ("JOs") set up by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and the Buildings Department, the situation has not improved, which adversely affects their living environment. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the respective numbers of complaints about water seepage in residential premises received by the above departments and JOs in the past three years, and the number of such cases referred to other departments or JOs for follow-up action;

    (b)the number of cases referred to in (a) in which the causes of water seepage were found, and whether the authorities have assisted the complainants in solving the problem; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)what new measures the authorities have put in place to help residents solve the problem of water seepage in residential premises?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

*20. Hon KAM Nai-wai to ask:
(Translation)

In February this year, the Court of Appeal of the High Court ruled in a court case involving an application for planning permission in respect of a project at Seymour Road of Mid-Levels West that given section 13 of the Town Planning Ordinance (Cap. 131) which stipulates that approved Outline Zoning Plans ("approved plans") shall be used by all public officers and bodies as standards for guidance in the exercise of any powers, the Town Planning Board ("TPB"), when considering applications for planning permission, did not have the power to have regard to any and all planning considerations which it believed would assist it to reach the right decision in the public interest. TPB had to exercise discretion within the parameters of the approved plan in question, or it would be acting ultra vires. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has examined if the various approved plans can effectively restrict the development densities after the handing down of the aforesaid judgment; if it has, of the result; if not, the reasons for that, and whether it plans to conduct such an examination;

    (b)given that some members of the public are worried that TPB has been "rendered powerless" because it can no longer vet and approve applications for planning permission on the basis of public interest, whether the authorities have assessed the impact of the aforesaid judgment on TPB performing its functions; and

    (c)given that traffic, visual impact, air ventilation, etc. have all along been the major factors for consideration by TPB in vetting and approving applications for planning permission, whether the Government has reviewed the powers and functions of TPB after the handing down of the aforesaid judgment; if so, whether it has considered amending the Town Planning Ordinance by making public interest a factor which TPB must consider when vetting and approving the relevant applications?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

* For written reply

III. Motions

1.Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Secretary for Development to move the following motion:


RESOLVED that the Building (Minor Works) (Fees) Regulation, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 178 of 2009 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 14 October 2009, be amended -

(a)by renumbering section 8 as section 8(1);

(b)in section 8, by adding -

"(2) If the Building Authority substitutes the decision to which the request relates with another decision under section 26(8)(a)(ii) of the Minor Works Regulation, the Authority must refund the fee paid for the request.";

(c)in section 17, by adding -

"(3) If the Building Authority substitutes the decision to which the request relates with another decision under section 26(8)(a)(ii) of the Minor Works Regulation, the Authority must refund the fee paid for the request.";

(d)in section 21, by adding -

"(3) If the Building Authority substitutes the decision to which the request relates with another decision under section 26(8)(a)(ii) of the Minor Works Regulation, the Authority must refund the fee paid for the request.".

2.Proposed resolution under the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance

Secretary for the Environment to move the following motion:


RESOLVED that the Ozone Layer Protection (Products Containing Scheduled Substances) (Import Banning) (Amendment) Regulation 2009, made by the Secretary for the Environment on 17 June 2009, be approved.

(The Regulation was issued on 19 June 2009
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 711/08-09)

IV. Members' Motions
  1. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Dr Hon Margaret NG to move the following motion:

    RESOLVED that the Rules of the High Court (Amendment) Rules 2009, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 186 of 2009 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 14 October 2009, be repealed.

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Security

  2. Proposed resolution under Article 75 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China

    Hon TAM Yiu-chung to move the motion in the Appendix.

  3. Actively responding to the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009

    Hon Audrey EU to move the following motion: (Translation)

    That this Council appeals to the governments of various countries to strive to reach a new agreement on addressing climate change at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009, and urges the Hong Kong Government to grasp this critical moment to shoulder responsibility and put forward comprehensive policies and plans to address climate change, the reduction targets for total greenhouse gas emissions as well as the relevant legislative programme, and study how to assist developing countries in implementing the measures and financing arrangements for reducing emissions and adapting to climate change.

    Amendments to the motion
    (i)Hon CHAN Hak-kan to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To add "the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2007 adopted a resolution to launch a negotiation process on the new greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan after the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012 and expressly require that the negotiations should be completed by the end of 2009; as such," after "That"; to add "and financing preparation" after "legislative programme"; and to add "; at the same time, the Hong Kong Government must formulate more measures, including: (a) to actively promote green economy and green lifestyle; (b) to implement the establishment of a carbon trading platform and enact relevant legislation, so as to further promote carbon emissions trading between Hong Kong and the Mainland as well as the whole world, and encourage professionals in Hong Kong to participate in the work relating to the Mainland's Clean Development Mechanism; (c) to actively promote the development of green information technology ('IT'), study the energy consumption of IT systems, require all government departments to implement green IT procurement, and support the research and development of green IT in the territory; (d) to study the establishment of mandatory minimum energy efficiency standards for products, so as to ensure that energy-consuming products such as motor vehicles and electrical appliances are in compliance with the energy efficiency requirements; and (e) to expeditiously introduce to this Council legislation for the mandatory implementation of the Building Energy Codes" immediately before the full stop.

    (ii)Hon Cyd HO to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To add "climate change affects the whole world, and with the summers in Hong Kong becoming increasingly hot and frequent occurrence of extreme climate phenomena, even the general public can feel the impact of climate change on their daily life," after "That"; and to delete ", and urges the Hong Kong Government to grasp this critical moment to shoulder responsibility and put forward" after "the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009" and substitute with "; since 2003, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has been extended to Hong Kong through the Central Government, Hong Kong, as a developed region, should take the lead in fulfilling its international obligation on emission reduction so as to mitigate climate change, this Council urges the Hong Kong Government to give a detailed account of its preparatory work before attending the Climate Change Conference and report the outcome of the Conference afterwards, expeditiously formulate".

    (iii)Hon Tanya CHAN to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To add "; at the same time, this Council requests the representatives of the Hong Kong Government participating in the Conference to give the Legislative Council and Hong Kong people an account of the Hong Kong Government's participation in the Conference and how the implementation of the relevant agreement will be specifically promoted in Hong Kong" after "United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009".

    (iv)Dr Hon PAN Pey-chyou to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To add "follow the paper on 'Implementation of the Bali Roadmap - China's position on the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference' released by the National Development and Reform Commission and appeal to various countries to ensure the full, effective and sustained implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and, in upholding the principle of 'common but differentiated responsibilities', make corresponding arrangements in terms of mitigation, adaption, technology transfer and financial support, etc, so as to enhance the role of developing countries in the domain of climate change; at the same time, this Council requests developed countries to affirm the further quantified emission reduction targets for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol; furthermore, the Hong Kong Government should, under the premise of paying heed to the livelihood of local grassroot people," after "urges the Hong Kong Government to".

    (v)Hon KAM Nai-wai to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To delete ", the" after "to address climate change" and substitute with "(including regulating the emission of carbon dioxide from power plants) as well as the medium and long-term"; to delete "as well as the relevant legislative programme" after "greenhouse gas emissions"; and to add "formulate a bill on climate change as well as" before "study how to assist".

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for the Environment

  4. Roadmap for universal suffrage

    Hon Alan LEONG to move the following motion: (Translation)

    That, the Chief Executive Mr Donald TSANG Yam-kuen publicly promised the people of Hong Kong during his 2007 election campaign that he would settle the issue of universal suffrage once and for all, but he has not put forth a complete roadmap for universal suffrage in his Policy Address this year, completely breaching his election pledge; in this connection, this Council strongly requests the Government to seize the opportunity of the constitutional reform consultation to give an account to the public on the roadmap for universal suffrage, and make an undertaking that the option for genuine universal suffrage will be implemented no later than 2017 and 2020, and this option shall comprise the following principles:

    (a)the methods for selecting the Chief Executive and electing all Legislative Council Members shall comply with the internationally recognized standards of 'universal and equal' suffrage, and members of the public should enjoy the right to free elections;

    (b)the basis of the composition of the nominating committee for the selection of the Chief Executive shall encompass a wide range of public opinion, the nomination threshold should not be too high and, on the premise of implementing an open and universal nomination procedure, arrangement should not be made to screen out candidates or exclude certain political forces from standing in the elections; and

    (c)regarding the election of the Legislative Council, functional constituencies shall be completely abolished to achieve the goal of fair election.

    Amendments to the motion
    (i)Hon Emily LAU to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To add "members of the public have been striving for the full implementation of universal suffrage for more than 20 years, and" after "That,"; and to add "strive for the implementation of universal suffrage for the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council elections in 2012, and if this cannot be done, the Government must" after "consultation to".

    (ii)Hon Cyd HO to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To delete "strongly requests the Government to seize the opportunity of the constitutional reform consultation to give an account to the public on the roadmap for universal suffrage, and make an undertaking that the option for genuine universal suffrage will be implemented no later than 2017 and 2020, and this option shall comprise the following principles" after "this Council" and substitute with "considers that the Administration should, on the basis of implementing universal and equal suffrage in 2012 and by listening to the views of the public in the constitutional reform consultation, design a political system that suits Hong Kong, and the option shall include"; to delete "," after "public opinion" and substitute with ";"; to add "establish a public nomination mechanism whereby the nominating committee must confirm the candidacy of a person who is nominated by 3% of registered electors; and" after "procedure,"; to delete "and" after "in the elections;"; and to add "; (d) to abolish the separate voting mechanism in the Legislative Council; and (e) to remove the restrictions on the introduction of private bills by Members" immediately before the full stop.

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

Clerk to the Legislative Council