Provisional Legislative Council

PLC Paper No. PWSC 60
(These minutes have been
seen by the Administration)

Ref : CB1/F/2/2

Public Works Subcommittee of the Finance Committee
Provisional Legislative Council

Minutes of the meeting
held at the Legislative Council Chamber
on Wednesday, 7 January 1998, at 10:45 am

Members present :

HonHO Sai-chu, JP (Chairman)
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP (Deputy Chairman)
HonWONG Siu-yee
HonEdward HO Sing-tin, JP
HonAllen LEE, JP
HonMrs Elsie TU, GBM
HonCHEUNG Hon-chung
HonCHAN Yuen-han
HonCHAN Kam-lam
HonHoward YOUNG, JP
HonLAU Wong-fat, JP
HonMrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP
HonKAN Fook-yee
HonNGAN Kam-chuen
HonTAM Yiu-chung, JP

Member attending :

Hon IP Kwok-him

Members absent :

Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
HonEric LI Ka-cheung, JP
HonHenry WU
Dr Hon Mrs TSO WONG Man-yin
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP
HonMrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
HonMOK Ying-fan
HonCHENG Kai-nam
HonFrederick FUNG Kin-kee
HonTimothy FOK Tsun-ting
Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok

Public officers attending :

Miss Emma LAU
Deputy Secretary for the Treasury (3)

Mr Patrick LAU, JP
Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

Secretary for Works

Director of Environmental Protection

Director of Architectural Services

Ms Ellen CHOY
Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower (2)

Assistant Director of Education (Allocation and Support)

Project Manager/1, Housing Department

Mr Francis LO
Principal Assistant Secretary for Home Affairs (5)

Assistant Director of Home Affairs (2)

Mr Bernard LAM, JP
Director of Civil Engineering

Principal Assistant Secretary for Economic Services (D)

General Manager/Operation of Marine Department

Mr Parrish NG
Principal Assistant Secretary for Home Affairs (4)

Director of Drainage Services

Clerk in attendance:

Miss Odelia LEUNG
Chief Assistant Secretary (1)1

Staff in attendance:

Ms Pauline NG
Assistant Secretary General 1

Ms Anita SIT
Senior Assistant Secretary (1)8


Upgrading of projects to Category A




Secondary school in pubic housing estate, phase 1, Aldrich Bay reclamation

Responding to a member's enquiry about the calculation of the standard piling cost of $10.8 million for a secondary school project, the Director of Architectural Services (D Arch S) advised that this was based on the cost for 138 pieces of steel H-piles of an average depth of 30 metres, taking into account the piling requirements for past secondary school projects. A member commented that the standard piling cost was on the high side for a standard secondary school project at a normal site. D Arch S said that the standard costs were reviewed on a regular basis and the Administration would take members’ comments into account in the review.

2. Responding to an enquiry, the Project Manager/Housing Department advised that the $1.4 million for "Housing Authority's on-cost" was to cover the administrative costs to be incurred by the Housing Authority in managing the project under the entrustment arrangement.

3. On the rationale for using a contract duration exceeding 21 months as the threshold for incorporating the provision for price fluctuation in a building contract, D Arch S advised that a duration of 12 months and 18 months had been used for the purpose in the past. The Administration considered it appropriate, after consultation with the trade on trade practices, to adopt a contract duration of 21 months as the yardstick. The Chairman commented that the criterion was reasonable having regard to the trade practice of having fixed-price contracts not exceeding 12 months for the supply of building materials.

4. The item was voted on and endorsed.



District community centre cum singleton hostel at Sai Ying Pun

5. Members in general agreed that there was a need to provide the proposed community facilities in the Central and Western District. They however expressed concern about the compatibility of the proposed facilities which would be accommodated in a single building. Members opined that some parents might be hesitant in enrolling their children in the proposed day nursery because of its close proximity to the proposed hostel for the severely mentally handicapped. They enquired if the Administration had thoroughly assessed the impact of such an arrangement and had consulted the Provisional Central and Western District Board (PCWDB) on the project. Some members were, however, of the view that it would be important to integrate the severely mentally handicapped into the community. Mr WONG Siu-yee pointed out that the proposal ought to be first discussed by the Panel on Welfare Services before it was considered by this Subcommittee.

6. In response, D Arch S advised that the present proposal would put the identified site to its full use and facilitate the early provision of the required facilities. On the social impact of the proposal, the Assistant Director of Home Affairs (2) (AD/HA(2)) said that as far as the proposed singleton hostel was concerned, the impact would not be great as most of its prospective occupants were singletons already living in the district. The Deputy Secretary for the Treasury (3) added that given the scarcity of available sites for community services in Hong Kong, it had been the Administration's policy to maximise utilisation of any site found suitable for the provision of required facilities. The Government Property Agency adhered to this principle in planning the use of government sites and had consulted the user departments on the suitability of accommodating the different facilities on this site.

7. As regards consultation with PCWDB, AD/HA(2) advised that the subject had been discussed by the District Board on several occasions. Originally a slightly lesser project was proposed for the site. On the advice of the Government Property Administrator, the Administration subsequently proposed to add more facilities in order to fully utilise the site. PCWDB had discussed the present project and had requested the Administration to expedite its implementation.

8. Whilst accepting that it was necessary to accommodate facilities for different services in the proposed building, members however enquired on the feasibility of providing separate access for users of different facilities. D Arch S advised that due to the small size and linear shape of the site and the need to retain the existing facade and verandah of the Old Mental Hospital which had been declared a protected monument, only one public entrance to the building could be provided. Notwithstanding that constraint, different facilities would be located on separate floors of the building and would operate on their own.

9. Most members, while accepting that there was an urgency to provide the proposed facilities in the district, would like to have additional information on the assessment of the impact of accommodating the various facilities in the same building. In particular, they would like to know the views of the Social Welfare Department. The Administration agreed to provide the information to members before submitting the proposal to the Finance Committee for consideration. Admin

10. The item was voted on and endorsed. Mr WONG Siu-yee abstained.




Peng Chau typhoon shelter

11. Addressing a member's concern about the discharge of sewage into the proposed typhoon shelter, the Director of Civil Engineering (DCE) confirmed that effluents from new sewers would not be discharged into the proposed typhoon shelter. As regards discharges from existing sewers, the Director of Drainage Services (DDS) advised that at present effluents were treated at a sewage treatment plant on the island before being discharged into the sea on the west side of Peng Chau. Upon the provision of the proposed Peng Chau typhoon shelter, sewage from existing sewers would be diverted to and discharged to the east side of Peng Chau. A new sewerage system was also being contemplated to tie in with developments on the island. Members were assured that the subject of discharge of sewage would be considered under the proposed environmental impact assessment (EIA) study.

12. Noting that the proposed site investigation works would establish the necessary design parameters for the typhoon shelter and would be carried out in parallel with the EIA study, a member was concerned about possible amendment to the layout of the proposed typhoon shelter in the light of the findings of the EIA study, which would have a bearing on the site investigation works. He considered it appropriate to defer the site investigation works until the EIA study had been completed. DCE advised that the scope of the proposed site investigation works included preliminary surveys on water quality, water flow and ecology in the area, and borehole drilling. The information gathered from the site investigation works would be useful irrespective of whether or not the layout of the proposed typhoon shelter needed to be amended.

13. In reply to a member, DCE further advised that the proposed breakwater shown in the preliminary layout plan was an initial design for the purpose of the EIA study. The actual layout would be finalised upon completion of the study. The General Manager/Operation of Marine Department confirmed that the Administration had already taken into account the course and direction of vessels in drawing up the preliminary layout of the typhoon shelter. Upon finalization of the layout plan, the Marine Department would designate a fairway for vessels approaching to and departing from the pier at Peng Chau.

14. As regards the timetable for meeting the total projected shortfall of about 211 hectares of typhoon shelter space in Hong Kong in 2016, DCE advised that apart from the proposed typhoon shelter at Peng Chau (40 hectares), construction of a typhoon shelter at Hei Ling Chau (50 hectares) was underway. There were plans to construct typhoon shelters at Siu Lam (40 hectares), Kowloon Bay (36 hectares), Stonecutter Island (4 hectares), Tai O (17 hectares) and Ma Wan (42 hectares). Should all these projects be implemented, the total typhoon shelter space would add up to over 220 hectares.

15. In response to a member's enquiry, the Administration would confirm in writing whether there was a bridge linking "Tai Lei" and Peng Chau allowing the flow of water underneath. Admin

16. The item was voted on and endorsed.




Village improvements and development schemes in the New Territories


Improvement, reconstruction and extension of village access roads in the New Territories

17. Responding to a member's enquiry about the progress of the 10-year programme under the Rural Planning and Improvement Strategy (RPIS) formulated in 1989, AD/HA advised that prior to 1994, both major and minor works under the RPIS were undertaken by Territory Development Department. As the progress of minor works was found to be behind schedule, the Home Affairs Department (HAD) in 1994 took over the responsibility for these works having regard to the fact that HAD was already responsible for local public works and had established cordial working relationships with local villagers. Since then, about half of the minor works in the programme had been implemented. Given the present progress, HAD was confident of completing all the minor works included in the programme within the original timeframe.

18. The item was voted on and endorsed.



Local public works in the rural New Territories

19. In reply to the Chairman, AD/HA advised that the list of local public works projects was drawn up on a year-by-year basis.

20. The item was voted on and endorsed.



New items

High Priority Programme of the Sewage Strategy : completion of works and payments of contractual obligations outstanding upon the closure of the Sewage Services Trading Fund

21. In reply to the Chairman, DDS explained that taking into account the interests accrued from the remaining balance of $2,553.7 million of the Sewage Services Trading Fund as at 31 March 1998, the balance should be sufficient to meet the total outstanding contractual commitments of $3,011.3 million, if expressed at current prices, under the High Priority Programme of the Sewage Strategy.

22. The item was voted on and endorsed.

23. The Subcommittee was adjourned at 12:00 noon.

Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
11 February 1998