Lantau North (Extension) Country Park

Question put forward in LegCo for 25 May 2005 by the Hon. Lee Wing-tat {Chairman of the Democratic Party and erstwhile CE candidate}

Under the Country Parks Ordinance (Cap. 208), the Country and Marine Parks Authority ("the Authority") should prepare and publish in the Gazette draft maps showing proposed country parks for public consultation, and should, within the following six months, submit such draft maps, together with papers setting out the objections and representations made, to the Chief Executive in Council for approval. After a draft map has been approved, the Chief Executive should, by order in the Gazette, designate the area shown to be a country park. Given that the Authority has published in the Gazette the draft map of Lantau North (Extension) Country Park in July 2001, but designation of the country park has yet to be made, will the Government inform this Council of the latest progress of and the timetable for the designation; if a timetable is not available or another round of public consultation will be conducted, the justifications for that? Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

Look for this issue to make the papers on the 26th as Sarah Liao responds.

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The response from Permanent Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao.

Reply: Madam President, In consultation with the Country and Marine Parks Board, the Country and Marine Parks Authority gazetted a draft map of the proposed Lantau North (Extension) Country Park on 13 July 2001 for public inspection. Public objections received during the inspection period were heard by the Country and Marine Parks Board in October 2001. The Board rejected all the objections. However, in the light of the overall planning for Lantau, the Administration has decided to review the designation proposal. A Concept Plan for Lantau setting out an overall planning framework to integrate development and conservation needs for the island was published for public consultation in November 2004. The implementation of the proposed Country Park is one of the conservation proposals in the Concept Plan. The public consultation period of the Concept Plan ended on 28 February 2005. The Government is reviewing the designation proposal and the implementation timetable of the proposed Lantau North (Extension) Country Park, taking into consideration the public comments received on the Concept Plan and related resource implications. As the draft map of the proposed Lantau North (Extension) Country Park was gazetted for public inspection in July 2001 and the designation proposal was included in the Concept Plan for Lantau for public consultation in November 2004, we do not consider it necessary to conduct another round of public consultation."""

So how's that? They rejected all of the public objections in 2001, but decide that the 6 month part of the Country Parks Ordinance can also be conveniently ignored because they have revisited the project 3 years later. Thankfully {dripping with sarcasm} the government has seen fit that given their past rejection of all public objections to their projects that another round of public consultation is unnecessary.