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《政府山關注組》 譴責財政司司長違背程序、誤導市民 偷步割售政府山

February 23, 2011

財政司司長曾俊華在今天宣讀的財政預算案第35段中表示:「 添馬艦新政府總部啟用後,原中區政府合署中座及東座會轉作律政司的辦公室,而西座則拆卸重建為甲級寫字樓。我們會參考公眾諮詢收集得來的意見,稍後公布用地的設計、規劃和出售細則。此外,我們會繼續籌備將灣仔海傍三座政府辦公大樓的部門陸續搬離現址,騰出土地以增加甲級寫字樓供應。」

《政府山關注組》對此提出以下質疑:

一、發展局自去年十月公佈政府對政府山用途的建議方案,開始收集公眾意見,至今尚未完成諮詢程序,發表報告,並向公眾交待諮詢的結果。但財政司長卻把「拆缷重建西座」視作政府決定公佈,豈非自打咀巴,違背程序,表明公眾諮詢只是愚弄市民的把戲,政府從未有真正尊重民意的誠意?

二、財政司司長在三年前公佈預算案時,已經表示要搬遷灣仔海傍三座政府辦公大樓,以增加甲級寫字樓供應。但在今天,此項目仍在「籌備」階段,實在令人懷疑政府根本從不著緊「增加甲級寫字樓供應」。財政司理應清楚,政府在中環海濱、灣仔海傍及西九龍三區,早已預留960萬平方呎的寫字樓用地。所謂「供應不足」只是政府執意割售政府山給地產商、利益輸送的說詞。

三、20個民間團體已於上週向城規會正式申請,將政府山劃定為特別保護區,城規會亦已展開法定三星期的公眾諮詢程序。財政司的宣佈等同剝奪城規會公正審議民間規劃申請的角色,以行政權力干預法定機構的職能。政府帶頭違反程序公義,令人遺憾。

事實上,倘若政府真正急於纾缓甲級寫字樓供應,最快方法莫如財政司司長指示金融管理局遷入政府總部西翼,把國際金融中心2期的昂貴物業出租或出售。有關安排更可為金管局增加收入及降低行政費用,為納稅人節省大量金錢。此外,特區政府還可以押後拆卸美利大廈,改為商廈用途,為期十年。

因此,《政府山關注組》譴責財政司司長曾俊華違背程序、誤導市民的做法,並要求他撤回預算案中第35段,重申政府尊重公眾諮詢的誠意及城規會獨立審議的職能。

政府山關注組

23/2/2011

In paragraph 35 of the Budget Speech today, Financial Secretary John Tsang stated that “When the new Central Government Complex at Tamar comes into operation, the Main and East Wings of the Central Government Offices will be used by the Department of Justice and the West Wing will be demolished for redevelopment into Grade A offices. We will consider the views collected from the public consultation exercise, and announce the site’s design, planning and particulars of sale later. We will continue the preparatory work to relocate departments in the three government office buildings at the Wan Chai waterfront as and when appropriate to free the land for developing more Grade A offices.”

In response to the above announcement, the “Government Hill Concern Group,” raises the following questions and concern:

1. The Development Bureau publicized the suggested plan for the use of the Government Hill last October and started to solicit public feedback. While this consultation procedure is still in progress, and reports have yet to publicize the results of such public consultation for information of the general public, the Financial Secretary chose to announce the demolition of the West Wing as a foregone decision of the Government. We would consider this as the Government breaking its own words, and an act of violation against standard government consultation procedures. Does it mean that public consultation is merely a trick to fool the public, and the Government has no intention of taking public opinion seriously?

2. In the Budget three years ago the Financial Secretary has already pledged for the relocation of the three government office buildings at Wan Chai waterfront to make room for greater supply of Grade A office spaces. However, in the Budget Speech today, this project was described as still in its “preparatory” phase. This has given us good reason to doubt that the “increase supply of Grade A office space” has not been a matter of primary concern for the Government in the past years. The Financial Secretary should be aware of the fact that the Government has long been setting aside 9.6 million square feet of office space at the three areas of Central harbourfront, the Wan Chai waterfront and West Kowloon District. The so-called “shortage of office space” is merely rhetoric on the part of the Government to pursue the selling off of the “Government Hill” to property developers, in collusion with vested interests.

3. Last week, 20 civil society groups have formally made a planning application to the Town Planning Board to designate the Government Hill as a “Special Protected Area”. Consequently, the Town Planning Board has commenced a statutory three-week public consultation process. The announcement from the Financial Secretary today has in effect deprived the Town Planning Board of its role to make an objective and fair consideration of a planning application raised by non-governmental bodies, itself an act of executive intervention against the functions and terms of references of a statutory body. We regret to see the Government taking the lead in violating procedural justice.

In fact, if the Government is really eager to ease the supply of Grade A office space, the quickest way is for the Financial Secretary to instruct the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to move to the West Wing of the Central Government Offices, and turn the expensive properties it occupies in the International Finance Centre 2 either for rent or for sale. Such arrangements will increase the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s revenue , and reduce its administrative costs at the same time, thereby saving a lot of money for taxpayers. Another option would be for the Government to postpone the demolition of the Murray Building and refit it for commercial renting for a period of say, ten years.

In conclusion, the “Government Hill Concern Group” condemns the Financial Secretary John Tsang for his violation of procedures and misleading the public. We strongly urge him to withdraw paragraph 35 of the Budget Speech, and to restate the Government’s sincere respect for public consultation and the independent evaluation and deliberation of the Town Planning Board.

Government Hill Concern Group

23/2/2011

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 24, 2011 6:50 am

    Support!!!

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