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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。」









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


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


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