LegCo Affairs - Reports
WK Lo’s LegCo Express
1. Funding projects approved in the PWSC and the FC
On 2 Dec, a funding project of relocation of Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works of $14.1 billion was endorsed at the meeting of PWSC. Another project of development of Lok Ma Chau Loop of $13.2 billion was approved at the same meeting. On 16 Dec, a total allocation of $24.3 billion for the 2021-22 block allocations under the Capital Works Reserve Fund was endorsed to enable works departments to carry out standalone minor improvement items of a smaller scale or at the district level. The increase of $294.5 million for the same kind of funding for 2020-21 was also approved. These projects together with the others would be forwarded to the FC for final funding approval. The PWSC also approved to increase the financial ceiling of the delegated authority from $30 million to $50 million per item for capital subvention and increase from $10 million to $20 million for each project under Computerisation.
On 21 Dec, the FC approved an increase by $6.4 billion from $155.9 billion to $162.3 billion for injection into the Anti-epidemic Fund to provide funding for various relief measures targeted at eligible individuals and businesses hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. New measures for the business development of Hong Kong engineering construction consultant enterprises and professionals in nine mainland cities in GBA
On 29 Dec, I was invited to deliver a speech at the conference jointly organized by the Development Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (DHURD) of Guangdong Province. This conference introduced the new measures assisting enterprises and professionals of the engineering construction consultant sectors in starting businesses and practising in the nine mainland cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. You may visit the following link for more details.
3. Construction industry COVID-19 testing service scheme
The Construction Industry Council (CIC) and the Hong Kong Construction Association (HKCA) with the support from the Development Bureau jointly launched “Construction Industry COVID-19 Testing Service Scheme”on 22 December. The CIC and the HKCA share part of the service expenditures, whereas developers / main contractors only need to pay a partial basic testing fee, so as to provide the nucleic acid COVID-19 testing services to construction workers and site staff who voluntarily join the Scheme..
4. Support for Engineering, Architectural, Surveying, Town Planning and Landscape Sectors
In June 2020, the Government introduced the measure entitled “Anti-epidemic Fund – Support for Engineering, Architectural, Surveying, Town Planning and Landscape Sectors” (the Support Measure). The Support Measure provides a total of 2189 subsidy places. Round 1 Application was closed and around 1200 subsidy places were approved. To continue with the support for the different sectors of the construction industry, Round 2 Application is launched to allocate the remaining subsidy places. The application period for Round 2 Application is from 15 December 2020 to 22 January 2021.
5. Aggregate supply shortage before and during Chinese New Year 2021
The construction industry expressed their concern on the aggregate supply shortage in view of the prevailing pandemic and the possible reduction of the operation of the related barge delivery before and during the Chinese New Year. I urgently communicated with the relevant bureaux and urged them to seek a solution with Guangdong authorities. The bureaux replied they will closely monitor the situation in the industry and provide timely support.
6. Visit to the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link Northern Connection
I joined a visit to the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link (TM-CLKL) Northern Connection on 17 December to better understand the latest development of the project before its commissioning on 27 December 2020. We first received a briefing on the project of the Northern Connection and the arrangements for its commissioning. We then visited the South Portal and the lowest point of the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Tunnel to learn more about the innovative engineering solutions and the key features of the tunnel. One of the key features is the service gallery under the tunnel's carriageway where drainage pipes, fire mains, power supplies and control systems are installed, so that part of the daily maintenance works can be carried out at the same time during tunnel operation. The TM-CLKL is the route between the Northwest New Territories and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the Hong Kong International Airport and North Lantau and it comprises the Northern Connection and Southern Connection.