2013 Policy Address (Jan 2013)

 

The full text of the Response is at :

 RESPONSE TO THE 2013 POLICY ADDRESS (2013 01 28) (WS).doc

A Synopsis of HKIP's Response is as follows :

1.            Economic Development

1.1       We support the formulation of a holistic industrial policy in order to broaden Hong Kong’s economic base through a more diverse approach, and to enhance long-term development.

1.2       We support the enhancement of means to implement CEPA to facilitate Hong Kong professionals’ participation in the Mainland market and will continue to support further measures for Hong Kong service industries to better access the Guangdong market.  Under the Co-operation Framework Agreement we support increased liaison on strategic development policy with the Pan-Pearl River Delta region.

2.            Housing and Land Supply

2.1       We welcome an emphasis on the need to resolve the housing problem at all levels, commencing with the need to secure decent housing for ‘grassroots’ households but also to offer choice to all sectors including affordable home ownership for an upwardly mobile middle class.  We are in accord with previous studies on sustainable urban development, that the major new housing component should be in the New Territories in order to reduce high urban densities in older districts.  Continuous efforts should be made to regenerate the urban area and to improve its environment.

2.2       We support the aim of the Long Term Housing Strategy Committee in conducting a comprehensive review of need and demand, and urge that in conjunction with population projections that this forms the basis for a strategic development framework for both housing and other needs, and balances the needs of different interests as far as possible.

2.3       We support existing measures to secure land for new public rental flats (PRH) and increase the supply of subsidised housing in the short to medium term, and to encourage PRH tenants who have financial capability to purchase HOS flats or seek private accommodation.  A mechanism is already in place to terminate the tenancy of well-off PRH tenants if they are found to be abusing the system, and this should include stringent means tests.

2.4       We support the potential for residential development packages along existing and planned railway routes in the New Territories, but propose that these should be planned as sustainable new communities with a sense of place, rather than as isolated enclaves.

2.5       We have reservations on the proposal to lift existing moratoriums.  The traffic situation in the Pokfulam and Mid-Levels area is very poor and new high density private development would exacerbate the situation.  We do however support the redevelopment of Wah Fu Estate to provide better standards of public housing provision.

2.6       We consider that both the viability and desirability of building large-scale private housing on off-shore island or artificial island sites needs careful analysis, and should in many ways be a ‘last resort’.  Similarly any new areas of reclamation should be carefully identified according to environmental criteria, and if implemented should integrate an exhilarating land-water interface and waterfront uses for public enjoyment.

2.7       Subject to the outcome of the Long-term Housing Strategy and quantified housing demand scenarios we support the New Development Areas, although the Frontier Closed Area must be closely examined in terms of its heritage value and environmental constraints.  We also consider that such measures present a realistic opportunity to rationalise development and land use within the Northern NT which has been despoiled in recent years by uncontrolled abuse of agricultural land.

2.8       We support the re-orchestration of the Steering Committee on Land Supply in order that land supply issues can relate to demands for a range of necessary land uses, and combined with clear planning and strategic frameworks.

2.9       We strongly support the development of a “second” core business district in Kowloon East, and we are supportive of the relocation of government office functions from Central and Wan Chai to Kowloon East.

2.10    We strongly support the establishment of a dedicated Statutory Harbourfront Authority as a best means of creating a vibrant and connective harbourfront around Hong Kong’s most iconic and identifiable asset.

3.            Environmental Protection and Conservation

3.1         We strongly agree with proposals for a green, healthy and liveable City, and support all measures to improve air quality, the promotion of “green” buildings, and ecological conservation.

3.2         We suggest that a further environmental initiative should be put in place, concerned with the betterment of the city’s public realm – its spaces, streets and distinctive urban places.  This should, in combination with other measures, provide additional opportunities for an improved ground level pedestrian environment.

HKIP TEST