LegCo round up April 27 to 29

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Filibuster continued at the Council. Members voted down the staffing proposal of the Police to have a Chief Superintendent of Police to head the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau.

April 27 Monday

 

Joint meeting of Panel on Economic Development and Panel on Environmental Affairs

Members discussed whether to form a joint-committee under the two Panels to monitor the implementation of the Three-Runway. Pan-dems proposed to form a subcommittee under the House Committee which will allow members who don’t belong to the two Panels to join. DAB and NPP’s Michael Tien (GC- NT West) backed pan-dems’ proposal. House Committee will form a subcommittee soon.

 

Meeting of Panel on Economic Development

  1. Discussion on the revised guidelines issued by the Competition Commission. The latest round of consultation on the revised guidelines just ended last week (April 20). The new guidelines will help businesses to distinguish between legitimate commercial negotiations and anti-competitive exchanges of information, particularly with regard to commercially sensitive information.

In the Revised Draft Guidelines, the Commission:

  • Increased the number of hypothetical examples and also examples that request for further details were made;
  • Provided further guidance and detailed analysis on a range of specific topics that submissions had sought further detail on including joint selling, distribution and marketing agreements and joint tendering arrangements and new sections on collective bargaining, franchising and selective distribution agreements.
  • Clarified a number of procedural topics on the Commission’s approach to the handling and processing of complaints and applications for decisions and block exemption orders.
  1. In response to FTU’s Tang Ka-piu (FC- LAbour) and a number of other LegCo members who pointed out the big drop in the international oil price only resulted a slight drop in the local oil price, the Government explained that “oil companies, in response to falling import prices, have adjusted downwards the pump prices of unleaded petrol and diesel, with maximum accumulated reduction of over $3.2/litre. We observe that this is generally in line with the trend movements of international oil prices over the same period, and represents around 50% of the import price of its refined oil products in July 2014 at $6.34/litre.”

Currently, oil companies are taxed at $6.06/litre for unleaded petrol and the current market price is running from $14 to $15 per litre. Diesel, however, is tax free. The average Government rent of the relevant sites to oil companies range from $18,108 to $742,800 in the past 10 years. The rent is calculated at 3% of the rateable value of the properties.

 

Meeting of Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services

9 deputations from the legal sector and law schools attended a hearing to discuss the Legal education and training in Hong Kong.

Standing Committee on Legal Education and Training decided to launch a study on the topic in December 2013 but only kick started it in March this year and received a $1.5-million funding from the Department of Justice. A High Court judge and 2 professors from Australia and New Zealand are hired as consultants. The study will likely touch on the implementation of the Common Entrance Examination. Law Society welcomed the launch of the study.


April 28 Tuesday

 

Hearing of Select Committee to Inquire into the Background of and Reasons for the Delay of the Construction of the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link

Under Secretary for Transport and Housing Mr Yau Shing-mu attended the hearing to testify. He got some poundings from members across the political spectrum. Regarding the Highway Department had previously chosen not to disclose a consultant report stating a delay in completion of the construction and explained that the Department believed MTR can catch up with the schedule, Mr Yau says he trusted the expertise of the Highway Department.

 

Meeting of Panel on Development

Discussion on three construction proposals:

  • $5,757 million for the construction of infrastructure works at the southern part of the former runway at Kai Tak Development.
  • $606.1 million for district cooling system at Kai Tak.
  • $1,111.9 million for the ground decontamination works at the site of exKennedy Town Incineration Plant and ex-Kennedy Town Abattoir, and the adjoining area.

Members approved all three proposals to be sent to the Public Works Subcommittee.

 

Meeting of Subcommittee on Poverty

19 deputations attended a hearing to discuss measures to unleash labour force in families for increasing the grassroots’ income. Alliance for Children Development Right urges the Government to implement the 15-year free education and lower the barrier for grassroot students to receive full subsidy.


April 29 Wednesday

 

Meeting of Establishment Subcommittee

  1. Proposed creation of a permanent post of Chief Superintendent of Police to head the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau for preventing and combating technology crime and responding to cyber security incidents. Monthly salary of the position ranges from $125,450 to $137,400. Labour Party’s Lee Cheuk-yan (GC- NT West) and Democratic Party’s Emily Lau (GC- NT East) reiterated concerns over Police using advanced technology to monitor people’s everyday life. Fernando Cheung (GC- NT East) from Labour Party slammed the Government for denying lawmakers to visit the headquarter of the Bureau despite granting ExCo members the access. The proposal was voted down with 14 to 9.
  1. Proposed creation of two permanent posts of one Chief Electrical and Mechanical Engineer to head the Vehicle Safety and Standards Division of the Transport Department and one Principal Executive Officer to be offset by elimination of a permanent post of Chief Executive Officer to serve as Departmental Secretary of the Transport Department. Discussion underway.

 

Council meeting

The Council continues to discuss the 618 amendments. More than 100 amendments were covered so far. The debate centred around cutting salaries and budgets to the CE and Police Commissioner, and on water canons purchase. People Power Albert Chan, Raymond Chan and League of Social Democrats’ Leung Kwok-hung repeatedly requested for counting quorum.