194. To fulfil our policy objective of promoting economic growth through infrastructural development, the current-term Government has been increasing its investment in capital works over the past few years. By making such investment we can lay a firm foundation for future economic development and create employment opportunities during the project construction period. The total value of projects approved by this Council is expected to increase by three times from $62 billion in 2007-08 to $184 billion this year. The annual actual expenditure on capital works also sees a significant threefold increase from $20.5 billion in 2007-08 to $62.3 billion in 2012-13 and is expected to increase to over $70 billion per year in the next few years.
195. Expenditure on capital works is our investment in the future. A large part of the expenditure is devoted to massive projects, such as the Ten Major Infrastructure Projects, cross-boundary facilities, and transport infrastructural projects, with a view to expanding our economic hinterland and strengthening the territory’s road and railway network. These projects include the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point, the Central-Wan Chai Bypass, and railway construction works of the South Island Line (East) and the West Island Line. We shall also seek funding approval for the construction of the Shatin to Central Link from this Council in the current legislative session.
196. To increase land supply, we shall continue to carry out infrastructure works such as land formation, road construction and laying of water mains in the new development areas of different districts such as Tseung Kwan O, Kai Tak, Tuen Mun and Yuen Long.
197. While implementing large-scale infrastructure projects, we have spared no effort in taking forward projects of various scales to meet people’s demand for public facilities for everyday life. District works projects approved by this Council in the five legislative sessions from 2007-08 are estimated at $220 billion in total. These projects include schools, hospitals, libraries, sports centres, swimming pools and community halls. We also hope to provide our citizens a better living environment and quality leisure facilities through implementing projects such as parks, cycle tracks and greening works. Upon completion of all the on-going and approved waterfront promenade projects at Central, Quarry Bay, Kwun Tong and Kai Tak, the length of the water promenade open for public use will be extended by two kilometres.
198. Besides taking forward individual projects to construct waterfront promenades, the Development Bureau is exploring with the Harbourfront Commission on the establishment of a statutory and dedicated harbourfront authority, which will push ahead with the design, construction, operation and management of harbourfront projects with a creative mindset, flexible framework and entrepreneurial culture. A proposal is expected to be put forward in the middle of this year. We aspire to create a vibrant waterfront with all kinds of attractions for the enjoyment of the public and tourists. If the proposal is widely supported by the community, we shall provide the necessary financial support.