Speech at Panel on Security

Proposed Member’s Bill entitled “State of Disaster Bill”

Clearance of fallen trees and debris

Mr CHAN Chun-ying said that according to the Administration’s reply to a written question raised during the examination of the Estimates of Expenditure 2019-2020, as at 31 March 2019, there were 588 locations where the clearance of fallen trees and debris remained outstanding. Noting that the Government would set up a Steering Committee under the chair of the Chief Secretary for Administration with relevant principal officials as members (“the Steering Committee”) to handle super typhoons in future, Mr CHAN enquired whether the Administration would, through the Steering Committee, strengthen the supervision and coordination of the clearance work of various bureaux/government departments in case of super typhoons. Sharing a similar concern.

US for S responded that the Steering Committee, when formed, would oversee the Government’s work throughout the preparedness, response and recovery stages in case of super typhoons in future. To enhance effective coordination and implementation of the recovery work after super typhoons, the Steering Committee would serve as a high-level body in coordinating government-wide resources and setting priority for the clearance efforts. The Government would also continue to deploy the “Emergency Command System” for the initial phase of the post-super typhoon clearance work, which had been operationally effective in assisting the Highways Department to expedite clearance of major thoroughfares in the immediate aftermath of Super Typhoon MANGKHUT (“MANGKHUT”).

Work arrangements under “extreme conditions”

Mr CHAN Chun-ying enquired as to how the announcement of “extreme conditions” would be issued, so that members of the public could easily recognize that the time for resumption of work after cancellation of T8 had been extended.

DS for S(2) advised that the Steering Committee would review the impact of super typhoons on various aspects (e.g. public transportation) with the latest information available and announce to the public whether “extreme conditions” would apply and warrant extended hours for resumption of work after cancellation of T8. The announcement on “extreme conditions” would be issued in tandem with the announcement of the Hong Kong Observatory projecting T8 to be cancelled after two hours. Employees would be advised to stay in the places where they were currently in for two hours after cancellation of T8, instead of heading for work (or going out) immediately. During the initial two-hour period when the “extreme conditions” were in force, government departments and public transport operators would conduct road inspection and undertake repair works when necessary. The Steering Committee would continue to review the situation and advise the public again by the end of the initial two-hour period whether the “extreme conditions” would be extended or cancelled. Employers and employees would be advised to stay alert to further announcements to be issued by the Government.