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Construction sector establishes joint conference to help Sichuan reconstruction  

The Development Bureau of the HKSAR Government and the construction sector have taken the initiative to set up the Hong Kong Construction Sector 5.12 Reconstruction Joint Conference. Its purpose is to better mobilise and coordinate the participation of the professionals and professional institutes of Hong Kong's construction sector in the reconstruction work after the Sichuan earthquake.

The primary objective of the Joint Conference is to consolidate the efforts of the professionals in the Government and the construction sector so as to provide financial assistance, materials, equipment supplies, expert advice and other support to the affected areas more quickly and effectively.

The founding members of the Joint Conference are the Development Bureau and the departments under the Bureau, and the following 10 trade associations and professional institutes:

The Hong Kong Construction Association

The Hong Kong Electrical and Mechanical Contractors' Association

The Hong Kong Federation of Electrical and Mechanical Contractors Ltd

The Association of Consulting Engineers of Hong Kong

The Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers

The Hong Kong Institute of Architects

The Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors

The Hong Kong Institute of Planners

The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects

The Joint Conference has invited the Legislative Council members of the construction sector, Mr Abraham Shek, Dr Raymond Ho and Mr Patrick Lau, to be advisors. Three former Secretary for Works/ Permanent Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, Mr Lee Shing-see and Mr Lo Yiu-ching, have also agreed recently to serve as advisors. Other professionals or trade organisations will also be invited to join the conference.

A spokesman for the Development Bureau said the Bureau had been discussing with the construction sector how to assist the affected areas in the earthquake to carry out reconstruction work.

The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, together with the heads of departments under the Bureau, had a meeting with the professional institutes of the construction sector on May 27. The meeting decided to set up the "Hong Kong Construction Sector 5.12 Reconstruction Joint Conference" to better coordinate and consolidate resources and support from the Government and the construction sector.

As it is necessary to liaise closely with the Mainland authorities in future work, the meeting agreed unanimously that the Development Bureau should take the lead in setting up the Joint Conference to facilitate future communication with the Mainland authorities. The first meeting of the Conference was held on June 10.

During this period, the government’s geotechnical engineers of the Joint Conference have offered technical advice to the Mainland’s Ministry of Water on monitoring the water level of the landslide-dammed lakes. The Hong Kong Institute of Planners has deployed two town planners to Chengdu to assist in the planning of the reconstruction of Dujiangyan. A group of young engineers has launched a campaign to build new schools for the affected areas and organised a "Caring Night" event on June 12.

The spokesman said, "It is the common will of the professionals in the government and the construction sector to establish the Joint Conference. We all hope that the Conference will provide a platform for the professionals to make full use of their expertise to provide practical assistance in the reconstruction of the areas affected by the Sichuan earthquake."

Ends/Thursday, June 19, 2008
Issued at HKT 21:25