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HKMC-related arrangements at LCSD venues

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has made available a number of its venues for the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference (HKMC) of the World Trade Organization, to be held from December 13 to 18.

An LCSD spokesman said today (December 5) that as a part of the Hong Kong community and as a major government department, the LCSD had a responsibility to give its full support to ensure this world-class international conference would be a success.

"The LCSD has taken a series of measures to minimise any inconvenience caused to the public. We will step up venue management and manpower deployment where HKMC-related activities will be held," the spokesman said."These include increasing the number of park management staff, security guards and cleaning staff to provide round-the-clock services. The LCSD will also work closely with the Police and take corresponding measures in relation to crowd management," he added.

Special arrangements in relation to the HKMC will be made at the following LCSD venues:

Hong Kong Central Library

From December 8 to 18, the entire ground floor of the Hong Kong Central Library will be used for HKMC-related purposes. During this period, the library will remain open as normal.

The library will step up its security and enforce access control during the period. To ensure public safety, upon entering the library all members of public will be required to submit their personal belongings for inspection by security guards.

To provide greater flexibility to readers in returning borrowed library materials during the conference period, the due dates of all materials checked out between November 24 and December 4 will be extended beyond December 18.

Victoria Park

During the conference period, some of the facilities in Victoria Park, including six hard-surfaced soccer pitches, the central lawn, the band stand, the fountain plaza, the handball court, the squash court, the tennis centre court and its adjacent four tennis courts as well as the bowling green will be used for HKMC-related purposes.

Other leisure facilities in the park, including nine tennis courts, will remain open.

Wan Chai Sports Ground

Wan Chai Sports Ground has been designated by the Police as a public activities area in connection with HKMC-related demonstrations. Throughout the conference period, the venue will not be open for sporting events. In order to protect the venue facilities, the athletic tracks and scoreboard will be covered by wooden boards. The Police will oversee the crowd management during the public demonstrations and will decide on the opening of the sports ground as and when necessary.

Southorn Playground

The soccer pitch and four basketball courts at Southorn Playground will be used for HKMC-related activities, such as cultural performances and exhibitions. The facilities available to general park users will be correspondingly reduced. The LCSD will step up management of the venue.

Other leisure facilities

A few other leisure facilities have also been reserved for use by government departments for back-up support. These include Causeway Bay Sports Ground, Moreton Terrace Temporary Playground, Wan Chai Swimming Pool, and Harbour Road Sports Centre, etc. For venues where public usage may be affected, users have been advised to book other facilities. Notices will be put up at respective venues to inform the public.

The spokesman appealed to people planning to go to these venues to pay attention to any announcement by the Police or the Transport Department on crowd management measures or traffic/transportation arrangements.

Ends/Monday, December 5, 2005
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