Two in five back saving old government offices

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 July, 2006, 12:00am

More than 41 per cent of the public hopes the authorities will preserve the existing government headquarters buildings after the move to Tamar, the Democratic Party said yesterday, presenting the results of a poll of 1,119 people.

The respondents were asked in a telephone survey if they supported the preservation of the Central Government Offices. The survey was launched the day after the party voted in favour of the government's $5.16 billion request for funding to build a new headquarters at Tamar in Admiralty. Only the Civic Party and some independents opposed the project.

The Civic Party has already approached academics and town planners on appropriate ways to preserve Government Hill.

Former Democratic Party chairman Yeung Sum defended his party's decision to test public opinion on the future of Government Hill after the Tamar plan had already received funding approval.

He said that because time was tight, the party had decided to poll the public on the fate of Government Hill after the funding vote.

He urged the government to preserve the existing headquarters buildings and turn them into a museum on government history.

'We hope they will promise the site won't become a residential or commercial development after it ceases to be headquarters,' he said.

The survey found 41.1 per cent want the buildings preserved, and 19.1 per cent did not. Of those in favour of preservation, 33.9 per cent regard the buildings as heritage sites, 29.8 per cent feel the architecture and environment have preservation value, and 11.7 per cent feel the site is an important part of their collective memory.

The party will move a motion tomorrow urging the government to preserve the architecture and environment of Government Hill.