Financial Secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung is chairing a new taskforce to co-ordinate the redevelopment of Ocean Park as it prepares to face up to the challenge of the Disney theme park. The Taskforce on Redevelopment of Ocean Park and Tourist Attractions in Aberdeen held its first meeting two weeks ago. Members include planning and tourism officials, and Invest Hong Kong director-general Mike Rowse, a spokesman for Mr Leung said. Mr Rowse was the SAR's chief government official who helped negotiate the Disney deal, which does not include an exclusivity contract. The internal taskforce will 'brainstorm on practical ways forward' for Ocean Park to develop as the driving force in tourism around Aberdeen. More concrete proposals are expected by the end of September. A source said Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, Chief Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and Mr Leung met the park's board of directors in May and decided to set up the taskforce to clear jurisdiction confusions between departments. Currently, the Planning Department is conducting a study on the development of Aberdeen harbour, while the Home Affairs Bureau is reviewing the possibility of an amendment in the law to allow Ocean Park to seek external revenue. 'The government has decided to take the Aberdeen and Ocean Park development to a higher level to provide a forum for clearer policy directions,' Mr Leung's spokesman said. It is hoped that the taskforce would 'untie the knots' between departments and speed up the development of Ocean Park and Aberdeen harbour. The spokesman denied the taskforce was set up to cope with increasing threats from Shanghai, which is currently negotiating with Disney and Universal Studios to set up theme parks there. In June last year, Ocean Park warned that it could be forced to close if it was not allowed to seek external revenue. Currently, the law only allows the non-profit park to draw revenue from admission fees. Funding backup by the Jockey Club ceased in 1987. The Planning Department study proposes a range of tourism facilities in Aberdeen, like harbour taxis and a fisherman's wharf. The source said it was hoped other famous theme park companies would consider teaming up with Ocean Park in a venture to run alongside Disney. A spokeswoman for Ocean Park yesterday welcomed the setting up of the taskforce, which she said could set out a clear policy direction for long-term development. She said poor attendances had led to a $62.1 million deficit in 2000/01, although this year's attendances were up by 23 per cent.