A pier will be built at Stanley to encourage more people to travel by boat and boost tourism. Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao Sau-tung told legislators yesterday construction work on the pier, opposite Murray House, would start in 2004 if Legco approved the project, with completion due by 2006. She said the pier would be part of a series of tourism developments at Stanley and would help ease traffic congestion. 'The pier will be designed specially for leisure and sightseeing boats,' Dr Liao said. 'It will also cater for other kinds of sea transport. We expect it will attract more companies to hold functions in Stanley and provide an alternative means of transport.' Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, representing the catering constituency, said restaurants and shops at Stanley would benefit. He said many tourists shunned Stanley because of traffic congestion during holidays. The Tourism Board chairwoman, legislator Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee, urged the government to privatise the construction to improve efficiency. Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Stephen Ip Shu-kwan said he would consider the idea. Southern District councillor Benny Chu Chu-yin said the council was briefed two months ago and had approved the plan.