Protesters hoping to hold demonstrations at December's World Trade Organisation conference labelled a meeting held with officials yesterday as 'a waste of time'. It was the first time WTO officials from Geneva had joined discussions between the protesters and government authorities organising the ministerial conference. But the Hong Kong People's Alliance on WTO, which is co-ordinating the protests, said they were very disappointed that the government did not give them a definite answer on how to use Victoria Park for protests. The government received the alliance's requests in July. But it said yesterday that it could not confirm the arrangements until six weeks before the conference, which is scheduled to begin on December 13. Alliance chairwoman Elizabeth Tang Yin-ngor said that by then it would be too late for overseas protesters coming to Hong Kong. She demanded a definite answer when they meet again on October 7 or the alliance would have to tell its overseas partners that it would withdraw from co-ordinating the protests. Protesters may then hold their events in busy streets and there could be trouble, warned Ms Tang. The head of the government's co-ordination office for the conference, Janet Wong Wing-chen, said Victoria Park had already been chosen as the site for holding public functions during the conference. But she added that the government would need more information on the number of protesters and the events they are planning before various departments could make comprehensive arrangements and discuss the detailed plans with the district councils. With the government talks seemingly making slower than expected progress, the protesters have turned to the WTO for help. They submitted a petition to Bernard Kuiten, of the WTO's external relations division, at yesterday's meeting, urging the body to ensure the protesters' voices could be heard. Mr Kuiten said making protests and security arrangements would be the host government's responsibilities. 'When it comes to gathering of people, if you got 10,000 or 8,000 people on the street you have to manage the crowd,' he said. 'Whether it would lead to problems I think is pretty much dependant on the people themselves.' The WTO delegation also inspected the conference venue at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.