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Ocean Park Corporation (Amendment) Bill 2021 to be gazetted June 18

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     The Ocean Park Corporation (Amendment) Bill 2021 will be published in the Gazette on June 18. The Bill seeks to amend the Ocean Park Corporation Ordinance (Cap. 388) to provide clear legal backing for the Ocean Park Corporation (OPC) to take forward the future strategy of Ocean Park.

     The Government together with the OPC undertook a rethink exercise in mid-2020 to chart the way forward for Ocean Park. Under the future strategy announced in early 2021, Ocean Park will be transformed into a travel destination and leisure zone with a focus on conservation and education, grounded in nature and complemented by adventure and entertainment elements to enhance the visitor experience. The Government has secured the approval of the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council at its meeting on March 19, 2021, for the relevant financial arrangements. The current legislative amendment exercise is the next step for enabling the OPC to take forward the future strategy, a Government spokesman said.

     Key amendments of the Bill are as follows:  
 
(a) expand and expressly state the functions of the OPC to include conservation on top of recreation and education, and empower the OPC to carry out functions relating to recreation, education and conservation outside Ocean Park;

(b) expressly empower the OPC to enter into a contract or an arrangement with any other person in relation to the performance of its functions so as to enable the OPC to outsource part of Ocean Park’s operation;

(c) streamline the relevant approval process relating to the use of the Ocean Park Trust Fund by the OPC for taking forward its functions; and

(d) repeal the Ocean Park Bylaw (Cap. 388B) in order to cater for the new mode of operation of Ocean Park.
 
     The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council for First and Second Readings on June 23.