Press here to Skip to the main content
Font Size
Default Font Size Larger Font Size Largest Font Size RSS Subscription Advanced Search Sitemap Mobile/Accessible Version 繁體 简体

CGO forecourt not a public area

October 22, 2014

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam says the Central Government Offices East Wing forecourt is a government property which is neither a public place nor a public open space, and the public does not have an absolute right of free access to it.


Mrs Lam told lawmakers today that the forecourt has been primarily used as a vehicular access for the Central Government Offices and a pick up/drop off point for passengers, and it is open for public use on weekdays mainly as a passageway.


The Government has the legal right and responsibility to exercise appropriate control and restriction on its use, having regard to the security and actual operational needs, she said.  


Public access to the forecourt may be suspended during normal opening hours in case of emergency or when there are special security needs, she added.  


Mrs Lam pointed out that there are established application procedures to hold public meetings or processions at the forecourt on Sundays and public holidays from 10am to 6.30pm.


A section of the pavement on Tim Mei Avenue outside the forecourt is a designated public activity area for public meetings and petitions at all times.


On September 26, some protesters forced their way into the forecourt and stayed there, while a large group of protesters continued to gather outside the Central Government Offices, some of whom stated that they were going to occupy the forecourt. 


In view of the exceptional circumstances, the Government had to implement temporary measures to enhance the complex’s security, including closing the East Wing’s ground floor public and press entrances.


Mrs Lam said the Government will, through maintaining regular contact with the Police, continue to conduct risk assessment as to when the forecourt could be re-opened for normal operation.