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Drones aid environmental protection (Environmental Protection Department)

(The photo is provided by Information Services Department) The Environmental Protection Department’s drone team has been instrumental in the department’s success in protecting our habitat. Established at the end of last year, the drone team mainly assists the department in dealing with two aspects of its environmental protection work, including combatting illegal landfilling works and investigating ecological disturbances. It has contributed significantly to the department’s success in its enforcement actions. People involved in two illegal landfilling cases detected by the team have been convicted. Facilitating enforcementEnvironmental Protection Officer Thomas Wong pointed out that it was challenging to combat these illegal landfilling works in the past because the department had to visit the sites physically. Mr Wong said: “When our enforcement officers approached areas where these activities took place, they were easily spotted, and the people stopped their illicit actions right away. Now we can record these activities clearly from a distance with a drone.” Senior Environmental Protection Inspector Viane Lee is the only female operator in the drone team and she has rich flying experience. When flying the drone, Miss Lee said she is always on the lookout for bulldozers pushing earth or trucks dumping construction waste. “We use the drone to record these activities as evidence. Our colleagues then go to the place concerned to collect information on the suspected offenders.” (The photo is provided by Information Services Department) Time-saving toolsThe department can also quickly mobilise the drone team to investigate ecological disturbances, for example, when a lot of dead fish are found in the water. “People are very concerned when they discover dead fish in the environment. If that happens, our drone takes off immediately to search for the pollution source along the river and inspect the extent of the pollution,” Miss Lee said. “At the same time, we provide information obtained from the drone to support the work of a field team, which collects water samples and evidence at relevant locations.” Mr Wong added that drone usage greatly reduces the manpower and time needed to find sources of pollution in the environment. “Take a 5km-long river as an example. In the past, we needed three to five colleagues to complete an investigation into the source of the pollution, which would take three to five days. Now, with drones, only one person is required to finish the same job in around an hour.” When emergencies such as chemical leaks cause water pollution, the drone team will conduct operations as well. It will send real-time images of the incident to the department’s control centre. Safety firstBefore every operation, the team ensures that the drone is safe to fly. They follow the Civil Aviation Department’s guidelines. Pre-operation preparations include finding a suitable take-off and landing site, planning the flight path, checking the weather forecast, especially the wind conditions, and making sure the drone functions well.After arriving at the location of operation, they cordon off the take-off and landing area. Right before the drone is ready for take-off, they recheck it to ensure it will not malfunction. Miss Lee said: “Safety is always the priority. Good teamwork is the key to a successful operation.” The department hopes to use drones for more aspects of their work, including monitoring the operations of landfills and tackling onshore marine refuse, to further protect the environment.

No hurry! You may apply for some Gov Jobs all year round!

The Government provides numerous job opportunities each year, many of which accepts application all year round. No recruitment deadlines are set for these job posts and interested candidates may submit their applications throughout the year. In May 2021, the below Government jobs are accepting applications all year round. Check them out if you are interested.  Civil Service Vacancies which accept all year round applications Job title: Correctional Services Department - Assistant Officer II Salary: HKD$21150 Per Month Academic Requirement: Secondary 5Details and Apply Job title:Customs and Excise Department - Customs OfficerSalary: HKD$22405 Per MonthAcademic Requirement: HKDSEE results/HKCEE resultsDetails and Apply Job title: Department of Health - Medical and Health Officer Salary: HKD$70465 Per Month Academic Requirement: Professional QualificationDetails and Apply Job title: Fire Services Department - Station Officer (Operational)  Salary: HKD$41380 Per Month Academic Requirement: Degree/Associate Degree or Higher Diploma/Diploma from a registered post-secondary college/HKDSEE results/HKALE results Details and Apply Job title: Hong Kong Police Force - Police ConstableSalary: HKD$25380 Per Month Academic Requirement: HKDSEE results/HKCEE resultsDetails and Apply Job title: Hong Kong Police Force - Police Inspector  Salary: HKD$44910 Per Month Academic Requirement: Degree/Associate Degree or Higher Diploma/Diploma from a registered post-secondary collegeDetails and Apply Job title: Immigration Department - Immigration Assistant Salary: HKD$21780 Per Month Academic Requirement: HKDSEE results/HKCEE resultsDetails and Apply Non-Civil Service Vacancies which accept all year round applications Job title: Department of Health - Contract Dentist (Orthodontics)  Salary: HKD$85870 Per Month  Academic Requirement: Professional QualificationDetails and Apply Job title: Department of Health - Contract DoctorSalary: HKD$64270 Per Month Academic Requirement: Professional QualificationDetails and Apply Job title: Department of Health - Contract Doctor (Antimicrobial Resistance)  Salary: HKD$64270 Per Month Academic Requirement: Professional QualificationDetails and Apply Job title: Department of Health - Contract Doctor (Families Clinic)    Salary: HKD$64270 Per Month Academic Requirement: Professional QualificationDetails and Apply Job title: Department of Health - Contract Doctor (for COVID-19)        Salary: HKD$64270 Per Month Academic Requirement: Professional QualificationDetails and Apply Job title: Department of Health - Contract Doctor (without Full Registration)Salary: HKD$64270 Per Month Academic Requirement: Professional QualificationDetails and Apply Job title: Department of Health- Contract Doctor (without Full Registration) (Families Clinic) Salary: HKD$64270 Per Month Academic Requirement: Professional QualificationDetails and Apply Job title: Department of Health - Contract Senior Doctor (Antimicrobial Resistance) Salary: HKD$126220 Per Month Academic Requirement: Professional QualificationDetails and Apply Job title: Department of Health -Part-time Contract Doctor (Narcotics & Drug Administration Division) Salary: HKD$416 Per Hour Academic Requirement: Professional QualificationDetails and Apply Job title: Department of Health - Part-time Contract Doctor (for COVID-19)  Salary: HKD$416 Per Hour Academic Requirement: Professional QualificationDetails and Apply Job title: Department of Health - Research Officer (Public Health)Salary: HKD$40515 Per MonthAcademic Requirement: Master or Higher Degree/Post-graduate Diploma or Post-graduate CertificateDetails and Apply Job title: Department of Health - Senior Clinician (Orthodontics) Salary: HKD$126220 Per Month Academic Requirement: Professional QualificationDetails and Apply Job title: Government Logistics Department - Binding Machine Operator  Salary: HKD$99.1 Per HourAcademic Requirement: Diploma or Higher Certificate/Certificate/Secondary 3 or below/Primary 6 or below/Others: satisfactorily completed an approved and relevant Printing Apprenticeship Scheme.Details and Apply For other Governement Jobs vancancies, please visit "Government Vacancies" in Civil Service Bureau website。

[Maritime Profession] Deck Officers of Seagoing Vessels

Sea-faring on sea-going vessels is a specialised field requiring professional nautical knowledge and professional qualifications. One can gain extensive practical knowledge and visit different countries to broaden his/her horizons by working on board a sea-going vessel.Take container vessels as an example. Each container vessel requires approximately 18 to 24 crew members. The Captain is the head of the vessel who takes charge of both the deck and engineering departments.ProspectSeafaring career carries a clear progression pathway and good remuneration. Having accumulated sufficient sea-going experience, seafarers may also turn to the shored-based professional maritime services sector, including maritime law and arbitration, ship management, ship finance, marine insurance and shipbroking, for further career development. These sectors have a great demand for talent with sea-going experience. Entry Requirement To become a deck officer, one must first complete recognised maritime programmes and the specified pre-sea training, and serve as a cadet in the deck department on board a sea-going vessel to receive in-service training. Having obtained sea-going experience of 18 to 24 months (depending on the maritime course taken), the cadet may apply for the examination for a Certificate of Competency (Deck Officer) (Sea-going) Class 3. Upon passing the examination, the cadet is eligible to serve as a third officer or a second officer. The subsequent examinations for Certificate of Competencies (Deck Officer) Classes 2 and 1 require additional sea-going experience of 1 year and 2 years respectively. After obtaining the Class 1 certificate, the officer is eligible to serve as a Captain.The video below introduces the entry requirements, working environment, career prospects and career pathway of the deck officers of seagoing vesselsn. For more details, please visit Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board website.

Aviators - Flying Doctor

From time to time, people engaging in outdoor activities may feel unwell or injure due to heatstroke, heat exhaustion or other reasons, in particular in hot weather, requiring the Government Flying Service to provide assistance. A group of voluntary flying doctors and nurses will also provide timely support and help. A new episode of "Cool Met Stuff" tells you the works of the flying doctors. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) For more details, please visit Hong Kong Observatory website.

Government Job Opportunities for Non-Ethnic Chinese

(Please click here to watch the same video narrated in English) Assistant Primary School Mistress, Miss Amypreet Kaur, "I know that applicants for civil service posts at degree or professional level are required to attain specific results in the Common Recruitment Examination (CRE). At first, I was worried that my Chinese reading and writing abilities would not be sufficient for me to obtain the necessary result in the Use of Chinese paper. After two attempts, I successfully obtained “Level 2” result. I am glad that my efforts in preparing for the exam paid off." "Why don’t you give it a try like me and apply for a government job?" Please watch the video for more information about the Government measures to facilitate the employment of non-ethnic Chinese in the civil service. Official recruitment page

Summer Intern in Government 2021 (Keep updating...)

The 2021 Post-Secondary Student Summer Internship Programme has been launched. The Programme provides internship placement opportunities for students who are permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and enrolled in full-time accredited post-secondary programmes offered by post-secondary institutions in or outside Hong Kong.Bureaux/departments would advertise their internship placement opportunities (where applicable) on their respective departmental websites and CSB's website. In addition, they may make arrangement with individual post-secondary institutions to nominate students for the Programme. Government summer internship programmes open for application as at 6/5/2021   📅 7/5 Deadline                  Land Registry, Summer InternApply and Details Legal Aid Department, Summer Intern (Legal)Apply and Details Rating and Valuation Department, Summer InternApply and Details 📅 10/5 Deadline                  Planning Department, Summer Interns  Apply and Details Transport Department, Summer InternApply and Details 📅 11/5 Deadline                  Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Summer Intern (Hong Kong Public Libraries)  Apply and Details 📅 12/5 Deadline                  Water Supplies Department, Summer Intern Apply and Details Water Supplies Department, Vacation Trainee (Vacation Training Scheme) Apply and Details Civil Service Bureau, Summer Intern Apply and Details 📅 13/5 Deadline                  Post Office, Summer Intern Apply and Details 📅 14/5 Deadline                  Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Summer Intern (Conservation Office) Apply and Details Civil Engineering and Development Department, Summer Intern Apply and Details Drainage Services Department, Summer InternApply and Details Treasury, Summer InternApply and Details 📅 17/5 Deadline                  Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency, Summer Intern Apply and Details   Application procedures Students who are interested in the placement opportunities advertised may download the standard application form or use the prescribed application forms as provided by individual bureaux/departments (where applicable) and submit their applications to 1) the recruiting bureaux/departments or;2) their respective institutions according to the methods as set out in the advertisements. (*Please follow the application procedures set out in the advertisements) (**To safeguard personal data privacy, students are reminded not to submit their personal data other than through the above channels)(***Please note the deadlines set by the respective institutions)Hong Kong students in non-local post-secondary institutions Hong Kong students studying in non-local post-secondary institutions must complete the application forms, which can be downloaded from the website of the Civil Service Bureau, and send the completed application form together with all necessary documents to the enquiry address of the individual bureaux/departments by post on or before the closing date of application (according to postmark).

The Customs and Excise Department: Road to Training Professionalism

The Customs and Excise Department obtained an accreditation approval from the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications in December 2018 to include its induction programmes for Inspectors and Customs Officers in the Qualifications Register, marking a new era for the department's manpower training. For more details about training in Customs and Excise Department, please visit the Department's website. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese)

Thoughtful Services to Meet Your Needs (Immigration Department)

The Immigration Department (ImmD) introduced the next generation smart identity cards in November 2018 and rolled out the Territory-wide Identity Card Replacement Exercise (Replacement Exercise) in December the same year to have the identity cards replaced in phases in an orderly manner for holders of the existing smart identity cards. At the planning stage, ImmD viewed the replacement process as an experience journey and used it as the design blueprint. A people-based approach has been adopted at all points of interaction with the public from publicity, appointment booking, replacement visits, registration to collection, creating a brand new public service experience.INNOVATIVE MEASURES AND THOUGHTFUL ARRANGEMENTS Being attentive to details is one of the ways ImmD shows its solicitude towards the public. Having regard to the habits of persons of different age groups, ImmD has formulated a comprehensive publicity strategy by publicising the exercise through various channels so as to reach out to the community and remind the public to have their identity cards replaced on time. For appointment booking, apart from the conventional telephone appointment booking, the online service and mobile application of ImmD are also available for the public to conveniently and efficiently make appointments and fill in relevant forms. Nine Smart Identity Card Replacement Centres (SIDCCs) across the territory are easily accessible by the public. Apart from Sundays and public holidays, the service hours of SIDCCs run from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, allowing flexibility for the public to make arrangements for identity card replacement. The design of the layout and facilities of SIDCCs are extremely thoughtful. For instance, the reception, registration, phototaking and card collection areas are differentiated by four colours, making it easier for the public to understand the replacement process. To create a more easily accessible environment, ImmD has even introduced various barrier-free and caring facilities, for example, an indoor navigation system for the visually impaired first introduced in Government venues. ImmD has made every effort to demonstrate its care for people and its determination to provide people-based services. To save people’s effort and time, ImmD has also made good use of technology to provide self-services in tag issue, registration and collection. In addition, the processing time for registration at SIDCCs has been reduced from 60 to 30 minutes, whereas the time for issuance of a new smart identity card has been shortened from 10 to 7 working days, representing a substantial rise in the overall standard of service.WALKING TOGETHER WITH CARE AND COHESION Care and inclusion are the core values of a harmonious society. ImmD has specially introduced the Arrangements for Identity Card Replacement with the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities so that they can be taken care of by their accompanying family members or friends during card replacement. In addition, the On-site Identity Card Replacement Service provides on-site identity card replacement and delivery services for the elderly and persons with disabilities at over one thousand residential care homes across the territory, allowing them to enjoy one-stop services at their place.The working team of the Replacement Exercise has made all-out efforts to provide the public with the most thoughtful services, showing great care throughout the interaction. Meanwhile, the support from the public has served as the driving force for the team to persevere with their best. The Replacement Exercise is expected to last for four years until 2022. ImmD will continue to listen to the opinions of different sectors with an open mind in pursuit of excellence.   (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

Innovate with Science, Serve with Heart (Hong Kong Observatory)

The Hong Kong Observatory keeps pace with the times to provide people-oriented quality services in meteorology and related fields, and to enhance the society's capability in natural disaster prevention and response through science, innovation and partnership.MULTI-CHANNEL INFORMATION DISSEMINATION TO RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS ON DISASTER PREVENTION With increasing demand for weather-related information, the Observatory's online information service recorded more than 146 billion page views in 2018. The total number of downloads of the "My Observatory" mobile application exceeded 7.8 million. The Observatory also provided timely weather reminders and warnings through the social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Several days before Super Typhoon Mangkhut hit Hong Kong, the Observatory began to issue daily Facebook posts to alert the public to take preventive measures. Frequent updates on wind strengths and storm surges were provided on the day when the typhoon hit Hong Kong, enhancing public awareness and resilience to natural disasters.INNOVATIVE SERVICES WITH INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATIONS In line with the "paperless aircraft cabin" measure, the Observatory partnered with the aviation industry to launch the "MyFlightWx" electronic flight bag mobile application, the world’s first-of-its-kind developed by an official meteorological authority. On the subject of big data analysis and smart city development, the Observatory developed “microclimate monitoring stations” to collect high-density meteorological data for studying urban climate and supporting personalised weather information services. The "SWIRLS" nowcasting system developed by the Observatory supports rainstorms forecasting and warning services operations. Such forecasts are also provided to other government departments to mitigate landslips, enhance ecology and preserve freshwater. The system has also won various information technology awards. The Observatory was designated by the World Meteorological Organisation as a Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC) for Nowcasting in 2018. It is a recognition of the significant international role that the Observatory plays in applying nowcasting techniques.INCORPORATING OPINIONS, INNOVATING CONTINUOUSLY, KEEPING PACE WITH THE TIMES The Observatory has established sharing platforms such as Yammer and WhatsApp Group to enhance interactions and collaborations among colleagues. There are also very diverse modes of external communications, including regular liaison group meetings with the maritime, aviation and media communities to understand the needs of users and the effectiveness of service applications. The "Strategic Advisory Committee", which is composed of scholars and experts from different sectors, examines the Observatory's services from various perspectives. Members of the "Community Weather Observing Scheme" and "Friends of the Observatory" are also invited to participate in testing new products and services. Through incorporating opinions from different stakeholders, long-term development strategies and objectives are formulated so that the Observatory can continue to innovate and keep pace with the times. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

Community Building with a Harmonised “Hui” (Drainage Services Department)

To tie in with the new development in North-East New Territories, the Drainage Services Department will kick in to turn the existing Shek Wu Hui Sewage Treatment Works in Sheung Shui into the “Shek Wu Hui Effluent Polishing Plant”, with enhanced handling capacity and environmental friendliness.CO-DESIGN WITH THE COMMUNITY In the wake of an increasing demand for sewage treatment due to rapid community development and the public’s concern for ecological conservation and the use of public space, the project team, working with the spirit of "putting people first", has adopted a breakthrough "design thinking" approach and engaged in in-depth communication with the community in planning the upgrade of this strategic sewage infrastructure. It has turned the community into a project designer to address community issues together.In 2018, the project team launched a community-based co-creation project, "Community Design for Sustainable Development @ Shek Wu Hui Effluent Polishing Plant Public Space", to co-develop the scheme with the public. The project team also kept abreast of public needs through a series of “self-experiencing” and “multi-platform” public engagement activities, including street booths, interviews, as well as workshops and visits for members and representatives of the community. ACHIEVE "CO-USE" AND "COMMUNITY CONNECTION" With the change of time, the community has high expectations for public space. In this light, the project team co-designed the “Shek Wu Hui Effluent Polishing Plant” with the community with the idea of “co-use space”. Even though the additional land available for the facility measures only 2.5 hectares, the project team has been able to identify about 2 hectares of "co-use space” for the public. A lot of greening elements, a riverside walkway, a bird watching zone, an ecological garden and planting sites will be provided for public leisure, visits and educational facilities relating to water resources management. Extending the concept of "co-use space" to the peripheral areas, the project team also worked with the nearby residents and green groups in drawing two educational routes on the themes of "Sustainable Living in Sheung Shui" and "Impact of Water in District History", thereby immersing the facility into the community and achieving the goal of “social connection”.The project team and the community have joined hands to exemplify the benefits of Community Building with a Harmonised “Hui”. It not only meets the sewage treatment demand arising from population growth in the next 20 years, but also enhances the quality of living of the community as a whole. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

New tunnel an engineering marvel

(The photo is provided by Information Services Department) The Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link Northern Connection opened to traffic on 27 December 2020. With the Southern Connection which has been commissioned since 2018, it forms a strategic route connecting the Northwest New Territories with the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Port as well as the Hong Kong International Airport and North Lantau. The 5.5km Northern Connection comprises a 5km Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Tunnel stretching from Tuen Mun South to the Hong Kong Port. It will shorten the travel distance between Tuen Mun South and the airport by around 22km and the journey time by around 20 minutes. Hong Kong’s longest tunnelThe tunnel is the longest and deepest subsea road tunnel in Hong Kong. Excavating a tunnel with a diameter of a six-storey building was the Government’s biggest challenge. The team used innovative methods and techniques to overcome a number of difficulties when constructing the tunnel. Engineer Ken Cheng was assigned to handle the mega project right after he joined the Highways Department. “I am honoured to be a part of the construction team. It was a challenge and good opportunity for me as this is the largest project I have ever handled in my career.” What impressed him the most was being able to use massive tunnel boring machines (TBMs). (The photo is provided by Information Services Department) This is the first time Hong Kong deployed large-diameter TBMs for tunnel excavation beneath the seabed. One of the TBMs the team deployed was the world’s largest, with a diameter of 17.6m. Equipped with a rotating steel cutterhead at the front, the machine is designed to pass through different types of soil or rock. It can also excavate under pressurised condition. He said as compared to the traditional immersed tube method, the use of TBMs for the subsea tunnel construction greatly reduced the dredging and disposal of around 11 million cu m of marine sediment - an amount equivalent to the size of around 4,900 standard-size swimming pools. Innovative techniqueThe adoption of TBMs also saved the need to divert the power cables which are now serving the airport and greatly lessened the impact of construction on the environment. The tunnel’s deepest section is about 60m below sea level. When boring underneath the seabed, specialist hyperbaric workers had to carry out daily maintenance works and overcome an atmospheric pressure nearly six times greater than that at the surface.  Nevertheless, workers’ safety had been ensured and the risk of decompression illness greatly lowered, thanks to the provision of special habitats. Ken explained that pressurised living chambers were available to accommodate the workers’ 28-day work cycle. Workers were transferred by pressurised shuttles to the excavation chamber to conduct their work and transferred back to the ground surface after working hours. They were also able to eat and rest inside the pressurised living chambers. The tunnel is also the first in Hong Kong to include a service gallery underneath its carriageway. The service gallery houses utilities which comprise drainage pipes, the fire services system, power supplies and signal control systems. (The photo is provided by Information Services Department) Highways Department Senior Engineer Liz Li pointed out that this arrangement allows more flexibility for regular maintenance. “It enables part of the daily maintenance work of utilities to be carried out at the same time the tunnel is in operation. The tunnel does not need to close even if there are emergency repairs. Hence, it minimises disruptions to the public," added Liz. Momentous milestone in lifeLiz has been working for the Government for 10 years and said this is the largest project she has ever worked on. She also faced challenges during the process that she described as an unforgettable experience. “Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 this year, the supply chain of construction materials and the installation had been affected and the number of workers had also been reduced. “We had to work closely with the project team to solve the problems, such as sourcing alternative materials in order to minimise the impact on the project," she recalled. Both Liz and Ken are pleased to see the construction of the tunnel finished and looking forward to celebrating its official opening on 27 December 2020. (The photo is provided by Information Services Department) Ken is eager to take his family on a tour of the tunnel. “I feel very proud that I took part in this project as it will bring convenience to the public and benefits to Hong Kong. I believe my kids will be proud of me when they know their father participated in this mega project," said Ken.

VR technology nurtures lift technicians

Hong Kong is a built-up area that abounds with skyscrapers, in which the lifts carry people up and down every day. Proper periodic examination and maintenance are important to ensure the safe operation of lifts. The Government has earlier launched the Lift Modernisation Subsidy Scheme (LIMSS) to subsidise building owners in need to enhance lift safety. Meanwhile, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has also collaborated with the Vocational Training Council (VTC) and the Lift & Escalator Contractors Association (LECA) to strengthen the training of talents. Here we have invited a colleague of the EMSD and the representatives of the VTC and the industry to introduce how innovation and technology can be used to support training and attract more young people to join the industry.The LIMSSAt present, there are about 68 000 lifts in Hong Kong. With rapid technological advancement, modern lifts are equipped with more comprehensive safety devices than the aged ones. Government launched the LIMSS to offer financial incentive with appropriate professional support to building owners in need to encourage them to carry out lift modernisation works by installing specified safety devices or carrying out complete replacement of lifts which have not been equipped with these safety devices.According to Senior Engineer of the EMSD, Mr LAI Chun-fai, the first round of applications for the scheme has been closed and about 1 200 applications involving about 5 000 lifts have been received. The response is overwhelming. Lift training with VR technologyQuality maintenance is crucial to lift safety. However, the lift industry has been facing the problem of persistent manpower shortage, and so the Government has been playing the role of facilitator to co-operate with the industry and the VTC to enhance training for technical personnel. The three partners have worked together to develop a virtual reality (VR) system to train the both trainees and practicing technicians. The VR system allows users to complete tasks of different scenarios so that they can reinforce their understanding of the points to note in each procedure. The VR system can also facilitate the introduction of lift profession to young people and attract more new blood to join the industry.More realistic experience for traineesThe Principal Instructor of the Pro-Act Training and Development Centre (Electrical) of the VTC, Mr WONG Kai-hon, Charles, says that trainees in general need to learn how to install or maintain lifts in a realistic environment. However, it involves substantial fees and spaces to build a realistic environment. VTC has specifically introduced this brand new VR system to its lift courses together with practical training, allowing trainees to have a deeper understanding of different tasks as if they are working in real-world situations. Besides, if trainees do not follow instructions during training, they will be susceptible to danger. The VR system can simulate emergency or accident scenarios for them to learn how to solve problems in a physically safe environment. The lift trade’s keen demand for talentsThe Lift and Escalator programme offered by the VTC is very practical. The skills that trainees can learn are exactly what the trade requires, resulting in a significant increase in the intake of new trainees in recent years. The vice president of the LECA, Mr LAI Wah-hing, says that as the trade has a keen demand for talents, practicing technicians may enhance their skills and qualifications through continuous learning. Besides, a number of technicians will take examinations to obtain professional engineer qualifications, and develop a career in engineering management. Mr LAI Wah-hing believes that VR technology can strengthen professional training in the trade and deepen employees’ understanding of the importance of following safe work procedures. In addition, lift contractors will buy VR equipment to train their own employees.The work of repair and maintenance comes with great responsibilityThe trainees participating in the Lift and Escalator programme all said that VR technology adds to the authenticity of the training experience, making it easier for them to have a good grasp of their future job. The technology also helps to enhance their safety awareness and reduce the anxiety that might come during their internship. The trainees said that they want to equip themselves with a set of specialised skills through training. They also understand the level of responsibilities associated with the repair and maintenance of lifts, which are closely related to people’s daily lives. We use lifts every day. The Government will continue to strengthen cooperation with the industry and training institutions to improve the learning environment using innovative technology. In addition, we will promote safe practices for lift works and attract more young talents to join the lift and escalator trade. Regarding the way forward, given the overwhelming response to the LIMSS, the Government is actively looking at possible ways to inject new resources into the scheme for the benefit of more owners in need. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Historic train makes final journey

For those who wish to explore the bygone days of rail travel, a visit to the Railway Museum’s latest permanent exhibit, train coach No. 313, is an ideal place to start. Manufactured in 1921, the third-class coach ran between Tsim Sha Tsui and Lo Wu. It was retired when the Kowloon-Canton Railway switched to full electrification in the early 1980s. However, being kept outdoors and exposed to the elements inevitably corroded some of its metal structures. The Leisure & Cultural Services Department proposed to the Legislative Council in 2017 to conserve, repair and relocate the train coach as part of the Railway Museum’s revamp. “It is actually the second oldest train coach in Hong Kong. Some structures had corroded and were damaged. We had to remove the corroded parts and repaint it,” Conservation Office Curator Jonathan Tse explained. The train coach was kept in a shipyard for a year to undergo its conservation treatment as skilled workers, equipment and space for the conservation were available there. Route strategyAfter the treatment, the Conservation Office and the Railway Museum decided to transport train coach No. 313 to Tai Po by road.“The train coach is about 20m long and up to 5m in height. It weighs 32 tonnes and is as long as two double-decker buses. We had to carefully plan how to transport the train coach by checking the width of the roads and carrying out risk assessments,” Mr Tse said. He also noted that this was the first time a local museum had to transport such an enormous historic relic on land. The team spent a lot of time designing the route and consulted many departments including the Transport Department, Highways Department and Police.Due to the sheer size of coach No. 313, a special route was planned that avoided going through tunnels. The Transport Department had also suggested transporting it at 1am as the volume of traffic would be relatively low after midnight. The train coach wound its way along a 60km route through Tsing Kwai Highway, Tuen Mun Road, San Tin Highway, Sheung Shui and Fanling to Tai Po.“The greatest challenge was the last stretch of the route as the Railway Museum is on a narrow street. We had to co-ordinate with Police and close the road that morning so we could get the train coach in,” Mr Tse added.There were also a lot of train enthusiasts waiting at the destination for a glimpse of the historic relic, so workers needed to be extra careful manoeuvring it. Before it could settle into its new home, there was one final job to complete. The train coach had to be placed back on to its bogie structure which was removed for the road trip. Memorable rideHeritage Museum Assistant Curator I Tsang Chi-hung said the Railway Museum was the perfect place for the train coach to be on permanent display.“It experienced two locomotive generations - steam and diesel. It was pulled by a steam engine on its first journeys. In the 1950s, the engines changed to diesel. The Kowloon-Canton Railway switched to full electrification in the early 1980s. Train coach No. 313 then retired.”Mr Tsang pointed out that the train coach holds a special place in the memories of many Hong Kong people and encouraged seniors to share their experience of it with their grandchildren at the Railway Museum. Due to the current COVID-19 health precautions, visitors cannot board the exhibit. However, there are newly added artefacts, train models and historical photos as well as video and multimedia programmes in the revamped exhibition gallery for visitors to explore the past and present of Hong Kong railways. Please visit the museum’s website for updates and details.  

Regulation of amusement ride safety

Many people love to visit theme parks to go on the exciting and thrilling amusement rides for the sheer sensation of speed and centrifugal forces. In the carnival held along the Central Harbourfront in 2018, there were different kinds of amusement rides available for the public to “have the fullest fun”. You may wish to know that, five months before the opening of the carnival, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) had in fact started the vetting process of the amusement rides applications to ensure a fun and safe experience for visitors. This time, we have invited two colleagues from the EMSD to introduce how the department oversees the inspection and maintenance of the rides to ensure public safety.The 5th Great European Carnival, launched in Hong Kong in December 2018, came to a close in February 2019. There were about 30 amusement rides on-site. Apart from the rides that were on offer before, including the Flying Swing, Compact Spinning Coaster and Mach 5 (of which the vertical arms and seats can spin 360 degrees in the air), five new rides were also introduced into Hong Kong for the first time.Requiring “Permit to Use and Operate”As early as two months before the launch, a team of the General Legislation Division of the EMSD had kick-started its regulatory work on the amusement rides. According to Engineer of the EMSD, Mr. CHAN Chi-pui, all amusement rides that are open for public use, including those in theme parks and other sites, must be granted with the “Permit to Use and Operate”. The department will first assess the design of each amusement ride. Passing the design approval is just the first step for the operators. With the design approved, they must then install the amusement rides in accordance to the approved designs, arrange an independent surveyor to conduct a thorough test and employ a qualified competent person to be responsible for the subsequent operation and maintenance of the rides.Among those important tasks for EMSD, one of them is to oversee the non-destructive tests of amusement rides by monitoring the surveyors on conducting non-destructive tests on critical welds in order to ensure that the rides can bear the stress and loading. Other items to be examined include electricity safety test, full or half loaded operation test, emergency drills, etc. The EMSD will issue the “Permit to Use and Operate” to the operators only when all testing results are satisfactory. Colleagues need to be “bold and cautious”The General Legislation Division of the EMSD has a total of six engineers and inspectors in charge of the regulatory duty of amusement rides safety. As Mr CHAN Chi-pui describes it, they need to be “bold and cautious”, and have extensive professional knowledge of electricity, machinery and different operating systems. When supervising the testing of amusement rides, they must make bold assumptions and raise different possible scenarios to surveyors. They have to stand firm in requiring that the designs of the machines are in line with international standards. Stringent tests were conducted to ensure that the amusement rides are safe to public use.Regarding the difficulties they face, Mr CHAN Chi-pui says that all operators want to commence business as soon as possible after taking over the venue. However, based on his past experience, such venues are often not available to operators until two weeks or so before a carnival opens. Because of the tight schedule, his colleagues need to work overtime to have all the licensing work completed. Carrying out surprise inspectionsThe regulatory work by the EMSD will continue after the amusement rides are in operation. For example, inspection work will be carried out to ensure the operators fully comply with the procedures in carrying out daily maintenance and checking on the rides. Inspector of the EMSD, Mr LEE Yuk-tung, says that the department will also conduct surprise inspections on the amusement rides in the venue. And upon receipt of a complaint, or in the event of occurrence of reportable incidents on the rides, they will immediately go to the venue for investigation for follow-up actions to safeguard the safe operation of all amusement rides.Each year, there are brand new amusement rides for the EMSD to handle. Mr LEE Yuk-tung says that the department will ask the operators to submit additional design review reports to highlight aspects which we need to pay more attention on. As the operators of the carnival came from different countries, they have different styles of operation and our colleagues have opportunities not only to communicate with different people, but also to come into contact with and get to know various operating methodology of the electrical and mechanical devices. These are all valuable working experiences which cannot be found elsewhere.The EMSD is the guardian in charge of the safeguarding on electrical and mechanical safety. The dedicated team responsible for amusement rides need to be on standby duty even at weekends and on holidays. Needless to say, operators of amusement rides also have the responsibility to ensure proper maintenance and safe operation of the rides. On top of that, members of the public must also be aware of their own health and abilities, before taking part to ride on the amusement rides. By that, fun and safety can be assured at the same time. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

First Modular Integrated Construction residential project

As technology advances, the construction industry continues to upgrade with the times to make the building process faster and safer. Hong Kong’s first public works project adopting Modular Integrated Construction (MiC), is the Disciplined Services Quarters for the Fire Services Department at Pak Shing Kok, Tseung Kwan O. It is also the first residential project constructed with this innovative construction technology under the co-operation of the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) and a contractor.Innovative construction methods bringing multiple benefitsInterior fitting out takes place after the completion of the building structural frame in conventional construction, which requires more workers and longer construction time, and generates more substantial construction wastage on sites. MiC, on the contrary, adopts the concept of “factory assembly followed by on-site installation”, where a building is divided into freestanding modules and the labour-intensive and time-consuming process can be accomplished in a factory before the modules are transported to the site for installation like piling up building blocks. In this manner, it not only minimises the duration of works on site, but also enhances productivity, site safety, environmental performance and cost-effectiveness. One may say that MiC brings multiple benefits.The project of the Disciplined Services Quarters for the Fire Services Department at Pak Shing Kok, Tseung Kwan O, comprises five quarters blocks, among which four have 16 storeys and one has 17 storeys. With 8 units on each floor, the quarters will provide 648 three-bedroom units of 50 square metres. The Director of Architectural Services, Mrs LAM YU Ka-wai, Sylvia, says the project commenced in August in 2019 and the construction process has been accelerated due to the adoption of MiC. The contractor expects the project to be completed by the end of 2020, earlier than the contractual completion date of the second quarter of 2021. Interior finishes and fittings completedThe development consists of about 3 800 modules commonly known as “boxes”. Each box has had most of its finishes, interior fittings, fixtures, etc, assembled ahead in the factory. According to Project Manager Ms AU Siu-man, Amy, of the ArchSD, more than 10 percent of the boxes have been installed at the construction site so far. Block Two, the tallest among the five blocks, has had four storeys installed. She says that the department consulted with the Water Supplies Department, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department and the Fire Services Department regarding the project’s inspection and acceptance standards at the end of last year. Between June and July in 2019, a visit was conducted by the ArchSD and related departments to the contractor’s factory on the mainland to inspect the assembly of the boxes, and to ensure their safe transportation. The process of lifting a module and fitting it to a designated spot, taking only about 15 minutes to complete the entire process. Inside the unit , some essential fittings, partitions and fixtures (such as floor tiles, window grilles, a bathtub, a washbasin, kitchen cabinets and plumbing works) were already in place. Walls had also been painted or paved with tiles.Five days to assemble a storeyThe contractor’s Project Director, Mr NGAN Siu-tak, Emil, says that more than 80 percent of the interior fitting-out processes are completed in a prefabrication yard. The fitting of the modules to the building calls for precise calculations. It takes about five working days to assemble each floor, and 30 minutes to install a module. Lifting units to higher floors takes around five minutes longer. Setting an example for the construction industryIn recent years, the Government has proactively adopted MiC in various public works, with pilot projects including the InnoCell of the Hong Kong Science Park and the Wong Chuk Hang student hostel project of the University of Hong Kong. The second MiC project of the ArchSD, i.e. the Construction of a Multi-welfare Services Complex in Area 29 of Kwu Tung North New Development Area, will commence this month. It is hoped that by piloting the MiC technology in public projects, the Government can set an example for the construction industry and give practitioners greater confidence to use MiC in their projects. In the long run, it is hoped that through this construction technology, which is relatively new to Hong Kong, the industry will overcome severe challenges such as high costs and labour shortages they have been facing in recent years, and together we will promote the sustainable development of the construction sector. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Smart sensing technology to monitor tree stability

Every year before the onset of wet season, tree management departments will complete Tree Risk Assessments (TRAs) and implement appropriate risk mitigation measures to protect tree health and public safety. In recent years, the Government has launched several pilot schemes to explore the use of technology in tree management to enhance its quality and efficiency. Here we invited a colleague of the Greening, Landscape and Tree Management Section (GLTMS) of the Development Bureau (DEVB) to talk about tree inspections before wet season. We also invited Dr WONG Man-sing, Charles, Associate Professor of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), to introduce how to apply smart sensing technology to monitor tree stability.Risk assessments before wet seasonAccording to the “Guidelines on Tree Risk Assessment and Management Arrangement”, every year before the onset of wet season, tree management departments are required to complete TRAs in areas with high pedestrian and traffic flow professionally and systematically and implement appropriate risk mitigation measures based on the assessment results, such as crown pruning and installation of support systems. Dangerous trees with untreatable problems need to be removed as soon as possible to safeguard public safety. Mr TSANG Kwok-on, the GLTMS’s Tree Management Officer, said that tree inspection personnel mainly perform ground inspection to examine and assess various parts of a tree, including the crown, leaves, branches, trunk, roots and the surrounding environment of the tree, etc. Inspection personnel would also employ tools to aid their work, for example, using a plastic mallet to tap the trunk to assess its structural condition and using binoculars to observe the growing conditions of the higher branches and leaves. If necessary, inspection personnel would climb up the tree to inspect the hidden parts from different angles. If decay or other structural problems are found or suspected, they would use a resistograph or sonic tomograph (pictured) to examine the internal structural condition of the tree. Applying smart sensing technology in tree managementUnder adverse weather such as rainstorm or typhoon, it is inevitable that trees would suffer different degrees of damage. A research team formed by DEVB, the PolyU and other tertiary institutions is conducting a 3-year Jockey Club Smart City Tree Management Project to monitor tree stability on a large scale through smart sensing technology and Geographic Information System. The research team will assess the risk of tree failure by monitoring trees’ swaying or tilting condition, thereby strengthening tree risk management.Dr WONG Man-sing, Charles, Associate Professor of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics of the PolyU, said that the sensors are installed at the lower trunks of the trees to assess the trees’ tilting angles and directions, and the data would then be sent to the university’s data centre via network transmission for big data analytics. If it is shown that the tilting angle of the lower trunk of the tree exceeds the threshold, the system would immediately send an alert to the designated parties to undertake timely and appropriate risk mitigation measures. Large-scale monitoring of tree stabilityDr WONG said that the Smart Sensing Technology pilot scheme started in February in 2019. An initial trial was conducted in Tai Tong, Yuen Long, to set reference for the design of sensors and monitoring system. Upon fine tuning the system, the research team has installed the second batch of sensors in Wan Chai and Kowloon East districts to test the network transmission performance in urban areas. The whole pilot scheme involves the installation of a total of 8 000 sensors on selected urban trees and all stonewall trees across Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, which will be completed in phases between the end of 2019 and early 2020. The trees are mainly located in areas with high pedestrian and traffic flow such as pavements, slopes and parks.Trees are very much intertwined with our daily lives. In an urbanised city like Hong Kong, trees let us have a green living environment. While we make our best endeavours to manage tree risks, we also need private property owners and property management companies to conduct proper tree care within their properties. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Pier improvement projects

The Government has earlier put forward a Pier Improvement Programme (PIP) to improve the facilities of public piers in remote areas to facilitate the public and tourists to access outing destinations and natural heritage sites, and to respond to local requests for meeting the basic needs of villagers that rely on boats as their main transport mode and supporting fishermen’s operation. 10 pier improvement projects in the first phaseAt present, there are more than 100 public piers in Hong Kong. Although the Government has been carrying out regular inspections and maintenance to ensure structural integrity of these piers, some of them require the soonest improvement as they are starting to age after being in service for years, or because they are unable to cope with the current operational needs. Apart from enhancing the structural integrity of the piers in phases, the PIP will also improve existing facilities and provide ancillary facilities. The first phase covers 10 remote public piers in the New Territories and outlying islands, including those located within the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark at Tung Ping Chau, Lai Chi Wo, Sham Chung, Lai Chi Chong, High Island, etc.The CEDD has already carried out technical feasibility studies and preliminary designs for the pier improvement projects under the first phase of the PIP. Environmental impact assessments are in progress for some projects located within environmentally sensitive areas like marine parks. Reconstruction of Pak Kok Pier on Lamma IslandThe Pak Kok Pier is located at the northern part of Lamma Island. The pier was first built by villagers and reconstructed in the 1970s and 1990s. Now used by around 400 ferry passengers daily, the pier does not allow for a gangplank to be placed due to its primitive design. Instead, boats can only berth head-on for passengers to embark and disembark at the bow, leaving the boats susceptible to rough sea conditions. The berthing situation is unsatisfactory and reconstruction is called for an improvement.According to the engineer of the CEDD Ms Eunice HUI, the existing Pak Kok Pier will maintain normal operation during reconstruction. Upon commissioning, the new pier will not only provide more berthing spaces but also allow boats to berth side-on, making boarding and alighting easier and safer. Besides, the new pier will come with new design and ancillary facilities, such as a roof cover, a ramp, seats, WiFi, a drinking fountain, etc.Striving to advance the implementation of the second phaseThe CEDD has consulted local communities and stakeholders on the first phase of the PIP. The public have shown welcome and support to the PIP, and some have suggested expanding its scale and accelerating its implementation. Villagers expecting the works to commence soonThe indigenous inhabitant representative, Mr CHOW Hing-fook, who has been living in Pak Kok San Tsuen for more than 75 years, says the Pak Kok Pier is rather dilapidated after years of usage and villagers are looking forward to its reconstruction. In his opinion, as the new pier is designed by professionals, its facilities will provide convenient access for old villagers, while wheelchair users can wheel up to the side of a boat to get aboard. Trusting that the new pier will be very useful to villagers, he hopes the works will commence as soon as possible.Hong Kong is home to the world-famous Geopark, marine parks, historical heritage, and eco-tourism attractions, which are well-received among tourists. Some of the piers after improvement can not only facilitate residents in remote areas to travel, but also support green tourism advocated by the Government, including cultural tourism, geo-tourism and eco-tourism, so as to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of the outing destinations and natural heritage. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

What you need to know when applying for AO

Roles and DutiesAOs take up different positions in bureaux and departments, as well as district, Mainland and overseas offices in the Government at regular intervals. Through regular rotation of jobs, AOs receive wide exposure and acquire expertise in different policy areas, as well as develop multi-skills and accumulate rich experience in public administration. Not only are they required to possess a good understanding of their respective policy areas, they should also be alert and sensitive in listening to the views of different stakeholders and members of the public so that they are able to approach policy work with the overall public interest in mind. In formulating policies that contribute to the long-term development and benefits of Hong Kong, AOs also work closely with members of professional grades both within and outside the Government (such as various regulatory authorities and statutory bodies). Annual Recruitment Timeline*The information below is FOR REFERENCE ONLY. The actual periods and details of events will be announced nearer the events. You are advised to refer to the announcements made by then.>>Beginning of Recruitment Cycle<<JUL/AUG: Application Period for the Common Recruitment Examination (CRE) and Basic Law Test (BLT) SEP/OCT: Application Period for the AO PostOCT: CRE and BLTDEC: Joint Recruitment Examination (JRE)following yearFEB/MAR: Preliminary InterviewMAR/APR: Final InterviewJUN/JUL: First Batch of Offers of Appointment (Subject to completion of recruitment formalities)JUL/AUG: First Batch of New Recruits Reporting Duty>>End of Recruitment Cycle<< Entry Requirements1. Permanent Residency (At the time of appointment, must be a permanent resident of HKSAR; AND resided in Hong Kong for not less than 7 years.)2. Qualification (A first or second class honours bachelor’s degree from a Hong Kong university, or equivalent; OR A postgraduate degree from a Hong Kong university, or equivalent, where the qualifications considered in totality are comparable to the requirement in (i).)3. Good Command of both Chinese and English (Meeting the language proficiency requirement of Level 2 in the two language papers (Use of Chinese and Use of English) in the Common Recruitment Examination (CRE), or EQUIVALENT.)4. Aptitude Test (A Pass in the Aptitude Test in the Common Recruitment Examination (CRE).) Remuneration Package1. Starting SalaryPitched at Point 27 of the Master Pay Scale, which is at present HK$55,995 per month2. Annual Vacation LeaveAnnual vacation leave of 18 days per year3. Fringe BenefitsFree medical and dental treatment. On reaching Point 34 of the Master Pay Scale, officers will become eligible for housing benefits (a non-accountable cash allowance)4. Retirement BenefitMandatory Provident Fund on appointment on probationary terms; Civil Service Provident Fund on appointment on permanent terms. For more details, please visit the AO Recruitment website.And we have invited two young Adminstrative Officers Vincent and Kiki to share their reasons of serving at the Administrative Officer Grade, working experience and interview tips. Don't miss the sharing if you are interested in the Administrative Officer Grade!  (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese)

Task force on “waste reduction at source” at reservoirs

Currently there are 17 impounding reservoirs in Hong Kong, in which a variety of living organisms such as algae, zooplankton, and fish can be found. These living organisms grow naturally in a state of ecological balance. However, the water quality of some of the reservoirs have been affected by an excessive growth of algae. Therefore, to ensure an ecological balance and to maintain good water quality, the Water Supplies Department (WSD) maintains a certain quantity of fish, which feed on algae, in such reservoirs by stocking fish fry into them regularly. Here we have invited colleagues from the WSD to tell us more about the “fish army” and the work of “reservoir fishermen” at the reservoirs.Fish army to prevent excessive growth of algaeWaterworks Chemist of the WSD, Mr TANG Ho-wai paid a site visit to Plover Cove Reservoir with colleagues recently. According to Mr TANG, the prolonged sunlight exposure and the relatively high level of nutrients in some of the reservoirs are favourable conditions for the growth of algae. For reservoirs that have experienced an excessive algae growth, the department regularly stocks fish fry, which feed on phytoplankton, into them. This method is particularly effective in regulating the growth of algae. The fish army in the reservoirs of Hong Kong is mainly made up of Silver Carp, Big Head, and Mud Carp.The Silver Carp is a filter feeder that mainly lives right below the water surface. With its fine gill rakers, the Silver Carp can filter and feed on small phytoplankton. The Big Head is an omnivorous fish that stays in the upper and middle layers of water, feeding on both phytoplankton and zooplankton. The Mud Carp mainly stays in the middle and bottom layers of water and feeds on organic detritus. Members of the fish army perform their functions at different water depths. As Silver Carp and Big Head are river fish which require a high flow of water to induce spawning and cannot reproduce in the still water of reservoirs, fish fry are regularly stocked into the reservoirs by the WSD. “Gill-netting” by reservoir fishermenMr TANG Ho-wai says to us that, to monitor the water quality and ecological environments of the reservoirs, the WSD regularly takes water samples from reservoirs for testing. In addition, gill-net surveys are conducted regularly to monitor the condition of fish to ensure an ecological balance in the reservoirs. According to Mr TANG Ho-wai, past monitoring records show that the water quality of the reservoirs in Hong Kong remains satisfactory.On the topic of “fishing”, we have to introduce two artisans (fishing), also known as “reservoir fishermen” – Mr KWOK Tai-hei and Mr YIP Chi-on, from the WSD. They leave for a reservoir every day early in the morning and spend almost the whole day working on a boat, with one steering the boat and the other casting a fishing net into the reservoir. Gill-netting is conducted at various monitoring points regularly to monitor the fish in the reservoirs. Basic information of fish, including the species and sizes, and their share of the population, is recorded. At the same time, they take water samples for testing at the laboratory to monitor water quality. Monitoring water quality in reservoirs in the front lineMr KWOK Tai-hei, who has been working at the reservoirs for 29 years, will retire in a few months. With extensive experience in the job, he shares that the water surface of the reservoirs may look calm, but actually it is no different from the sea under unstable weather conditions. In particular in the monsoon season when high winds come, white caps on wave top over reservoir water surface can also be seen. Furthermore, when casting a fishing net into a reservoir, one should be able to keep the net away from the intake points to prevent the net from being sucked in. Mr KWOK Tai-hei wants to pass on his work experience over the past years to his colleagues and remind them to pay attention to work safety at all times.Mr YIP Chi-on, who has been in the industry for six years, says that he enjoys “fishing” in the reservoirs. The duties of “reservoir fishermen” also include patrolling at the reservoirs and monitoring the situation inside the reservoirs. For example, if an excessive growth of algae is identified in a reservoir, they need to report to the department as soon as possible to enable timely handling and follow-up actions.The WSD always attaches great importance to the water quality in the reservoirs. Apart from using fish to control and prevent excessive growth of algae, the department will also explore new technology for enhanced monitoring of water quality, for example, exploring the deployment of unmanned surface vessels to conduct water sampling. The frontline crew is responsible of monitoring the sources of drinking water to ensure the quality of reservoir water and maintain the safety of drinking water in Hong Kong.   (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Launching the Study Sponsorship Scheme to nurture arboriculture practitioners

With growing concerns over tree management and maintenance in the society, the Government has recognised the need to nurture more talents with related knowledge and skills. The Development Bureau (DEVB) announced that the Study Sponsorship Scheme (the Scheme) under the Urban Forestry Support Fund (the Fund) is open for application to encourage more youngsters to join the arboriculture and horticulture industry, so as to build up the industry's strength and capability to keep our urban forest healthy, thereby protecting public safety. Here we have invited a youngster who has applied for the study sponsorship to share with us his experience in undertaking an arboriculture programme. Meanwhile, a colleague of the Greening, Landscape and Tree Management Section (GLTMS) of the DEVB and a lecturer of an educational institute will talk to us about the details of the Scheme and the training of arboriculture practitioners.Providing sponsorships for the training of arborists and tree workersThe Fund, launched by the DEVB this year, offers training for people who aspire to join the arboriculture and horticulture industry, so as to uplift the professional standards of the practitioners as a whole and thus to ensure tree management quality. Earlier, the Scheme under the Fund was open for application to sponsor the training of youngsters to become arborists and tree workers. Under the Scheme, study sponsorship will be offered to applicants who undertake and complete recognised arboriculture, tree management and tree work programmes at Level 2 to Level 5 of the Qualifications Framework (QF) offered by local vocational, tertiary and training institutions.Full of opportunities in the arboriculture industryMr LEUNG Yat-fat enrolled in the Certificate in Integrated Tree Climbing course offered by the Tree Climbing Hong Kong and spent about three months to complete the course. Techniques such as tree climbing and how to work safely on trees were taught in the course. He says that safety is the top priority in arboriculture training. Before attempting to climb trees, students will first practise on a wooden structure made of iron pipes and bamboo sticks. Tree climbing is a relatively high-intensity physical activity and muscles of the whole body are involved. Sometimes students may feel as if they are having a heat stroke when climbing under the boiling sun. However, as long as one follows the steps and has a strong will, one can adapt gradually.Mr LEUNG Yat-fat believes that the arboriculture and horticulture industry is full of opportunities. After Typhoon Mangkhut in 2018, the Government has injected more resources to facilitate the sustainable development of the industry, which means there will be more job and promotion opportunities. Upon assessment, he has obtained a recognised qualification at QF Level 3. In order to enrich himself with more arboriculture skills, he has seized the opportunity offered by the Scheme to enrol in the course of Certificate in Petrol Chainsaw Use and Maintenance and Tree Trimming , and will apply for study sponsorship. Benefitting around 300 students per cohortMr TSANG Kwok-on, a Tree Management Officer of the GLTMS, DEVB, says there is a manpower shortage in the arboriculture and horticulture industry and the shortage of arborists and tree workers is more serious. The DEVB estimated that there were around 2 300 arboriculture practitioners in Hong Kong as at 2015 and the Scheme will benefit around 300 students per cohort to help nurture adequate and quality practitioners to support local tree management and maintenance work.Subsidies attracting enrolment of young peopleLecturer of the Department of Applied Science of the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Shatin), Mr HO Ka-chai, Chris, welcomes the Scheme provided by the DEVB, which will attract more youngsters to enrol in related courses and join the industry. Apart from offering programme in the Higher Diploma in Conservation and Tree Management, the institute also provides part-time programmes for practitioners, covering various aspects such as tree work supervision, tree climbing, chainsaw training, etc., and offering 20 to 80 places each year. He encourages youngsters who are interested in arboriculture and horticulture to enrol in these programmes. In particular, arboriculture work involves operations in different environments and is suitable for youngsters who like challenges, natural environment and outdoor activities. Trainee Programme to train arborists and tree climbersFurthermore, the Trainee Programme under the Fund was open for application from employers earlier (10 August), with a view to encouraging employers to engage arboriculture and tree management graduates and offer them on-the-job training to acquire working experience, paving the way for qualified arborists and tree climbers in the future. The programme is expected to benefit around 100 related graduates each year.The arboriculture and horticulture industry in Hong Kong is young and evolving, which offers youngsters good opportunities for self-enhancement and career development. With the Fund mentioned above, we will continue to promote the healthy and sustainable development of the industry and uplift the professional standards of the practitioners, thereby keeping our urban forest healthy and promoting a more liveable environment. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese)  (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

A different school design

A comfortable learning environment is crucial to the development of our students, and a people-oriented school design would create a pleasant atmosphere that encourages exploration and interaction among children on the campus. Here we will take you on a tour of the Po Leung Kuk Stanley Ho Sau Nan Primary School, another project undertaken by the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) in the Kai Tak Development Area (KTDA), to learn more about the effort put into the project, from planning, design to completion. We will also see how architects have thought out of the box and worked hard to create an ideal campus for the students.Unlike the traditional school buildings, the Po Leung Kuk Stanley Ho Sau Nan Primary School adopts a low-rise 4-storey design, with the basketball court “innovatively” accommodated on the first floor in the middle of the school campus, thus creating a focal point that brings students, classrooms and outdoor spaces all together. In keeping with the concept of sustainable development of the KTDA, the campus has incorporated many green elements. For example, the facades are built with fair-faced concrete to reduce the need for extra finishing materials, and vertical greening is supported by timber and metal screen panels and sunshades to lessen the electricity burden for air-conditioning and create a natural and comfortable setting for the campus. Site-specific design approach      Integration into the communityAs the school is surrounded by residential blocks and highways nearby, the design team has adopted a site-specific design approach to make good use of the surrounding environment. There is a small square outside the school entrance that can be used as a waiting area for parents to pick up and drop off their children. In addition, the architects have used low fence walls instead of high walls to remove the sense of isolation of the campus from the outside. With a higher level of visual permeability, the school can integrate better into the community. Furthermore, in terms of layout, the school and its neighbouring SKH Holy Cross Primary School have been setback from the tall buildings across the road in order to create a sense of spaciousness, facilitate ventilation and help reduce the impact of road traffic noise. As the two schools are separated only by plants, this cleverly designed communal garden can serve to strengthen their connections.Ingenious layout      Connectivity between spatial areasThe Director of Architectural Services, Mrs LAM YU Ka-wai, Sylvia, pointed out that the design team had maintained close communication and interaction with the school when designing the campus in the hope of creating an ideal school environment together. I know that the campus has been built using the design concept of traditional walled villages. Colleagues told me that while a walled village has an ancestral hall and a study hall, the school has an assembly hall, a library and classrooms , all of which housed in three building blocks surrounding the ball court in the centre and linked up together using corridors, gardens and link bridges. The stairs lead to various spatial areas and connect the many functional spaces to one another. All these arrangements can shorten distances, encourage interaction and create an atmosphere of a small community within the school campus. Substantial greening      Building with heartThe greening ratio of the school reaches 30% with green terraces and roofs on various levels. On the day of our visit, several students told us that their favourite place in school is the library with its luxuriant lawn outside exuding an air of tranquility. The floor-to-ceiling glass panels at the entrance of the library are another distinctive feature, which, according to the design team, is intended to link up the indoor and outdoor spaces. This not only brings the natural landscape into the library for an enhanced sense of visual permeability and spaciousness, but also takes school activities outdoors for expanded learning spaces. Students can pick up a book and go outside to sit on the lawn, which makes their reading experience more pleasurable.Regarding construction materials, the school uses metal frames, timber screen panels and steel fences to create a variety of spatial areas with different levels of visual permeability. Large-sized floor-to-ceiling glass panels are used for classroom windows on all floors to let in more daylight and increase the sense of spaciousness. Green plants such as bamboo are specially planted outside some classroom windows not only to function as screens and provide shelter from the scorching sun, but also, according to the school principal, Ms KAM Yim-mui, to create a serene, relaxed and cultural environment on the campus to help cultivate students’ moral character. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese)  (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

“Mountain cutting and rock breaking” (rock blasting and breaking)

Colleagues from the Mines Division of the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) of the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) will take us to Lam Tei Quarry in Tuen Mun, which is the only existing quarry operating in Hong Kong, to appreciate the quarry operation and the work of the Mines Division in supervising   the use of explosives for “mountain cutting and rock breaking” (rock blasting and breaking) in the quarry.Lam Tei Quarry was established in the 1960’s and has operated under contract since 1982.  The quarry is located about 3 km north of Tuen Mun New Town, covering an area of about 30 hectares.  According to the Senior Geotechnical Engineer of the Mines Division, Mr HUNG Kin-chung, Roy, the quarry has been operating for about 40 years, presently accounting for 5% of the total supply of rock products used in Hong Kong.  Operation of Lam Tei Quarry is scheduled for completion in 2023, when the site will be released for development use.Quarry not only to produce rock productsA quarry can produce about 70,000 tonnes of rock products each month. Following drilling and blasting of a rock mass, the blasted rock will be carried by trucks/conveyors from the blast location to rock crushers for crushing, screening and sorting into aggregates or other rock products in different sizes for construction uses, including production of concrete and asphalt.Aggregates are essential for the production of concrete and asphalt.  Integrating the production lines of concrete and asphalt with quarrying as a one-stop operation in a quarry can achieve a better efficiency in handling/moving of rock aggregates for   processing to the concrete or asphalt. It also saves time, lowers costs and reduces carbon emissions.  Besides, quarries can also help to receive the surplus rock generated from local construction projects and recycling it into useful aggregates and other rock products. From manual stone breaking to rock blastingQuarrying in old days was labour intensive. Workers would have to manually break up a large rock blocks, using hammers, chisels and steel wedges, into aggregates in different sizes for use, the process of which is called “stone breaking”.  At that time, limited considerations were given to the safety and health of workers, as well as the environmental impact of the quarry operations.  However, the situation has improved since the 1960s when the Government enacted new regulations to better control the use of explosives and the workplace safety in quarries.Stone breaking is no longer used in quarrying. Nowadays, “controlled blasting” will be used for rock extraction from a rock mass.  According to the Explosives Officer 1 of Mines Division, Mr TSE Wai-tong, the current blasting techniques have been well developed to make blasting safe and efficient.  Nevertheless, quarry operators are required to apply for and obtain approval from Mines Division for blasting to ensure that the blast design, arrangement and monitoring plan are in line with the safety and environmental standards prior to the proposed blast.Mr TSE Wai-tong also pointed out that no matter how big a blast is, its impact cannot be ignored and safety issues should never be discarded.   Protective measures such as blasting cages and vertical screens would have to be provided at the blast locations, with a view to protecting against flyrock (projected rock fragments) affecting workers and adjacent facilities.Mitigation of environmental impactsAccording to Senior Explosives Officer of the Mines Division, Mr LEUNG Pak-ming, before the cartridge explosives and detonators are placed in predrilled blast holes at the blast location, the Mines Division will deliver the required explosives from the Government Explosives Depots to the site at the contractor’s request. In order to minimise the environmental impacts of vibration, air overpressure and noise due to blasting, delayed firing at each blast hole can be carried out using detonators suitably arranged at different time delays.According to Mr LEUNG Pak-ming, blasting is required for rock excavation in many infrastructure projects involving site formation works, tunneling, etc. In order to facilitate  blasting by early morning, colleagues may have to start work in the early hours after midnight. Regarding the working environment, they may have to work underground (e.g. in deep excavations or tunnels) where the environment is hot and stuffy. The discomfort, particularly when carrying heavy equipment, is beyond description.Whether the Anderson Road Quarry, which has just accomplished its historical mission, or Lam Tei Quarry, being the only quarry still operating, many workers have taken part in the activities of “mountain cutting and rock breaking”. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese)  (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

New Approach to Mitigate Traffic Noise at Public Housing Development Projects (Housing Department, Environmental Protection Department, Buildings Department)

"Hong Kong is a metropolitan with many people and vehicles. Traffic noise is unavoidable. Therefore, we began to think if we could make use of innovative technology to resolve the problem." Senior Project Officer, Environmental Protection Department, Yeung Kwok-leung, Maurice said."We improved the double-glazed window that was used in Hong Kong to come up with the design of this “Acoustic Window”. We made one of the “Acoustic Windows”, and conducted tests at laboratory for technical information. We also conducted researches and studies with colleagues from the Housing Department, and invited colleagues from the Buildings Department to participate in the designing of the window. Three departments collaborated in this project. Maurice said, "At least 20 developments of the Housing Departments will adopt the acoustic windows. Of course, some of the developments have been completed and are currently occupied. What made us happy was when residents said, "We don’t have to close the windows at all. It is very cool indoors and noise has been reduced. Thank you very much!” This compliment was so heart-warming." Hong Kong is a densely populated place. Busy city activities inevitably create noise, causing nuisance to the public, and traffic noise is often a major issue. In view of this, the Housing Department in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Department and Buildings Department has designed the acoustic windows and acoustic balconies installation in the public housing estates.In Shun Lai House of the Yau Lai Estate, some units are facing the portal of the Eastern Harbour Crossing with heavy traffic, and in the nearby area, there are also quarries and construction sites. The Housing Department installed acoustic windows in these units to reduce noise nuisance caused to the residents. Resident Mr. Law said, "I’ve left the acoustic windows open at night and I could hear the noisy traffic. It becomes very quiet when I closed the acoustic windows. I can sleep until dawn. I keep the acoustic windows open in the day time for good ventilation and to keep the place cool. It is environment-friendly as I don’t need to turn on the air conditioning often!" Mr Law, the resident, highly appreciates the design of the acoustic windows which reduces the traffic noise, and it is easy to take care of them. Mr Fung, who also lives in Shun Lai House, thinks that the design of the acoustic windows caters well for the needs of the residents. Another resident Mr. Fung said, "It provides an additional layer of glazing. When I hang my clothes outside, I just slide open the acoustic window. The windows on both sides can be pushed open like this."The design of the acoustic window looks simple, but it has come a long way from design, development through to implementation. It was a collaboration project of the Housing Department, Environmental Protection Department and Buildings Department. With the use of innovative technology, and based on the concept of “people-orientation” and “sustainable development”, we successfully implemented the acoustic window.Architect, Housing Department, Ngai Pui-yan, Jo said, "The Housing Department strives to optimise the use of our scarce land resources. In every project, we make sure that the land usage will deliver the best possible benefits. We aim to provide a good quality living environment for the residents based on the “people-oriented” design concept, and alleviating the impact of traffic noise in building design is one of our key goals. For years, building design in Hong Kong has evolved to deal with the traffic noise impact. In 2009, the Housing Department, Environmental Protection Department and Buildings Department collaborated to develop various measures on mitigating the traffic noise impact.Yeung Kwok-leung, Maurice said, "We came up with this simple design of a quasi double-glazed window, which has an alley between the two layers of glasses. Then we made use of the principle of sound absorption, diffraction and reflection to achieve the noise reduction effect. Based on this concept, we carried out simulations in the laboratory and obtained positive results. We then shared our findings with colleagues of the Housing Department. They agreed that it could be put to practical application."Building Surveyor, Buildings Department, Cheng Kam-ming, Anson added, "Traditionally, noise reduction and natural ventilation belong to two different and contradictory categories. Usually noise reduction is achieved at the expense of natural ventilation, and vice versa, good natural ventilation may compromise the noise reduction effect. We hope to devise a standard compliant acoustic window design, which meets the statutory requirements for natural ventilation, achieving noise reduction effect, and has wider applications as well."As soon as it was confirmed that the acoustic windows could be adopted to mitigate the traffic noise impact, the three departments worked together in the areas of design, exploring the choice of materials, ascertaining statutory requirements and users’ needs, etc. Our work included continuous testing in various aspects and data collection, modification and fine-tuning of the design. The idea of acoustic window was gradually turned into a reality. Ngai Pui-yan, Jo said, "We set up an actual size mock-up flat using the acoustic windows in San Po Kong, and conducted tests in comparison with the actual flat using conventional window design to verify that the acoustic window could reduce the traffic noise impact effectively, and at the same time maintain natural air ventilation and natural lighting, as well as other factors that we needed to take into consideration." Through collaborations and concerted efforts of departments, the acoustic windows were finally adopted in King Tai Court, which has its first occupants in 2017. As it is situated at a location impacted by heavy traffic, it was the first public housing estate fully installed with the acoustic windows. In 2018, the acoustic windows were formally introduced into the modular flat design of public housing estates. Yeung Kwok-leung, Maurice said, "We have a range of measures for different housing estates and for units of different sitting direction. For example, we can install sound absorption material to enhance the noise reduction effect. Overall speaking, having conducted testings and on-site verifications, we find that the acoustic window can reduce noise as high as 8 decibels. In general, if traffic flow is reduced by half, noise is reduced by 3 decibels. So it produces very satisfactory results." The design concept of acoustic window jointly developed by the Housing Department,  Environmental Protection Department and Buildings Department can also be deployed to construct “Acoustic Balconies”. The combined effort of the three departments in the  development of “acoustic windows”and “acoustic balconies” showcases an exemplary cross-departmental innovative collaboration. The Housing Department will continue to use the design concept of acoustic windows and acoustic balconies to optimise land resources and increase flat production. (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

Landslide Emergency Services and Slope Maintenance Teams (Civil Engineering and Development Department)

"My grandpa and uncle are engineers. As a kid, they nurtured my interest in this area. Back then, whenever I saw tunnels, I found them so remarkable. I was always wondering why a tunnel would not collapse." Geotechnical Engineer, Civil Engineering and Development Department, Fung Ka-wing told us."Hong Kong has lots of mountains and little flat land, and the population density is high. Every year, the Geotechnical Engineering Office receives about 300 reports on landslides." "Once, I arrived at a landslide site and I received a message at the same time that Super Typhoon Mangkhut would approach Hong Kong soon. I urged the villagers to move out temporarily as it was very dangerous. At first, the villagers did not listen to my recommendation. But I explained the situation to them patiently. Finally, they accepted it."He said, "Our top priority is to ensure the safety of the general public. We believe that they can feel it too." Hong Kong has a land area of about 1,100 km2. Around 60% of the land area consists of relatively steep natural terrain. During the rainy season, landslides occur frequently, with an average of 300 reported landslides in Hong Kong each year.The Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) of the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) has a slope safety management system in place to protect the general public from landslide hazards.When the Hong Kong Observatory issues a Landslide Warning or typhoon signal no. 8 or above, the Emergency Control Centre of the Geotechnical Engineering Office will be in operation.Over ten geotechnical engineers and technical officers will be on duty to provide geotechnical advice to government departments on handling landslide emergencies.Upon receiving landslide reports, geotechnical engineers will carry out site inspections and give advice to government departments to restore services and facilities disrupted by landslides.Geotechnical Engineer, Civil Engineering and Development Department, Ting Sui-man said, "Our top priority is to ensure the safety of the general public. If rescue work is required, we will collaborate with the Fire Services Department and provide advice to the Police on the areas to be cordoned off. We will also contact responsible works departments to carry out emergency slope works. It includes promptly covering the slopes with tarpaulin to prevent rainwater infiltration which may cause further landslides."When more serious landslides occur, the work of the geotechnical engineers will be even more hectic. In the evening of 29 August 2018, a massive landslide hit a road section of Fan Kam Road near Ta Shek Wu Tsuen. Both lanes of Fan Kam Road were closed due to inundation of debris and muddy water on the road.Geotechnical Engineer, Civil Engineering and Development Department, Fung Ka-wing said, "When I arrived at the site, the landslide debris from the hillside covered the entire road. The debris was up to knee level. I urged the villagers to move out temporarily."Resident, Angelina Yeung said, "I heard a “boom” and all of a sudden the debris rushed to near my house, and a van was bumped in. The Geotechnical Engineering Office used concrete blocks to build a barrier around the slope, covered the slope surface with tarpaulin and shotcrete the landslide scar."Angelina Yeung continued, "A lot of elderly people live here. They (CEDD) did a lot of works, some beyond their scope. They have been really helpful. And we are so grateful to them."The day after the landslide, staff of the Geotechnical Engineering Office and Survey Division visited the site again.They used drones and handheld laser scanners to quickly conduct landslide risk assessment. Detailed geographical data of the nearby natural terrain were collected, providing useful information for the design of emergency works.Geotechnical Engineer, Civil Engineering and Development Department, Choi Wai-kwok, Michael explained, "The data collected on site, i.e. the three-dimensional image, enabled our engineers to carry out landslide hazard study and to assess whether there is any immediate or long term landslide risk. Based on the estimated size and volume of potential further landslides, suitable engineering works would be carried out accordingly, such as the installation of soil nails and flexible barrier to protect Fan Kam Road at slope toe."Fan Kam Road is the main road connecting Fanling and Kam Tin. The landslide took place just before the school re-opening in September. To restore the road service as quickly as possible and to minimise disruption to the residents, the Geotechnical Engineering Office worked closely with the Highways Department. Immediate action was taken to mobilise the contractors to carry out emergency repair work at the critical location.Geotechnical Engineer, Civil Engineering and Development Department, Lo Ho-pong said, "Most of the landslide debris was accumulated at the mid-level of the hillside, posing subsequent landslide danger. The biggest challenge was how to deal with these debris. Our target was to re-open at least one lane of the road to cope with the traffic on the first day of school."He continued, "We discussed with our contractors and engineers on how to optimise the design to ensure that the construction works could be completed by 10 p.m. that night."Immediately after completion of Stage 1 emergency works, Stage 2 works was also successfully completed within the next two weeks. All these emergency works were essential for  preventing more severe landslides from happening when Super Typhoon Mangkhut hit Hong Kong.Actually, there are some other works of the Geotechnical Engineering Office that are closely related to the daily life of the general public.Geotechnical Engineer, Civil Engineering and Development Department, Chu Kei-hong said, "CEDD operates 90 raingauges in Hong Kong, which account for the majority amongst all government departments. The rainfall data collected by these raingauges enable us to have a clear picture of the rainfall condition of Hong Kong. This facilitates our joint decision with the Hong Kong Observatory on the issue or cancellation of a Landslide Warning."Chief Geotechnical Engineer, Civil Engineering and Development Department, Yeung Fei, Jenny said, "We are now facing the challenge of extreme rainfall events caused by global warming. We must stay alert, and cannot slack off. We will keep striving our best to serve the public, and to protect their lives and properties from the threats of landslides." (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

Air Navigation Service Provider Teams (Civil Aviation Department)

Senior Safety & Quality Officer, Civil Aviation Department, Wong Shan-ngar, Sarah said, "The Civil Aviation Department will not be complacent. Instead, we always examine the situation and plan ahead.""Before the typhoon warning signal no. 8 was issued, our Air Traffic Management Division coordinated with the Air Traffic Engineering Services Division in manpower deployment. We gathered some 100 frontline staff to stand ready for the upcoming challenge. Our colleagues in the aviation industry put safety as our top priority, then we pool all our energy to resume operation."Sarah continued, "As a member of the team, my mission is to ensure the safety of aircraft in the sky. I am very proud to be part of this team." The Hong Kong International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. Besides handling the huge volume of flights every day to ensure aviation safety, the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) has to gear up for unexpected challenges.The CAD handles over 2,100 flight movements every day. Its service covers not only the Hong Kong International Airport but also the entire Hong Kong Flight Information Region.Sarah said, "The Hong Kong Flight Information Region spans the South China Sea, covering an area of 276,000 km2, which is approximately equivalent to 250 times the size of Hong Kong."To cope with the ever-increasing demand, the CAD commissioned its Air Traffic Management System in end 2016. The new System increased the capacity for flight plan processing by five times, enabling the real-time monitoring of 1,500 air or ground targets as well as simultaneous reception and integration of information gathered from different channels.She explained that the new Air Traffic Management System integrates weather image, which could be associated with the presence of gusty wind, heavy rains and even lightning, into the radar display monitor. Air traffic controllers are able to proactively plan for a flight route to avoid the adverse weather zone. She said, "Our colleagues find the new Air Traffic Management System very user-friendly as they can get all the information instantly in one integrated system without having to check from different sources. Most importantly, it helps enhance our air traffic control operation and working efficiency." Scientific Officer, Hong Kong Observatory, Kok Mang-hin said, "In our collaboration with the CAD, we are impressed by the professionalism of CAD colleagues who strive to continuously upgrade their service quality in coping with adverse weather to ensure aviation safety. Knowing that the CAD has access to advanced weather information to facilitate their operation, as a citizen, I feel a lot more secure when taking a flight back to Hong Kong."To ensure instant access to accurate information, facilities which support air traffic management including radars, navigational aids and other communication equipment are installed at different locations of Hong Kong. The radar station at Mount Parker in Quarry Bay is one of the CAD’s 13 outstations managed by the Air Traffic Engineering Services Division.Senior Electronics Engineer, Civil Aviation Department, Tsao Chi-wai, Felix said, "Our radar signals provide important information to our Air Traffic Control Officers. Therefore, we have to be meticulous in examining every piece of wire and signal to ensure that information can be clearly conveyed via the devices to facilitate our Air Traffic Control Officers in making crucial judgements." In September 2018, Super Typhoon Mangkhut struck Hong Kong. A week before the approach of the typhoon, CAD deployed technical staff to inspect the 13 outstations. On the other hand, CAD discussed with airlines and the Airport Authority Hong Kong to divert all aircraft from the airport before the typhoon struck, resulting in an empty apron at the Hong Kong International Airport.Sarah said, "It did not mean that we were not engaged in any work even though there were no aircraft, as we still had to provide service to aircraft overflying Hong Kong. Before the typhoon signal no. 8 was issued, our Air Traffic Management Division coordinated with the Air Traffic Engineering Services Division in manpower deployment. We gathered some 100 frontline staff to stand ready for the upcoming challenge."As Mangkhut gradually moved away from Hong Kong, our Air Traffic Management Division colleagues made use of the integrated forecast system to estimate the operating condition after service resumption. They then informed the Airport Authority Hong Kong and airlines to resume the takeoff and landing of flights. Meanwhile, the Air Traffic Engineering Services Division sent staff to the outstations to carry out inspection and perform necessary maintenance work.Tsao Chi-wai, Felix said, "Mangkhut left behind a trail of severe destruction, landslides and collapsed trees. Our colleagues had to walk all the way up the hills, carrying with them heavy instruments and spare parts for maintenance work. They overcame the difficulties and successfully completed the job."Air traffic was resumed after the typhoon warning signal was cancelled. With flight number running from 0 to 1,280, everything was back to normal within one and half day. The CAD accomplished an almost impossible mission.Sarah said, "Whenever there is a typhoon, our colleagues in the aviation industry always put safety as our top priority, then we pool all our energy to resume operation. The professionalism touches me greatly. I am confident that the air traffic management of Hong Kong is in capable hands and I am very proud to be part of this team."Tsao Chi-wai, Felix said, "As civil servants, whenever we encounter difficulties, we must come forward with courage to solve the problems. In all circumstances, we will strive to do our best to serve the public." (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

“Repair Our Own Trails” (Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department)

"It is hoped that through the Trail Maintenance Workshops, the public would have a better understanding about our trail maintenance and management work." Country Parks Officer, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Yeung Fai-fai, Felix said.He added, "Have you ever imagined after the workshop, the attendees were all sweated, then they began to cherish our nature and would help to promote positive messages? This brought an explosive effect. The greatest satisfaction was being able to connect a group of people. We interacted with each other through the activity and trust was built up. This was very motivating indeed." Hong Kong abounds with beautiful country parks. The full array of hiking trails of about 500 km in total provides public trail users with convenient access to the countryside to enjoy the pleasure of outing.As the hiking trails are exposed to rainfall erosion over the years, coupled with the growing popularity of hiking and trail running activities in recent years, there is a rising need for trail repair and maintenance work. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), which is responsible for the construction, management and maintenance of the hiking trails, has been facing a big challenge.The Department has come up with a win-win solution which allows colleagues to pass down their skills and knowledge, and at the same time promotes public education in protecting and maintaining the hiking trails for their own use.AFCD generally adopts a “Leave No Trace” principle in the construction and maintenance works of hiking trails. Frontline staff use simple methods to construct the hiking trails according to the terrain, and make use of the on-site natural materials for maintenance works as far as possible.Yeung Fai-fai, Felix said, "In 2016, a local community group, the “Concern Group on Concretisation of Hong Kong Natural Trails”, raised concerns and debate over the Government’s use of concrete in building walkways in the countryside."He continued, "In the light of the public concern, AFCD organised activities to communicate with the relevant organisations. We also organised some trail maintenance workshops, hoping that the public and volunteers, through participating in the workshops, would better understand our work in hiking trails management and maintenance." The scheme has evolved from knowledge sharing communication, and public forums, to educating the public on the concepts of trail maintenance. Volunteers are also invitedto participate in the on-site construction and repair works. These activities enabled the public to understand the cause of soil erosion on the hiking trails, and to learn the maintenance method.The Country Parks Trail Maintenance Team of AFCD mobilised around 500 volunteers to participate in the trail maintenance workshops. Under the supervision of AFCD’s technicians, the volunteers rolled up their sleeves to repair the hiking trails. They assisted AFCD to continuously improve the trail facilities and to promote the spirit of “Repair Our Own Trails”.Volunteer Ngan Chung-man said, "I joined the Trailwalker previously, and when I was walking on the trails, I was not aware that they needed to be maintained. Like many Hong Kong people, I used to take things for granted. I realised afterwards that it was the effort of a team of people working on trail maintenance, which allowed us to enjoy the beautiful hiking trails."Senior Field Officer, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Chan Ka-lai, Carrie said, "The volunteers showed much appreciation for our effort after seeing the hard work we put in. Some of them told us, after helping in the maintenance work, that they are willing to jointly protect and conserve the hiking trails and will use them with care. I also note that there are lots of passionate trail users in Hong Kong. No matter how tired they are, they are willing to help repair the hiking trails on weekend holidays. We are truly touched by them."Through public engagement, the scheme enabled the trail users to experience trail maintenance work, and made them understand the importance of trail conservation. In the long run, the scheme aims at nurturing more volunteers to take part in the sustainable conservation work of hiking trails.Senior Field Assistant, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Lee Ma-fat said, "The volunteers treasure the hiking trails very much, so they instantly grasped what we taught them. There is a very large group of volunteers and they are highly motivated. We have the skills to carry out the construction and maintenance work, yet the biggest challenge lies in the transportation of materials, because that requires a lot of physical energy and manpower. At the moment, we have sufficient manpower drawn from a large pool of volunteers, and they are doing areally great job."Volunteer Siu Hing wo said, "Everytime I work as a volunteer, I have some reflections on nature. What is the relationship between human beings and nature? Are we the destroyer, the manager, or the protector of nature?"Yeung Fai-fai, Felix said, "When we communicate with the volunteers, we find that they are getting to understand our work better and recognise the value of our work. This has established a foundation of the trust between us and the volunteers. We anticipate to train more volunteers, and to build up a workforce in the long run, so as to work together to manage the hiking trails and conserve our natural resources."The scheme has been running for three years, and maintenance work involving 550m of trails was completed. The Green Earth, a local environmental organisation, hasapplied for funding from the Environment and Conservation Fund. Besides, some environmental organisations and uniformed groups, which also agree with the purpose of the scheme, are exploring ways for long term collaboration with AFCD. (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

Pressing ahead with the implementation of the New Territories Cycle Track Network

City dwellers have become more aware of healthy living. Cycling, which integrates exercise and recreation, is most suitable for the whole family to participate in. The Government has been committed to developing a comprehensive cycle track network in the New Territories (NT) to provide a cycle track connecting the east and west of the NT for leisure and recreation purposes in order to improve people’s quality of living. Here the colleagues of the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) will introduce this new cycle track with a total length of about 82 kilometres (km) upon completion and share its design concept and characteristics.A cycle track running through the east and west of the NTIn recent years, the Government has been striving to implement the NT Cycle Track Network project, which will link up the individual cycle track sections currently scattered in the NT to provide a continuous east-west cycle track in the NT by improving the existing cycle tracks and constructing new ones. Senior Engineer of the CEDD, Mr CHU Wai-lun, Thomas, says the comprehensive NT Cycle Track Network broadly comprises two backbone sections: the one from Tuen Mun to Ma On Shan is about 60 km long (starting from Tuen Mun in the west and reaching Ma On Shan in the east via Yuen Long, Sheung Shui, Fanling, Tai Po and Sha Tin), and the other from Tsuen Wan to Tuen Mun is about 22 km long (to be built along the seafront between Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun). Yuen Long – Sheung Shui section completedAt present, the sections from Tuen Mun to Yuen Long and from Sheung Shui to Ma On Shan have been completed and are open to the public. Regarding the cycle track section that connects the two sections, i.e. the track section that runs from Yuen Long to Sheung Shui, the part along Yau Pok Road in Yuen Long was opened to the public. The remaining parts have been opened and the entire 60 km-long backbone section between Tuen Mun and Ma On Shan is completed. Based on the cycling speed of the general public, it will take about six hours to complete the entire route. And that will satisfy the leisure needs of the enthusiastic riders.Meanwhile, the CEDD has been taking forward the implementation of the backbone section of the cycle track between Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun. According to Mr Thomas CHU, the section between Tsing Tsuen Bridge and Bayview Garden in Tsuen Wan is expected to be completed and open to the public early next year.Beautiful scenery along the cycle track alignmentEngineer of the CEDD, Mr CHIU Chi-ho, Derek, introduces the characteristics of the newly opened cycle track section running along Yau Pok Road to Pok Wai South Road in Yuen Long. He says that in the selection of the alignment of the route, priority was given to spots with beautiful scenery and cultural elements, such as Kam Tin River in Yuen Long and Tai Fu Tai in San Tin, to enhance the appeal of the track. At the same time, the project team had considered the impacts of the cycle track alignment on the residents, environment and ecology in the vicinity, so as to optimise its design to avoid affecting some conservation areas, bird habitats, etc. Safety and environment beautification taken into design considerationAccording to Mr Derek CHIU, the Government attaches great importance to safe cycling. In the design of the cycle track, the project team has considered its width, gradient and curvature, and provided proper traffic signs, road markings and guard rails at suitable locations to protect the safety of cyclists and other road users. Furthermore, wherever technically feasible, cycle bridges and cycle subways are provided to minimise the need for cyclists to get off their bicycles to cross the roads.It is equally important to beautify the environment. The project team has specifically arranged the planting of flowers that blossom all year round alongside the cycle track. Apart from preserving as far as possible the existing trees next to the cycle track, hundreds of new trees and tens of thousands of shrubs have been planted to create a green environment in the community. The railings along the cycle track have been specially painted with patterns of rolling hills to blend in harmoniously with the natural surroundings.Additional ancillary facilities to provide a comfortable environmentTo create a comfortable cycling environment, Mr Derek CHIU says that the department has also provided ancillary facilities for the cyclists, such as resting stations with bicycle parking spaces to allow cyclists to take a rest or visit nearby attractions before continuing their journey. Cycling entry/exit hubs are also provided in the vicinity of MTR stations such as Sheung Shui Station and University Station for cyclists to gather or disband. The hubs provide facilities such as bicycle rental kiosks, bicycle parking spaces, first aid stations, refreshment kiosks and toilets. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

The most popular exhibition: "Eternal Life – Exploring Ancient Egypt" (Leisure and Cultural Services Department)

Museum Director (Science Museum), Leisure and Cultural Services Department, CHAN Shuk-man, Paulina said, "The Hong Kong Science Museum explores around the world every year for spectacular exhibitions to bring to the citizens of Hong Kong.""We encountered many difficulties, such as the regulation of temperature and humidity. Throughout the exhibition venue, we had to maintain a consistent temperature and humidity. We realised that there was not enough space at our Special Exhibition Hall. Therefore, we removed some exhibits from our Exhibition Hall temporarily so as to extend the exhibition space. The government has years of experience and established procedures in hosting exhibitions. But how do we give a facelift and bring a whole new experience to the public? We have to introduce new elements with our innovative spirit."CHAN Shuk-man, Paulina added, "We must have the vision and passion to bring high quality cultural events and exhibitions to the citizens of Hong Kong." The project, the exhibition on "Eternal Life – Exploring Ancient Egypt",  was primarily managed by Paulina and the Curatorial officers of the Science Museum.  The exhibition is so far the most popular exhibition of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, attracting over 0.85 million visitors. Let’s see how they went the extra mile in using innovation to create the “world-class” exhibition.Exhibitions on Egyptian mummies are mostly presented from historical and archaeological perspectives. The Hong Kong Science Museum and The British Museum jointly organised the exhibition on “Eternal Life – Exploring Ancient Egypt” in 2017, using a scientific approach to unveil the myth about the eternal life of the ancient mummies.Paulina said, "Throughout the year, the Hong Kong Science Museum constantly looks out for spectacular exhibition items from around the world to present them to the enjoyment of Hong Kong people. A few years ago, we learnt that The British Museum had done some novel research on the mummies ofancient Egypt. On knowing that we were going to organise this exhibition, we realised that cultural relics was the key to understand the historical background of the exhibits. Then we brainstormed ideas and used innovative thinking to explore ways to make this exhibition a whole new experience for the public."During the exhibition, the exterior setting of the Science Museum was a replicate of an ancient Egyptian shrine.The then Designer I (Science), WONG Yin-yiu, Angela said, "Due to the original design of the Science Museum, we could not turn it into a pyramid. We conducted lots of research and found that shrine was of great importance in ancient Egypt. We hoped to create for the audience an ambience of making a pilgrimage when they visited the Science Museum."Paulina added, "We encountered quite a lot of difficulties. The British Museum is a world class museum. They have a very high standard for handling the cultural relics. They set stringent requirements in many aspects, such as the ambience temperature, humidity control, lighting arrangement at the venue, and even the air-tightness of the display cases."Technical Officer I (Science) Mechanical Engineering, CHAN Kim-fung said, "We all know how rarely in Hong Kong we have a relative humidity below 40%. We adopted a lot of measures. Our museum is not built for storing cultural relics, and our air conditioning system is a bit old without humidity control function. Therefore, we had to add a fresh air regulating function in our air conditioning system, to help control the humidity level of the exhibition halls." From venue setup, lighting design to the display of textual explanation, we hoped to bring to visitors an entirely new experience. For example, this multimedia programme, crafted by animations and 3D mapping technology, was the first of its kind among similar exhibitions worldwide.In addition to the original exhibits and textual explanations, to facilitate better understanding of the structure of the mummies from a scientific perspective, the Science Museum borrowed from a supplier a medical CT Scan. They used it to illustrate from a scientific perspective how archaeologists and other specialists applied non-intrusive method to determine the age and sex of the mummified bodies. Other themes, such as diet, health conditions, mummification process and religious customs of the ancient Egyptians were included.Curator (Science), CHUNG Chun-wah, Kelvin said, "In conjuring up this event, we wanted to introduce new elements. Then we came up with the idea of the “Escape Room”, which was something we never did before, and it was quite well received. The content of the “Escape Room”revolved around the information shown in the exhibition. We hoped that the visitors could make use of the information as clues to solve the puzzles, and then escape from the room."Paulina said, "The British Museum is a world class museum. We were contemplating how we could craft an exhibition suitable for Hong Kong people. We have put a lot of thoughts in designing the event, apart from the treatment of the cultural relics. I believe that colleagues in the museum need to have a vision and a passion for bringing high quality cultural activities and exhibitions to the people of Hong Kong." (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

Promoting the Development and Application of Renewable Energy (Drainage Services Department)

"As an experienced propellant of renewable energy projects in the Drainage Services Department, I constantly ponder ways to introduce breakthrough improvements in this area for the department and our community." Drainage Services Department Senior Project Manager, Li Chung-leung, Ricky said."I often encourage my colleagues to proactively voice out effective and innovative methods and ideas, enabling the department to continuously enhance the renewable energy focused quality service culture. Inculcating the mindset of “You Can Do It”, we strive to overcome the challenges encountered during the application of new technologies and the operation of renewable energy facilities."Ricky said, "I encourage them to try boldly and verify carefully, inspire and lead colleagues to pay extra effort and exert team spirit to resolve problems." Today, the harbour in Hong Kong is so beautiful that citizens can enjoy swimming and experience the excellent water quality. This is the result of Drainage Services Department’s (DSD) years of hard work.In addition to sewage treatment and flood prevention, DSD has been actively developing and promoting the application of renewable energy in recent years, contributing to the sustainable development in Hong Kong.Rapid population growth coupled with the dramatic increase in economic activities have inevitably generated a large amount of sewage. DSD collects up to 2.8 million m3 of sewage every day, enough to fill up 1,120 standard size swimming pools. The collected sewage is then conveyed to sewage treatment works for treatment. The conveyance and treatment processes consume substantial amount of energy.The four major secondary sewage treatment works in DSD have been employing the latest technology to utilise the biogas produced during the sludge treatment process to generate electricity and heat for use within the sewage treatment works. To maximise the use of renewable energy, DSD sent staff on study visits to the United States, Germany, and other regions to learn from their experience and to explore effective ways of developing renewable energy in Hong Kong.Ricky said, "Apart from getting our job done, we are constantly exploring ways to bring greater benefits to the environment. Taking the Tai Po Sewage Treatment Works as an example, we need to pay over a million dollars for electricity every month. Could it be self-sustainable in energy?" Riding on the production of biogas during the sludge treatment process, DSD, in the spirit of “Daring to Try, Practising with Care”, actively explores ways to increase the production of biogas. Finally, in 2016, DSD and the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) jointly developed the “Food Waste and Sewage Sludge Anaerobic Co-digestion” Trial Scheme. As the Scheme was new to Hong Kong, the departments encountered many challenges during implementation. Electrical & Mechanical Engineer, Drainage Services Department, Cheung Kin-kuen said, "Westerners’ diets are mostly meat-based, therefore, protein is the main component of their food waste, whereas in Hong Kong, the composition of food waste is mainly carbohydrates. To ensure the viability of this technology in Hong Kong, we commissioned a local university to conduct DNA test for micro-organisms to confirm that the technology is feasible to be applied in Hong Kong. It is estimated that EPD will provide the Tai Po Sewage Treatment Works of DSD with a maximum of 50 tonnes food waste per day. The pre-treated food waste will undergo anaerobic co-digestion with the sewage sludge in the sewage treatment works. The Scheme utilises existing facilities of DSD, to harness the synergy effect in generating 30% more biogas and at the same time reducing the amount of digestate by 30%. The Scheme not only helps alleviate the burden on landfills, but also supplies a million kilowatt-hours of electricity to the sewage treatment works annually, which helps save around a million dollars in electricity cost annually. In addition, DSD capitalises on its own advantages by installing photovoltaic panels at different sewage treatment works and pumping stations. Siu Ho Wan Sewage Treatment Works is equipped with over 4,200 photovoltaic panels with an installed generation capacity of 1.1 megawatt. When it came into operation in late 2016, it was the largest of its kind in Hong Kong. DSD also set up a Renewable Energy Information Centre there. Guided tours are provided with the aim of enhancing public awareness of the government’s effort in the development and application of renewable energy. To promote wider use of solar energy, DSD is exploring the feasibility of installing hotovoltaic panels on the covers of the sedimentation tanks at the Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works, which is the largest of its type in Hong Kong. However, the curvy surface of the sedimentation tank covers makes it difficult to install traditional photovoltaic panels.The then Senior Electrical & Mechanical Engineer, Drainage Services Department, Wong Ying-ying, Regina added, "There are thin film photovoltaic panels available in the market. We installed them on the sedimentation tank Number 9 as a trial. Although we encountered different technical problems in the process, we are confident that by enhancing the design, more photovoltaic panels could be installed on the covers of sedimentation tanks." The then Deputy Director of Drainage Services, Drainage Services Department, Mak Ka-wai, JP said, "The mission of DSD is to provide the public with world-class sewage treatment and drainage services. With a “Do it from the Heart” attitude, we strive to develop renewable energy. On average, we produce around 27 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, which is equivalent to 9% of our overall electricity consumption. According to statistics, Hong Kong’s potential in developing renewable energy is about 3 to 4% of the total electricity consumed. Although we have already far exceeded this figure, DSD will keep the momentum going. We hope that by around 2030, we could successfully turn the Tai Po Sewage Treatment Works into a “zero emission” facility, achieving the goal of “waste-to-energy”. I believe that with the concerted efforts of our staff, we will be able to achieve it." (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

Staff are reporting for duty to the new short-term positions

Under the Job Creation Scheme with its purview in connection with the Government’s Anti-epidemic Fund (AEF), a young beneficiary under the Scheme, currently working as an assistant engineer for a contractor engaged by the Drainage Services Department (DSD), will share with us her experience in job hunting and her involvement in the public works project.The Government continuing to create jobs and recruit staffTo relieve the worsening unemployment situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has set aside $6 billion under the AEF to create about 30 000 time-limited jobs in the public and private sectors in the coming two years. According to the SCS, Mr Patrick NIP, the Government has planned to provide 21 700 jobs, of which 13 700 will be created in different government departments. So far, 2 500 new colleagues have reported for duty. He says that in view of the pandemic, the Government will continue to create jobs and recruit staff. In order to stabilise the economy and create time-limited jobs, it is most important that we stand united, make concerted efforts and do our parts to win the fight against the pandemic as soon as possible.Promoting the creation of new short-term positions in private sectorThe DEVB and departments under its purview have created a total of more than 6 500 time-limited jobs, including government positions and those created through procurement of services from consultants or contractors under existing or new contractual arrangements. Miss LEUNG Wing-yiu, Yoyo, started to work as an assistant engineer for a works contractor in the end of May. Hers is a short-term position created in the non-government sector. She last worked for an airport development project but had to find a new job as the project was about to complete. She could not help worrying because many enterprises were laying off employees or cutting back on recruitment amid the pandemic. She feels very lucky and happy now that she can continue to work as an engineer, a job that she likes. Accumulating experience to enhance competitivenessMiss Yoyo LEUNG says that the contractor that has hired her is participating in the DSD’s expansion of Sha Tau Kok Sewage Treatment Works project, giving her an opportunity to learn about the operation and construction procedures of sewage works, such as how the Building Information Modelling technology can be used to enhance the accuracy of project planning, and the DSD’s work in flood prevention which comprises the innovative adoption of the Blue-Green Infrastructure (a modern stormwater management concept) to uplift Hong Kong’s flood resilience. These can help increase her knowledge in drainage infrastructure, which can in turn strengthen her competitiveness in the job market.Encouraging new colleagues to accept new challengesProject Manager of the contractor, Mr FAN Chun-wai, Raymond, welcomes Miss Yoyo LEUNG to their work team as she not only shares various tasks, but is also careful and meticulous especially in reading documents. Mr Raymond FAN hopes that she will embrace this job opportunity to take up new challenges and learn the process from design to construction. He believes the work experience thus gained will benefit her career development. Besides, the contractor has hired several frontline colleagues and workers under the Job Creation Scheme of the AEF, thereby providing job opportunities amid the current difficult economic conditions. Facilitating expansion of sewage treatment worksDSD’s Engineer, Mr LEUNG Ka-kay says the Department is pleased to have employed several young engineers through the contractor under the AEF to take part in the challenging project of expansion of sewage treatment works. The Expansion of Sha Tau Kok Sewage Treatment Works Phase 1 includes the construction of a temporary sewage treatment plant within 18 months followed by the in-situ reconstruction of a new sewage treatment plant to increase the treatment capacity by three times to 5 000 cubic metres per day.(The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Providing more short-term jobs for new colleagues to fill

The Government has launched the Job Creation Scheme under the Anti-epidemic Fund (AEF) to create around 30 000 time-limited jobs in the public and private sectors in the coming two years, thereby providing more job opportunities. Among others, new colleagues are reporting for duty in the Development Bureau (DEVB) and departments under its purview. Here we have two young people who have just joined the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), Ms HO Tsz-yan, Katherine, and Mr CHAN Chun-wa, Andy, to share why they joined the Government and what they have experienced in the new positions.Creating more than 6 500 short-term jobsIn view of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Government aims to create more short-term jobs to boost the vibrancy of the job market. The DEVB and departments under its purview, such as the EMSD, Drainage Services Department, Civil Engineering and Development Department, Buildings Department and Water Supplies Department, have created a total of more than 6 500 short-term jobs including government positions and those created through procurement of services from consultants or contractors under existing or new contractual arrangements. The jobs cover different trades, skill sets and academic requirements, providing job opportunities for professionals, technicians, backend office staff and fresh graduates. About 3 500 people are expected to report for duty in succession by the end of September.Facing difficulties in finding jobs under the pandemicMs Katherine HO, now the Publicity Officer of the EMSD, was previously an assistant manager in a small and medium enterprise, where she was laid off due to the pandemic. During her unemployment, she sent out about 300 cover letters but received very few replies. She says that, under the influence of the pandemic and the general economic environment, many companies are reluctant to spend money on employing additional staff, making it more difficult for the unemployed to find jobs. She is pleased to have been appointed to the new government position under the AEF. Mr Andy CHAN, who is a fresh graduate this year, shares the same view. He says many companies have stopped recruiting people, and are even laying off employees or imposing wage freezes, so he feels very fortunate to have landed this job as the Publicity Assistant for the EMSD in less than a month after graduation. Thoughtful guidance from supervisors and colleaguesMs Katherine HO studied Leisure Management in university. Currently, she mainly assists her colleagues to handle clerical work and organise workshop. The workshop aims at setting short- term and long-term goals for the EMSD to provide better services for the public. As it is not suitable to have face-to-face meetings due to the pandemic, she is exploring with colleagues the feasibility for the workshop to be held as usual in the format of on-line meetings. Ms Katherine HO says that, without previous related work experience, she was anxious when she first started her job in the engineering/electrical and mechanical field which was thought to be male-dominated. Thanks to the thoughtful guidance from her supervisors and colleagues, she has adapted to her new job quickly.Giving full play to his language abilitiesAs a fresh graduate from the School of English of the University of Hong Kong, Mr Andy CHAN now mainly takes part in editing a handbook on the regulation of railway safety. Presenting the services and operation of the Railways Branch of the EMSD, the handbook enables the public and the trade to have a deeper understanding of the department’s work in monitoring railway safety. As told by Mr Andy CHAN, when he first took up the job, he was worried that his inadequate knowledge of engineering and related technical jargon would affect his performance. However, he later found out that he could make use of his language skills to present the terminologies of engineering in a manner that is both in-depth and easy to comprehend, which would help to improve efficiency at work.Encouraging colleagues to grasp every opportunity to learnEngineer of the EMSD, Mr CHOW Kirk, Peter, says he is glad that the AEF has made it possible for the department to recruit new colleagues to share its heavy workload. The department will do its best to give them every opportunity to understand more about its operation. Also, he hopes that the basic training they receive can become useful in forging their future career. In this difficult period when the pandemic is raging throughout the city, he hopes his new colleagues will not lose heart but will be brave to accept challenges and seek more learning opportunities to build a solid foundation for future development.(The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Get equipped for a career in the maritime industry

Earlier, the Marine Department has invited youngsters to visit the Vessel Traffic Centre (VTC) and Marine Emergency and Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC). Participants were able to acquire knowledge about the traffic of vessels in the Hong Kong port area and maritime technology regarding emergency communication and rescue operation at sea. Having learned about the functions and operations of the Marine Department, they can beef up the plans for their career development in the maritime industry. Let us join them in the exploratory visit. Are you ready? Check out the video for more information! (The video is conducted in Cantonese)

Right Tree, Right Place

When you look at the trees in the street, your attention is often only focused on the tree forms, whether they have beautiful flowers or cause any obstruction to the traffic and pedestrian flow, etc. In fact, you may not realise that the selection of tree species for street planting involves a lot of knowledge as every tree species has its unique “character”, and on top of that, they have to grow in the dense and compact city of Hong Kong. Thus, there are a series of considerations behind the decision.Capability to withstand different roadside conditionsThe Government has been striving to create a quality environment for urban planting to enrich vegetation diversity and enhance the outdoor environs, so as to provide outdoor spaces for public enjoyment. In this connection, the Greening, Landscape, and Tree Management Section (GLTMS) of the Development Bureau (DEVB) commissioned a consultancy study to provide a reference for selecting suitable tree species for different types of streets in Hong Kong. The GLTMS has completed and issued the Street Tree Selection Guide (the Guide). Here we have invited a landscape architect of the DEVB to introduce the details of the Guide and talk about the considerations in selecting tree species for the streets of Hong Kong. Recommendation on vegetation diversity in tree plantingCurrently, there are only around 20 species of trees planted at roadsides in the urban areas of Hong Kong, which account for about half of our urban trees. However, low diversity in the species planted is making our urban forests more vulnerable to outbreaks of pests and diseases and diminishes soil quality, consequently leading to higher maintenance pressure. The DEVB’s Landscape Architect (Greening and Landscape), Mr CHEUNG Ka-wai, Allen, says that the purpose of the Guide is to explore the possibility of planting a greater diversity of species and encourage the planting of suitable native species to improve the resilience of Hong Kong's urban forests through promotion of vegetation diversity under the "right tree, right place" principle, with a view to improving ecological health and minimising tree risks. Simply put, the width of pedestrian paths, soil volume, distribution of underground utilities and pipes, upper ground space, air flow, sunlight, etc. may affect the planting and growth of trees. Also, different tree characteristics such as buttress roots, forms and sizes may affect the selection of suitable planting locations. Therefore, the Guide provides a reference for government departments and industry stakeholders in selecting street tree species.To enable the public to have a better understanding of the tree species introduced in the Guide and the importance of selecting trees with essential attributes suitable for street environments, Mr Allen CHEUNG talks to us about some tree species suitable for street planting. One example is Xanthostemon chrysanthus, also known as Golden Penda. When Golden Penda blooms, the stamens will form a ball shape and the flowers are in bright colours. Its nectar provides food for wild animals. Most importantly, it has essential attributes suitable for the street environments in Hong Kong. For example, it can tolerate roadside pollution, less prone to pests and diseases, and is wind and drought tolerance. Preparing for more frequent extreme weatherTo address the more frequent occurrence of extreme weather conditions due to climate change, and to meet the challenges brought by ageing street trees, we need to make our urban forest more resilient and adaptable to enable sustainable development. Super Typhoon Mangkhut has caused extensive damage to our tree stock when it hit Hong Kong in 2018, but it also opens up opportunity for planting at the same time. After clearing the tree debris, various departments will carefully inspect the extent of damage of the planting sites and related areas. Trees will be replanted only if it is feasible and suitable to do so. To provide a better growing environment for the new trees, the number of trees to be replanted will depend on the sites’ condition. For example, trees will not be replanted on steep slopes (35 degrees or steeper) to safeguard public safety. Besides, departments will not indiscriminately pursue quantity or blindly follow the compensatory planting ratio of 1:1. Furthermore, departments will examine the feasibility of expanding the size of existing tree pits and study the potential of linking the soil volume below the pedestrian paths before replanting trees.Dedicated tree care and maintenanceAfter selecting suitable tree species, we have to make sure that other aspects of planting are also done properly. For example, tree stock quality, planting standards, and the implementation of associated planting works have to be appropriate. Therefore, we encourage landscape designers and departments to widely apply the Guide when replacing and planting street trees.As proper selection of tree species is only the first step and the work that comes afterwards is very important, departments will pay great attention to the maintenance of trees. Through routine maintenance and management, including regular yearly tree risk assessment, timely inspections and appropriate pruning, we can minimise the risks posed by trees to the public and their property. Moreover, our urban forest will grow healthily and sustainably. (The video is provided by Development Bureau)