INDEPENDENT NEWS

ACT Wants Select Committee Inquiry Into Floods

Published: Thu 18 Nov 1999 11:58 AM
ACT Leader Hon Richard Prebble today said ACT would insist that a special
Select Committee of Parliament investigate who should be held liable for the
latest flood in Alexandra.
"ACT's candidate for Otago, Gerry Eckhoff has been campaigning on this issue
for some time. The facts are clear. Even in the horrendous 1878 flood the
Clutha river stayed within its banks. But, in the three floods in the last six
years with less rain the flood damage has been greater.
"The Roxburgh dam is silting up and forcing the Clutha to spill its banks.
"The common law is clear - those who cause a nuisance are strictly liable.
"The small businesses of Alexandra don't have the financial muscle to take on
Contact Energy. Contact Energy is saying that it's a Government responsibility
because it was the Government that built the dam. There is clearly a role for
Parliament to determine the extent to which the Government should accept the
liability.
"Shopkeepers, businesses and home owners can't wait three to four years for a
Court case. They need immediate action which ACT MPs will insist Parliament
takes," said Hon Richard Prebble.
ENDS

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