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Govt and Contact sign Alexandra flood Deed

7 September 2000 Media Statement

Govt and Contact sign Alexandra flood Deed


The Government and Contact Energy today signed a Deed formalising joint contributions to address flood problems in Alexandra and surrounding areas.

The Deed was signed by Contact Chief Executive Paul Anthony and Acting Prime Minister Jim Anderton on behalf of the Government.

It has resulted from extensive consultation between local bodies, the Alexandra community, technical specialists, government officials and Contact Energy over the last six months, they said.

Announcing the Deed today, Mr Anthony, Mr Anderton, and Civil Defence Minister George Hawkins said the plan would assist people who were seriously affected by the major floods in 1995 and 1999, and would provide greater flood protection for the town in the future.

The Deed provides for construction of flood barriers to protect the main parts of Alexandra and the purchase of certain flood prone properties, or of easements over properties where flood protection works are not practical.

The location and design of the flood banks will be based on the recommendations of the Otago Regional Council’s independent engineers. These recommendations were set out in the Alexandra Flood Protection report released in August by the Otago Regional Council (ORC).

The Deed provides for the costs of the flood protection measures to be shared equally. Contact's contribution would be $6.8 million exclusive of GST. On Monday the Government will consider some enhancement of community amenities, as well as the flood protection measures specified in the Deed. Details of the Government's contribution will be announced in Alexandra next Tuesday.

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“We are pleased to be able to provide this assistance to the people of Alexandra. The package is designed to provide Alexandra with a high standard of flood protection for the future, and will also offer help to those who were most seriously affected by past flooding,” Mr Anthony and the Ministers said.

Mr Anthony said Contact, as the operator of the local Clyde and Roxburgh dams, was a part of the local community.

"This action demonstrates that we take our community responsibilities seriously," he said.

Mr Anderton visited Alexandra during last year's election campaign. At the time he said that a new Government would roll up its sleeves and co-operate however it could.

"What the Government refused to do was simply sit on its hands and say ‘good luck’ to a community that needed its help," Mr Anderton and Mr Hawkins said.

"This has been a major exercise in co-operation between central and local government and Contact Energy."

The Ministers paid tribute to Contact Energy for playing its part.

"Contact could have taken a hard line approach, but it hasn't. It is making its contribution and I am delighted at the attitude it has taken," the Ministers said.

ENDS

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