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decision day

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    Decision day for ERG Sydney deal

    By Jan Eakin

    SMART-CARD operator ERG should find out today if its bid to overhaul Sydney's public transport ticketing system has been given the all-clear.

    After a three-month trial and two months deliberation, Justice Michael Adams is expected to rule in the NSW Supreme Court on allegations made by ERG's rival, Cubic Transportation, over a NSW Department of Transport contract. Cubic alleged the department's process for considering the tenders was tainted.

    Neither Cubic nor ERG would speculate on the ruling but the market seems to believe the ERG-led consortium will be the winner.

    Shares in the smart-card company have been heavily traded in the run-up to the ruling, gaining 1.5¢ to 28.5¢ yesterday, and nearly 20 per cent this week.

    Opinions differ on the significance of the Sydney project and whether ERG is in a strong enough position financially to take on yet another costly contract.

    "Even if the judgment goes in ERG's favour, the problem is the time lag between completing the system's implementation and the smart-card group making any money," said one analyst.

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