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ERG wins Sydney

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    ERG wins NSW court dispute
    Date: July 27 2002

    By Darren Goodsir

    The cashless ticketing system for New South Wales' public transport system, originally to be ready for the 2000 Olympics, is now set to be phased in from next year after a court dispute was resolved yesterday.

    The Department of Transport withstood a challenge in the Supreme Court from United States-based Cubic Transportation Systems to its system, which allows consumers to use trains, buses, ferries and the light rail without tickets.

    Department director-general Michael Deegan said a contract, believed to be worth more than $100 million, with the preferred tenderer - the ERG-owned Integrated Transit Solutions - could now be formalised.

    Justice Michael Adams ruled that Cubic had engaged in "positive dishonesty", and been "guilty of reprehensible conduct" during the 18-month tender process. Cubic hinted yesterday that it would appeal, as it has done on the many occasions it has lost international tenders.

    Further court action is almost certain to further delay the implementation of the system, which can electronically calculate the price of each journey.

    Justice Adams rejected Cubic's motion for a stay, declaring the whole purpose of the litigation had been to stop the company's rivals from securing the tender.

    He said the Cubic syndicate "had become aware through improperly obtained information" that Integrated Transit Solutions - dominated by ERG and Motorola - had scored a higher rating in an initial evaluation.

    Thereafter, it demonstrated a willingness to take advantage of this "highly confidential information . . . quite improperly and, it appears, did not have any qualms in so doing".

    "There is no doubt that the plaintiffs have been guilty of reprehensible conduct," he said in a 163-page judgment.

    "It is difficult indeed to see how the court would be justified in directing the defendants to reconsider the plaintiffs' tender when its lack of good faith and positive dishonesty have been so devastatingly exposed."

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