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Naughty Naughty Mr Westfield

  1. 54 Posts.

    HOMEX - Perth

    We refer to Mark Westfield's article in The Weekend Australian on 14 - 15 September 2002.

    In this article Mr Westfield states that:

    * ERG's Chief Executive, Peter Fogarty, "had been negotiating with
    the NRMA motoring association to invest around $100 million, or more,
    in ERG".

    * "During the discussions between Fogarty and the NRMA it appears
    that the motoring group was attracted to the smart card technology
    the company had developed but had little confidence in Fogarty and in
    return for investing in the company would have required Fogarty to be

    * ERG "stopped paying its share" of joint venture fees in a JV with
    NRMA in June implying ERG had breached payment obligations.

    These statements are each incorrect. The only discussions between ERG
    and NRMA over the last 12 months have related to cooperation on smart
    cards. Discussions have not taken place about a "$100 million or
    more" investment by NRMA in ERG.

    Further, Mr Westfield refers to the Melbourne fare collection system
    supplied by ERG and implies that the equipment is not working. This
    is again incorrect. The equipment continues to achieve performance
    levels above contractual requirements. It was only rail vending
    equipment that had been attacked by vandals which was not fully
    functional. That vandalism, which caused a number of problems in the
    system, has been contained through cooperation with the customer and

    We have previously written to Mr Westfield's editor seeking
    correction of errors in previous articles. Unfortunately we have not
    received any response. We have, however, been provided with certain
    correspondence between Mr Westfield and an ERG shareholder which
    provides an insight into his position. Included in this
    correspondence are comments by Mr Westfield such as the following:

    "Can't say I'll be at all unhappy if the stock actually does fall
    next time I write about it. Must say I'm certainly keen to do another
    piece and it won't be favourable."

    P J Fogarty
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