Aus & NZ: Acciona seeks dismissal of Sydney tram claim “strike out”

24 May 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

Acciona Infrastructure is expected to ask the NSW Supreme Court to dismiss a “strike out” application in its claim against the New South Wales government.

The next directions hearing for Acciona’s AUD 1.1bn (USD 830.2m) Sydney Light Rail claim is due on Friday (25 May) when Acciona is expected to make the request, according to sources close to the company. A response to the strike out action is due by Friday 1 June.

It is understood that Transport for NSW’s lawyers, King & Wood Mallesons, lodged the strike out claim earlier this week arguing Acciona did not present adequate evidence to support the misleading or deceptive conduct in its action lodged with the Court on 13 April.

The government is also now understood to be facing another misleading or deceptive conduct claim of AUD 4m from VAC Group, which is responsible for trenching work under George Street where the most complex part of the tram lines are being built.

Queensland-based VAC confirmed the action, but did not return calls in time for further comment.

Acciona is responsible for civil works, including building the 12km line from Circular Quay in Sydney’s city centre out to Randwick.

It alleges that within hours of financial close on 27 February 2015, it received details of changes to utilities required from electricity network operator Ausgrid that “diverged to a significant degree” from what it had agreed with the NSW government.

It claims it was not allowed to directly contact Ausgrid about its requirements for dealing with utility pits that have to be moved to lay new tracks. At the time Ausgrid was wholly-owned by the NSW government.

Acciona’s statement of claim said it could only get these details from Transport for NSW between March and October 2014. A schedule of required works was then finalised on 15 December that year.

Norton Rose Fulbright is acting for Acciona in the dispute.