Lawyers acting for ERG Group subsidiary ITSL today alleged that the NSW Government did not allow live testing of its Tcard system on Sydney's public transport and indicated this was one of the reasons the project ultimately failed.
In today's directions hearing of the Tcard ticketing lawsuit, ITSL barrister Wayne Muddle said that part of the contract with the NSW Government stipulated that the Tcard system wasn't allowed to be installed until "everything was 100 per cent perfect", meaning no live testing of the system on public transport could take place.
Justice Einstein ruled that ITSL was allowed to seek out experts in integrated software and hardware systems as part of its cross claim against the NSW Government in the Tcard trial. Muddle had told the court that such an expert was required to explain why it was vital that the company be allowed to test the system on public transport before it was brought in.
Muddle indicated that another reason for the failure of the project was that the NSW Government was reluctant to give information about the systems in place to ITSL, despite being worried about how the Tcard system would work with the old systems. The information was necessary to determine how they would "mesh" with the Tcard system, Muddle said.
"There was no enthusiasm from [the NSW Government] particularly RailCorp, to have this ticketing system," Muddle told the court.
Lawyers acting on behalf of the Public Transport Ticketing Corporation (PTTC) objected to allowing the experts because it would further delay the trial start date, scheduled for March 2011. However, Justice Einstein ruled that the experts could be sought by ITSL by 30 November 2010. PTTC will then be able to seek its own technical experts after this date. Under these new circumstances, the judge said the tentative March 2010 trial date was "unrealistic".
Justice Einstein also said that a hearing into whether lobbyist Hawker Britton should be brought back into the case will be heard on 2 July.