An additional $5 million was all it took for the NSW Government to settle a $95 million dispute between itself and ERG Group (now called Videlli), over the disastrous Tcard integrated-ticketing system.
The Tcard system was designed as an integrated, tag-on tag-off ticketing system for NSW buses, trains and ferries. ITSL — a subsidiary of the ERG Group — was contracted to build the Tcard system in 2003.
Ongoing delays, missed deadlines and an eroding business case saw the project cancelled in January 2008. The former Labor government under Premier Morris Iemma began legal action against ITSL in a bid to recoup the $95 million of taxpayer funds frittered away on the project. ITSL fired back with its own legal salvo, claiming that the state government had discontinued the project unfairly.
The government announced on Friday that it had settled the long-running dispute with Videlli in mediation.
"Under the settlement, the state government retains approximately $27 million previously recovered, and the defendants have now made an additional cash payment of $5 million," Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement, adding that the cross-claim against the government has also been discontinued.
The settlement sees the government recoup $32 million in total for the project. ZDNet Australia is waiting to hear from the minister's office regarding the outstanding $63 million that it had hoped to claim from ITSL.
Berejiklian chalked the settlement up as a win for the government, saying that it could now focus solely on delivering the successor to the Tcard.
"Apart from sparing the state a potential multimillion-dollar payout, this resolution means Transport for NSW experts working on the introduction of the Opal card can now do so without the distraction and demands of a long and complex court case."
Opal is set to be delivered by the end of this year.