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Wednesday, 11 May 1994
Page: 693

(Question No. 1286)


Senator Ian Macdonald asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport, upon notice, on 30 March 1994:

  In response to questions raised during an Estimates Committee A hearing held on 25 February 1994 (Senate Hansard, Estimates Committee A, 25 February 1994, page 113), the Federal Airports Corporation advised that it was currently involved in four separate court cases, please provide brief details of the nature of each claim.


Senator Collins —The Minister for Transport has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  The Federal Airports Corporation has advised that the four separate court cases in which it is involved are:

  (a) Australian Airlines—v—Federal Airports Corporation.

  The Corporation is the Defendant in this action. Australian Airlines alleges that the Corporation misled them concerning the presence of asbestos in the Perth Domestic Terminal. Australian Airlines alleges that the need to remove all asbestos delayed construction works and caused them damage. The alleged damages amount to $1.3m. The Corporation denies that it misled Australian Airlines and alleges that the airline knew of the presence of asbestos before it commenced construction.

  (b) Multicon Engineering Pty Limited—v—Federal Airports Corporation

  The Corporation is the Defendant in this action. This action arises out of a construction contract for the provision by Multicon of structural steel for the new extension of the international terminal at Sydney Airport. Multicon alleges that the Corporation breached Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act causing Multicon damages. In its final submissions Multicon alleges that it suffered damages of $9.4m plus interest. The Corporation denies Multicon's allegations. The hearing of this matter has been completed and a decision by the Court appointed referee is expected in September 1994.

  (c)Cable Waterski Pty Limited—v—The Commonwealth and the Federal Airports Corporation

  The Corporation is the Second Defendant in this matter and the Commonwealth is the First Defendant. This matter arises out of the alleged award of the contract by the Commonwealth prior to the Corporation's acquisition of Adelaide Airport on 1 January 1988. The Plaintiff alleges that the Commonwealth entered into a contract granting the Plaintiff a concession to establish a cable water skiing business on Adelaide Airport. The Plaintiff alleges that the Commonwealth then improperly repudiated this contract. In the alternative, the Plaintiff alleges that the Corporation is responsible for the Commonwealth's actions as it is the Commonwealth's successor in ownership of Adelaide Airport. The claim is currently for approximately $5m plus interest. The Corporation denies any liability.

(d) Aerolineas Argentinas & Ors—v—Federal Airports Corporation

  The Corporation is the Defendant in this case. The Plaintiffs allege that the Corporation's security charges determination of 1 July 1991 and its general aeronautical charges determination of 1 January 1994 are invalid. The Plaintiffs also claim repayment to them of charges paid by them pursuant to the allegedly invalid determinations. The amount currently claimed for repayment by the Plaintiffs stands at approximately $30m. The Corporation denies that the charges are invalid and that it is liable to repay any monies to the airlines.