Infrastructure NSW statement regarding current legal proceedings with Grocon

Infrastructure NSW is defending claims by Grocon in relation to Central Barangaroo because it believes the claims lack merit.

The Central Barangaroo development agreement with Grocon provided for a range of design, planning and development outcomes, which were expressly subject to negotiations with Lendlease and Crown Resorts in relation to sight lines.

Infrastructure NSW’s position remains that NSW government executives involved in negotiations with Grocon conducted themselves appropriately at all times. This includes former executives of the Barangaroo Delivery Authority who led the successful development of Barangaroo over several years.

Further information

Grocon’s claims relate to the Central Barangaroo development and (amongst other matters) what Grocon alleges to have been misleading or deceptive conduct by employees of the former Barangaroo Delivery Authority (now Infrastructure NSW) in their dealings with Grocon.

In August 2020, in the context of a security for costs application, Grocon attempted to demonstrate that Infrastructure NSW was the cause of Grocon’s financial difficulties. Amongst other matters, Henry J found[1] that:

  1. Grocon’s claim is one for loss of opportunity, not actual loss (paragraphs 106-7);
  2. “To the extent that Grocon claims to have thrown away funds by incurring costs of $37.5 million by reason of Infrastructure NSW’s conduct, in my view, those funds were “recovered” on receipt of the payment of $73 million from Aqualand” (paragraph 107); and
  3. “I am not persuaded that Grocon has established that Infrastructure NSW’s conduct has materially contributed to the impecuniosity of Grocon” (paragraph 108).

Her Honour also noted the existence of Grocon liabilities which were unrelated to Central Barangaroo (paragraphs 100 – 101).

The findings were made in the context of an interlocutory application and do not finally determine Grocon’s claims. Nevertheless, the findings are consistent with Infrastructure NSW’s views.

Grocon’s claim is for profits it says it might have made over the entire life of the development, had it been successfully implemented.

The litigation is on course to proceed through evidence (including expert evidence) and discovery. The final hearing will occur in accordance with a timetable to be set by the Court but is unlikely to take place before the end of 2021.

[1]https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/174516409b9d21ba3708baf2

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