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Cable contract ends in dispute

A TELECOMMUNICATIONS cabling contract for work under St Georges Terrace has resulted in a legal fracas over $230,000.

Underground Services Australia has issued a writ in the Perth District Court against Wingside Nominees Pty Ltd (which trades as KLM Group) and Swiftel Ltd, claiming the money is owed from work dating back to August 30 last year.

The writ claims a partly written and partly oral agreement was made between Underground Services and KLM Group “or alternatively between Underground Services Australia and KLM Group on behalf of Swiftel” in August 2000.

According to the writ, the implied terms of the agreement claim Underground Services was to be paid by KLM or Swiftel “the amount of any invoice issued by Underground Services Australia under the agreement” by a date specified or within a reasonable period of time.

But Swiftel chief executive officer Chris Gale claimed Swiftel did not have any contractual obligation with Underground Services and said he believed the writ by Underground Services against Swiftel would be withdrawn within a couple of days.

Underground Services general manager John Cole said he did not want to be part of a slanging match in the press but nothing had changed his company’s decision to go to the courts.

Swiftel lawyer David Vilensky said Swiftel had engaged KLM Group to lay cable in the CBD and KLM Group had engaged Underground Services.

Mr Vilensky, who is also acting for KLM in the matter, said Swiftel had paid KLM in full.

“We are working with United Service’s lawyers to ensure action against Swiftel is discontinued,” he said.

But Mr Cole said the legal action was continuing.

“We have seen nothing at this stage to suggest that the action we’re taking against Swiftel is incorrect,” he said.

He said it was for the courts to decide the relationship between KLM Group and Swiftel.

Chasing the WA data communications market, Swiftel has installed 15 kilometres of optic fibre cable to link QV1, Central Park, Bankwest Tower, Parmelia House, Septimus Roe Square, St Georges Court, St Georges Square, The Quadrant and Adelaide House.

The dot.com minerals explorer became the first company to set up a commercial carrier grade Internet Protocol network in Western Australia and has signed business worth $1.3 million with customers including COMindico, Western Mining and iiNet.

Mr Cole said Underground Services Australia is laying the suburban underground power network for Western Power.

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