Sydney businesses win ‘light rail’ battle against NSW government

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A court has found the NSW government liable for financial losses suffered by some businesses due to construction delays along the Sydney CBD light rail route.

A group of about 300 retailers and residents sued Transport for NSW in a class action, alleging they suffered “unreasonable interference” from light rail works between Sydney’s CBD, Randwick and Kingsford.

Lawyers for Transport for NSW had denied claims the work had caused a “nuisance” to businesses.

Former City of Sydney Councillor Angela Vithoulkas led the campaign for compensation after she was forced to shut down her George Street cafe Vivo after 18 years in business.

Angela Vithoulkas. Photo: Jessica Hromas.
Angela Vithoulkas. Photo: Jessica Hromas.

On Wednesday, Ms Vithoulkas told the Sydney Morning Herald that the ruling was “bittersweet.”

“We lost our business. Whatever answer came down today was never going to change that,” she added.

“I can only hope that this is a lesson that the state government will listen to, and never let this happen to any other small business owner ever again.”

Damages for the two lead plaintiffs will be decided at a hearing in October. Transport for NSW acknowledged the outcome of the case and was considering the judgment.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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