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Editions

27 NewQuay traders lodge claim with VCAT

02 Aug 2011

Twenty seven disaffected NewQuay traders last month lodged a multi-million dollar claim against MAB Corporation with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal (VCAT).

The claim, lodged on July 26, seeks a refund of precinct fees overpaid paid since 2006 as well as damages and costs.

The traders are also demanding an independent audit of the matter and that MAB enter into prescribed dispute resolution processes.

The traders allege breaches of MAB’s obligations (via Metro Real Estate) relating to audit reports, marketing plans, lack of transparency, security costs and budget approval processes.

The traders claim that Metro spent significant amounts of the levies benefiting its own business interests and also charged them for services not performed.

Among other claims, the traders say Metro:

  • Claimed for precinct advertising when, in fact, it had advertised sales of its own properties;
  • Claimed for cleaning toilets that had been closed and inaccessible for years;
  • Claimed costs of an alarm system for its own office and display suite;
  • Claimed administrative fees for office staff that were not attributable to the precinct;
  • Claimed security costs for areas outside the agreed area;
  • Claimed landscaping costs for areas not covered by the agreements; and
  • Claimed for cleaning which did not happen.

The traders say Metro failed to activate dispute resolution mechanisms when requested, responding instead by taking Terry Choe to the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

The traders party to the action are Terry Pak Choe, Swee Ooi, Lee Moussi, Eric Duong, Ali Sal, Toung Tran, Kim Moui Tran, Hai V Nguyen, Dung Tran, Binh Pham, Henry Liu, Nevio Belia, Jun Liu, Lee Vitiello, Renzo Mammolito, Rajesh Mehta, Anie Zanzanian, Kenneth Cheong, Vince Muscatello, Zhong Hian Yie, Jun Xin Liang, Victor Hu, Theresa Ma, Joseph Moussa, Charlie Tu, Frank Chan and Harish Koli.

The lawyer representing the traders, Frank Guastalegname told Docklands News his clients were seeking a directions hearing at VCAT on August 24.

He said the simplest way to describe the claim was that Metro was not entitled to certain payments and the traders wanted the money refunded.

A MAB spokesperson said it was not appropriate to comment on the case via the media.

He said MAB’s response would be delivered via VCAT.

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