The poor traffic flows had a disastrous impact on RiverCity's finances, leading to RiverCity being placed in Administration on 25 February 2011 less than a year after the Clem7 tunnel opened with investors' securities rendered worthless. Maurice Blackburn represents over 800 investors and seeks to recover collective losses of more than $150 million.
The class action alleges that AECOM made its forecasts without reasonable grounds, and left critical information out of its report in RiverCity's Product Disclosure Statement. RiverCity investors acquired their units in RiverCity in response to the information in the Product Disclosure Statement including AECOM's forecasts and were misled by AECOM into thinking that the proposed tunnel project would have a large patronage and accordingly be a good investment.
AECOM failed to reveal earlier traffic forecasts it had developed for Brisbane City Council which produced traffic volumes substantially below those in the Product Disclosure Statement. AECOM did the traffic modelling for Brisbane City Council's 2005 Environmental Impact Study and forecast traffic volumes of 57,000 vehicles per day in 2011, well below the forecast of approximately 100,000 presented in the Product Disclosure Statement.
Litigation funder Bentham IMF (Australia) is supporting the class action.
Group members are defined as those who acquired an interest in stapled units in the RiverCity Motorway Investment Trust and the RiverCity Motorway Holding Trust on the Allotment Date on or about 4 August 2006; suffered loss or damage because of the conduct of AECOM and others; and had entered into a litigation funding agreement with Bentham IMF by 27 July 2012.
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RiverCity's Product Disclosure Statement dated 21 June 2006, the subject of the RiverCity class action
Media statement - Bentham IMF and Maurice Blackburn launch $150m class action on behalf of unitholders in Rivercity Motorway Group, 31 May 2012
Media statement - Potential RiverCity class action a step closer, 14 April 2011