In the recent decision in AGL Energy Limited v Jemena Gas Networks (NSW) Ltd, Hammershchlag J of the Supreme Court of New South Wales refused to refer an action commenced in the Court to arbitration pursuant to s 8(1) of the Commercial Arbitration Act 2010 (NSW) (the Act).
The case arose in the context of two “Reference Service Agreements” between AGL Energy Limited (AGL) and Jemena Gas Networks (NSW) Ltd (Jemena) (the Agreements). The consecutive – and near identical – agreements were imposed pursuant to an Access Agreement authorised by the Australian Energy Regulator pursuant to the National Gas (New South Wales) Act 2008 (NSW). The Agreements obliged Jemena to provide details of gas meter readings to AGL so that AGL could bill its retail customers.
The underlying dispute between the parties concerned AGL’s claims for losses allegedly arising from Jemena’s failure to complete meter reading on time and from Jemena’s failure to advise AGL of the quantity of gas taken at each delivery point within the time periods provided for in the Agreements.
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