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German-Australian ticket axis gets Sydney on the move

Thursday, 30 November 2006
By Print 21 Online Article

Tcard is a new ‘smart’ ticketing system being developed for public transport across Sydney. Trials of the system are expected to begin before Christmas and when it is eventually introduced, will provide a single payment card for travel on all trains, buses, ferries, light rail and monorail.

Technology company ERG is responsible for development of the transport system and has given the printing contract to ACG, a German-based international supplier to the smart card and RFID markets. ACG has a sales office in Sydney and Tony Hilder, country sales manager for ACG in Australia and New Zealand, says it was his company’s global presence and experience in producing smartcards that gave it the edge in the tendering process.

Leigh Mardon is one of Australia’s leading suppliers of secure transaction products, with offices in every major state along and a presence across New Zealand. The company is responsible for personalising and processing the printed cards at its facility in Ingleburn, Sydney. Mike Gray, general manager of business development at Leigh Mardon, says his company is working closely with ERG in the lead up to the launch of the transport card.

“We have the capability to print the contactless cards at our Christchurch facility, which we acquired through our acquisition of Security Plastics this year,” says Gray. “We are certainly as an organisation working to develop our technologies.”

Placard gets Federal Government ‘access’

Sparking hot debate in the media this year, the Federal Government is also getting in on the ‘smart card’ action with its plans to introduce by 2008 single card to access Medicare, veterans services and all welfare payments.

Local plastic card manufacturer Placard is already responsible for the trial of the service in Tasmania and is hoping to get a slice of the action when the plan is rolled out across the country in 2008 to the cost of $1.2 billion. Ganesh Ganeshalingham, managing director of Placard, says his company has been producing Medicare cards for over 15 years, and he is hoping its success with the Tasmanian trial will mean the Government will look favourably upon his company when it comes to the national tender.

“It poses a huge security risk if such a card is manufactured overseas, and considering that a bank accepts a Medicare card as a form of ID, only a handful need to go missing before a problem arises,” says Ganeshalingham.

“It’s a highly secure environment at Placard, which was another reason why we won the initial contract. We certainly lead the country in terms of design, service and manufacturing.”

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