Melbourne: External Affairs Minister SM Krishna assured the Australian government that he would take up the matter of non-payment of dues to companies for Commonwealth Games-related work after the issue featured in his talks with Kevin Rudd.
According to reports, the Australian companies are preparing a lawsuit against the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee which allegedly owes million to the firms.
Australian Foreign Minister Rudd took up the issue with his counterpart Krishna during their bilateral talks and the latter promised to deal with the issue on his return to New Delhi.
"It has been brought to my notice and I would go back to India and take it up with the Ministry of Sports," Krishna told a joint press conference after the meeting.
Krishna could not give a time frame on how soon the matter would be resolved, but said it will be dealt with as soon as possible after his return to India.
Rudd said his government was satisfied with the Indian government`s response on the issue which he said was a "complicated one".
"We did discuss these matters. We in Australia are comfortable about Indian government`s responses about the process we have in hand which is a complicated one on the domestic matters in India itself. But these matters are well in hand," Rudd told reporters.
Referring to the Australian companies involved in the issue, Rudd said these are private contractual arrangements between individual companies on one hand and a responsibility of the Commonwealth Games authority on the other.
He said the Australian government will work with the companies to assure that proper payments are made to them.
"We will work with them like any other Australian company that faces such an issue," he said.
The Australian newspaper today said that events organiser Ric Birch has commissioned law firm Slater and Gordon to draw up a multi-million dollar lawsuit that would involve at least four of Australia`s biggest major event firms - including his firm Spectak Productions and fireworks group Howard & Sons - against the Delhi Games organisers.
Australian Commonwealth Games Association CEO Perry Crosswhite has also confirmed the peak body is one of "30 or 40" similar Games bodies from around the world owed money by the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee in Delhi, the paper said.