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Retiredf JetCats cause more embarressment -

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ELEANOR HALL: The New South Wales Government is being forced to defend the bargain basement sale of
its obsolete Sydney ferries.

A boat broker has made a tidy profit by buying three Sydney ferries and then reselling them
overseas a month later, reportedly for three times the price he paid.

The State Opposition says there's no excuse for throwing away millions of dollars of taxpayers'
money.

Brendan Trembath reports.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: The last JetCat fast ferry service across Sydney harbour was late last year. The
boats had a bad reputation. They broke down regularly and were costly to repair. The then Premier
Nathan Rees described them as lemons.

Now they're the cause of more embarrassment. A Queensland-based boat broker John Aitkenhead has
confirmed he bought the three ferries in July and then resold them overseas for a higher price just
a month later.

JOHN AITKENHEAD: I was the only tenderer and in that case I was successful.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: What did you pick them up for?

JOHN AITKENHEAD: I can't tell you that because I'm under deed of confidentiality with my
purchasers.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Understood but I understand you then resold them overseas. How did you do there?

JOHN AITKENHEAD: I sold one of them to a client of mine in Korea and I sold the other two to
existing clients in Cebu in the Philippines.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: How would you sum it up?

JOHN AITKENHEAD: Well we always like to make a profit because we're in business.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: According to the Daily Telegraph newspaper his company International Broking
Services bought the ferries for $1 million and sold them for $3 million.

The New South Wales Transport Minister David Campbell says regardless what Mr Aitkenhead made on
the deal the Government did the right thing.

DAVID CAMPBELL: Sydney Ferries went to tender in accordance with the transparent probity guidelines
of selling these types of obsolete assets. A price was offered and it was accepted.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Though the reports are that a boat broker turned around and resold them about a
month later for three times as much. Is the taxpayer at a loss here?

DAVID CAMPBELL: I think it's for the boat broker to explain what happened after they took ownership
of the vessels...

BRENDAN TREMBATH: He says he sold them at a profit.

DAVID CAMPBELL: We do know that these vessels were extremely unreliable and there is now a much
more efficient and reliable service in replacing it...

BRENDAN TREMBATH: But there are buyers in the Philippines and South Korea that have bought them and
it's handed some sort of profit to this boat broker.

DAVID CAMPBELL: The vessels were taken out of service. They were obsolete. They were offered by
tender as is appropriate in selling an obsolete piece of equipment such as this that was a public
and open tender.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: But his explanation does not satisfy the State Opposition's Gladys Berejiklian.

GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: This demonstrates the height of the State Government's incompetence. Here we
have millions of dollars of taxpayers' money being poured down the drain with the blink of an
eyelid.

This is totally unacceptable but gives us a snapshot of exactly how they run public transport and
how incompetent they are in managing both taxpayer money but also providing reliable transport
services for the people of New South Wales.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: But if your party was in government could you have done any better at this time
in the marketplace?

GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: This demonstrates the State Government's complete incompetence. Why is it that
the people they on-sold these JetCats to were then able to turn around in a very short timeframe
and make themselves a very healthy profit?

ELEANOR HALL: The New South Wales Opposition transport spokeswoman Gladys Berejiklian, she was
speaking to Brendan Trembath.