Forgacs unhappy at ferry contract

FORGACS is disappointed over the state government's decision to award the Sydney Ferries contract to multinational consortium Harbour City Ferries.

The successful candidate is a joint venture between Transfield Services and French company Veolia Transdev and will operate and maintain the Sydney ferry fleet from August.

Newcastle shipbuilder Forgacs was going to maintain the ferry fleet and put in a joint submission with Australian organisation Transit Systems, which would operate the ferry service.

Opposition transport spokeswoman Penny Sharpe said "it was just not right if profits made off the back of commuters will now be sent overseas" and Forgacs group general manager Tony Lobb was equally unimpressed.

"We are bitterly disappointed," Mr Lobb said.

"We put in a world-class bid with an Australian company in Transit Systems and the job has gone to a multinational consortium.

"Forgacs has made the investment in boat building infrastructure and skills in NSW so we have a lot of skin in the game here.

"After spending $500,000 on a bid, to read it for the first time in The Sydney Morning Herald today was disappointing."

Hunter Business Chamber chief executive Kristen Keegan said the provision of better ferry services in Sydney was important, but it was disappointing to see Forgacs miss out on the chance to bring more work to Newcastle.

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