Former Fraser Island Company worker Ed Povey has started a petition to get the ACCC to investigate the Kingfisher Group’s takeover.
Former Fraser Island Company worker Ed Povey has started a petition to get the ACCC to investigate the Kingfisher Group’s takeover. Alistair Brightman

Kingfisher bid creates monopoly

ED POVEY has been around long enough to understand a good business decision, so he can see why it would make sense for the Kingfisher Group to want to dominate tours on Fraser Island by taking over the Fraser Island Company.

What he doesn't understand, is how it escaped the attention of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

He says he and other past employees of the Fraser Island Company, and business owners, are not concerned by the Kingfisher takeover in general, but are extremely worried about them holding the Fraser Island Company's permits.

He says the disgruntled group believe tour prices will “skyrocket” now that Kingfisher have the monopoly and that a price rise, combined with the high Australian dollar, will “kill Hervey Bay's tourism industry”.

He claims a Hervey Bay business owner put in a much higher bid for the Fraser Island Company, which would have included the purchase of the Cathedral Beach resort, but was rejected.

While Mr Povey understands he and other past workers may just seem like they have “sour grapes”, he wants to make public staff felt the way the administrator handled terminations was “appalling”.

He says that last Tuesday staff were informed by fax and phone that as of 10am they were no longer needed.

Kingfisher Bay Resort general manager David Hay said the group was not responsible for the demise of the Fraser Island Company.

He said taking on the company's assets was a “worthwhile deal” and a “sound and responsible” commercial decision.

He also said Kingfisher had set its rates to swing in from April next year but would not be raising them. The Chronicle contacted Administrator Julie Williams on Monday but, at the time of going to press yesterday, a response had still not been received.



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