Ian Kiernan’s ferry naming sunk by DUI record
ONE of the names put forward for a Sydney ferry could never have been used because it honoured a man with a drink-driving record.
In the latest farcical twist to the Ferry McFerryface saga, The Daily Telegraph can today reveal Transport for NSW and the department's "expert panel" pushed to name the now infamous vessel after Clean Up Australia Day founder Ian Kiernan despite clear protocol that ruled him ineligible because of his driving record.
The department's policy states no one with an "adverse driving record" can be an ambassador. A simple Google search reveals Mr Kiernan's licence was suspended for six months and he was fined $1000 in 2014 after he pleaded guilty to a mid-range drink-driving offence.
The Daily Telegraph can also reveal the "expert panel" which pushed Mr Kiernan's name forward discarded high-profile Australians who received more nominations.
Mr Kiernan received just 17 nominations, while John Bradfield received 72, Dick Smith 18, Adam Goodes 34, Margaret Olley 41, Dame Joan Sutherland 48 and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki 38. Ferry McFerryface was also discarded, having received 229 nominations.
After the public vote, in which Mr Kiernan emerged victorious, someone in government advised the 77-year-old a ferry would probably be named after him. It was only later that someone in the department raised the alarm about his drink-driving.
Subsequently, Transport Minister Andrew Constance settled on the doomed Ferry McFerryface name.
A Transport for NSW spokesman yesterday conceded the advisory panel did not apply the protocol to short-listed names in the first instance because there was "no intent" to use them "in professional paid advertising".
The spokesman confirmed that a "subsequent review saw Mr Kiernan ineligible".
A spokesman said Mr Constance "expects that all relevant internal policies and processes are adhered to".
The ferry naming process has been a public bungle for the government.
Mr Constance, when confronted by a backlash over Ferry McFerryface, chose to rename it May Gibbs, who had received 2082 votes - more than Mr Kiernan but in a different category.