A freedom of information investigation from 9 News has unearthed shocking revelations that NSW transport minister Andrew Constance handpicked the much-maligned ‘Ferry McFerryface‘ moniker for one of Sydney‘s new ferries, against both the advice of his department and also the will of the people.
The documents that 9 News got their hands on indicated that, all up, the competition cost the state a whopping $100,000, and that not only was Ferry McFerryface an ineligible name by their own criteria, it also only won a measly 182 votes.
According to the report, the actual frontrunner was ‘Ian Kiernan‘, named for the founder of Clean Up Australia, which attracted 2,2025 votes.
Early on in the process, the panel rejected Ferry McFerryface as a name, but at the time of the announcement Constance said they had opted to ignore their advice for this one ferry:
We got global attention and a bit of fun for the kids with selfies and grandparents. We followed the panel recommendations for the first 5, but for the last one we thought let’s do something a bit different.
The revelation doesn’t seem to fly with what Constance said in the wake of the overwhelmingly negative feedback the name received, which included workers from the Maritime Union of Australia threatening not to crew it until it was renamed. The day following the announcement, Constance tweeted “It is not everyone’s cup of tea, but the people voted for it so we listened“, which now seems only technically true.