Wet n’ Wild NYE debacle traced to dodgy tender

In Australian Domestic Tourism, Government, Harmonisation, Momentum, National Headlines, New South Wales, Tourism Routes

Wet’n’Wild security chief quits after revelation he lives with successful tenderer

From smh.com.au, 19th January 2014
She is the glamorous, part-time country and western singer who runs a western Sydney security firm called Unimet.

He is the head of security at Sydney’s Wet’n’Wild who, in October, played a central role in a tender process that awarded her company a lucrative on-site contract.

On Saturday, Brad Kisbee resigned from Wet’n’Wild after it emerged investigators from the NSW police State Crime Command were reviewing ”issues” relating to the ”awarding of security contracts” at the $120 million venue.

Natalie Eggenhuizen performing with her mother, Kel-Ann Brandt. Photo: Facebook

The inquiry follows last week’s Fairfax Media investigation that found Mr Kisbee had been involved with Natalie Eggenhuizen’s Unimet business for years.

Other than acknowledging a brief stint of casual consultancy work carried out by Mr Kisbee ”some time ago”, both he and Ms Eggenhuizen were still denying they shared any links last week. But they are in a de facto relationship and live together in Richmond with two children.

On Friday, Mr Kisbee could not explain why messages were posted on Facebook six months ago congratulating ”Natalie & Brad” on the birth of their daughter. ”I need to look into this straight away,” he said.

When Village Roadshow left 9000 ticketholders in the lurch by cancelling the Wet’n’Wild New Year’s Eve music festival six hours before it was due to start, it became clear that all was not well at Australia’s newest theme park. While senior management and promoters One Cube are still blaming each other for failing to produce an adequate crowd safety management plan, police are more interested in how the park’s security contracts came to be signed.

More than 30 companies submitted applications after Village Roadshow invited tenders for the supply of security services last October.

As a close associate of Unimet, Mr Kisbee was privy to commercial-in-confidence material submitted by Unimet’s rivals and he helped interview the five shortlisted companies, including Unimet. As the on-site security head, he then offered his opinions about the applicants to Wet’n’Wild general manager Chris Warhurst and operations manager Bianca Sammut.

Unimet was awarded the contract for night security services, which included carrying out dog patrols. Red Dawn, a company Unimet has worked closely alongside, took out the tender for daytime operations.

Mr Kisbee said he had ”no idea” why Unimet operations manager Darren Barrett later sent a phone message to staff reminding them it was the first time they were meeting Mr Kisbee at the theme park’s induction training day on November 25.

”NO one has met him prior to the induction. Please respond to this message to ensure you have received and understood the above,” the message said.

Ms Eggenhuizen, who was due to appear alongside her mother, Kel-Ann Brandt, at the Tamworth Country Music Festival on Saturday night, declined to comment.

The Unimet Facebook page, which featured photos of Mr Kisbee at its Christmas party last November, was shut down on Thursday.

Village Roadshow spokesman Darrin Davies confirmed the park had accepted Mr Kisbee’s resignation and was reviewing the ancillary security contract with Unimet.

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