City of Karratha votes to recoup JetGo funds

Alicia PereraPilbara News
A JetGo plane.
Camera IconA JetGo plane. Credit: Supplied

The City of Karratha council has voted to pursue recovery of all or part of the $850,000 in sponsorship payments it could stand to lose in the liquidation of regional airline JetGo.

In a confidential item at a council meeting last week, councillors unanimously passed a motion to seek reimbursement of the ratepayer-funded payments made to JetGo this year as part of a sponsorship agreement intended to help the Brisbane-based airline begin flights to and from Karratha and Brisbane in August, and Singapore later in the year.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the agreement terms had stated the City’s sponsorship payments would be fully refundable if JetGo failed to provide the services promised, and the City would be pursuing “all avenues” to recoup payments made to JetGo through the sponsorship agreement.

“The City is investigating two strategies to seek reimbursement for the sponsorship payments,” he said.

“Depending on the outcome of the liquidator’s report, the City could argue it is owed all sponsorship agreement funds prior to the distribution of any dividends to secured and unsecured creditors.

“Alternatively, the City could audit JetGo’s expenditure and pursue any spending that was not made towards delivering the services to Karratha under the sponsorship agreement.”

Either process would only begin after the release of a report by liquidator Jirsch Sutherland at the conclusion of its investigation into JetGo’s finances.

The probe is expected to finish in the next few months.

Cr Long said the collapse of the JetGo deal had not affected the City’s plans to expand flight services and staff were continuing to engage with airlines to explore opportunities for intraregional, interstate and international air services to and from Karratha.

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