Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Arizona Gov. Brewer Deactivates Seventy-Six (76) Freeway Cameras Owned by Australian Holding Company Subsidiary That Made $84M Gross Profits in 2009

Photo-enforcement cameras are a joke, because they allow private companies to make fat profits. It is also Big Brother at its finest and the trivial numbers of violations these cameras may deter are completely outweighed by the dangers these cameras cause when people are more distracted by the camera than the road. That's not even mentioning the many 4th Amendment violations. I'm glad that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer continues to fight the good fight that many Americans want her to fight. In this exciting episode, she fights against the illegal photo-enforcement cameras.

Dozens of photo-enforcement cameras on freeways throughout the state are coming down this week.

A total of 76 cameras will cease operation on Thursday.

Here is where the story gets interesting and it requires a little patience as Remixx World! takes you on the journey I just took when I first noticed the name of the company who operates these freeway cameras for the State of Arizona.

Gov. Jan Brewer, who has always been critical of the program, decided earlier this year not to renew Arizona's contract with Redflex Traffic Systems, the company that runs the cameras.

If there was a contract, then the State of Arizona paid Redflex Traffic Systems to operate the cameras, because every contract must have some consideration on each side. The only reasonable consideration that the State of Arizona could give Redflex Traffic Systems is money.

The newspaper article does not state how much money Redflex Traffic Systems was making under the Arizona contract, but the amount was probably significant, because Redflex Holdings (parent company of Redflex Traffic Systems) earned $56,343,000 gross profits in 2008, and the company earned $84,259,200 gross profits in 2009 (page 48 in 2009 Annual Report). The company deducted its expenses and received $7.9 million profits in 2008 and $9.6 million in net profits in 2009.

I did an Internet search for Redflex Holdings (parent company of Redflex Traffic Systems) and I found a document entitled Change in Interests or Entitlements of Substantial Shareholder for Redflex Holdings Limited dated as of June 8, 2010. The aforementioned document lists the substantial shareholders of Redflex Holdings.

  • Thorney Holdings Pty Ltd Level 39, 55 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000
  • Thorney Investment Group Australia Pty Ltd, Level 39, 55 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000
  • TIGA Trading Pty Ltd, Level 39, 55 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000
  • Jamahjo Pty Ltd, C/- TWF Partners, Level 4, 25 Claremont Street, South Yarra, 3141

A further search of these companies reveal that Thorney Holdings Pty Ltd is a unit of Pratt Group Holdings Pty Ltd. And once you reach Pratt Holdings, you have Dick Pratt (a/k/a Richard J. Pratt f/k/a Ryszard Przecickiwho) died in 2009. Pratt was one of Australia's richest people and it seems pretty clear to me that Mr. Pratt was making some of his dollars off of contracts with States here in the United States, because I doubt there was a market for these traffic services among private entities.

Why is an entity under the umbrella of an Australian holding company receiving such a State contract?

P.S. - Mr. Pratt may be dead, but
his love child inherited $23 million. I don't know how much of that $23 million pro rata are a result of state dollars from Arizona, but I imagine that a certain percentage of it is.

**Please note, if someone with more financial knowledge and skill than me catches errors in my above analysis, please let me know.

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