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Tripodi farewells Pasha Bulker, welcomes normalcy

<p>Reporters covering the <em>Pasha Bulker </em> saga in Newcastle almost missed the moment the beached bulker broke free, NSW ports minister Joe Tripodi said yesterday (Tuesday, July 3).</p> <p>Mr Tripodi said he pushed back a press conference, originally scheduled for 9pm, to 9:30pm, in the hope he’d have an outcome to report.</p> <p>Mr Tripodi was responding to questions from cold and tired journalists &#8211 who were more than keen for a close to the story &#8211 about progress when a cry went up at 9:37pm, signalling the end of the drama.</p> <p>Labelling it a &#8220big, quick learning experience,&#8221 Mr Tripodi said salvage efforts undertaken since the <em>Pasha Bulker</em> ran aground during savage weather on June 8 were a great result for Newcastle.</p> <p>&#8220We’ve returned the beach to them,&#8221 he said, adding that there were many local groups that needed to be acknowledged for their work throughout the drama.</p> <p>The full cost of the salvage operation would be claimed against the shipowner, he said, adding that insurance costs would not be borne by taxpayers.</p> <p>Mr Tripodi and staff were looking forward to a return to relative normality yesterday.</p> <p>&#8220My media officer was fielding calls from all around the world,&#8221 he said.</p> <p>&#8220It got to the point where they’d answer the phone in the evening with `Bonjour!’&#8221</p> <br />