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Tripodi racks up $6,683.10 bill for Pasha Bulker refloat

<p>New South Wales ports minister Joe Tripodi will bill Japanese shipowners Fukujin Kisen for the cost of his extended stay in Newcastle during the <em>Pasha Bulker</em> refloat. </p> <p>A Freedom of Information request by shadow ports minister Duncan Gay revealed that Mr Tripodi and his staff spent $6,683.10 on accommodation and food over five days in Newcastle in June.</p> <p>Mr Tripodi fronted media conferences in the days after the bulker ran aground on Nobby’s Beach on June 8, later holding regular press conferences during the refloat attempts.</p> <p>But Mr Gay said it was &#8220blatant self-promotion&#8221 by Mr Tripodi and that the ports minister should pay for his &#8220holiday&#8221.</p> <p>&#8220There was no need for him to be there, when all he did was regurgitate what the hardworking experts from the ports department were telling him about the refloating of the <em>Pasha Bulker</em> ,&#8221 Mr Gay said.</p> <p>A spokesman for Mr Tripodi said the minister and two staff members ate pies and pizzas on some days, splitting their accommodation between the four-star Crowne Plaza and Travelodge, a suggestion Mr Gay said was &#8220laughable&#8221.</p> <p>&#8220It’s impossible to spend $400 per person per day in a regional centre eating only pies and pizzas,&#8221 Mr Gay said.</p> <p>&#8220The minister was clearly enjoying a holiday parading in front of the cameras when he should have been back at Parliament House doing his job.</p> <p>&#8220Mr Tripodi should pay for the trip himself, not the shareholders of the <em>Pasha Bulker</em> , not the insurance company and certainly not the taxpayers.&#8221</p> <p>Mr Tripodi’s spokesman said the priority of Mr Tripodi’s attendance was the protection of the marine environment.</p> <p>"The NSW Government expects the full cost of Mr Tripodi and his staff’s stay at Newcastle will be borne by the <em>Pasha Bulker’s</em> insurance company,&#8221 the spokesman said.</p> <br />