“I saw Fraser coming at me with a
glass of water,” NSW Roads Minister Joe Tripodi told an ALP operative
in one of his first accounts of his assault at the hands of Nationals
MP Andrew Fraser during last night’s heated Parliamentary scuffle.

“I thought he was going to tip it over me but then I saw him put the glass down and he tried to strangle me.”

While
Fraser was today suspended from Parliament for eight days, Tripodi was
publicly putting a portfolio-related, positive spin on the incident.

“There
is a simple reason why Andrew Fraser lost control,” he told parliament.
“That is because Andrew Fraser is petrified of the people in his
electorate finding out that he did not have the courage … to stand up
to Canberra when it came to the negotiations on AusLink.”

“He
doesn’t want the motorists of the north coast to hear about how he
remained silent when he had chance to fight for a better deal on the
Pacific Highway.”

An humiliated Fraser has formally apologised
to Parliament over the incident and offered his resignation to the
leader of the National Party and as leader of the Coalition’s the front
bench, “even though this matter was not portfolio-related.”

He
said he was angered by the government’s dithering on the upgrade of the
Pacific Highway, which runs through his mid-north coast electorate of
Coffs Harbour.

“It’s behaviour that I have not been known for before, except maybe in my early days when I was 18 or 19,” he told the chamber.

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Peter Fray
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