The owner of the Jardine Motel on Thursday Island is claiming that the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet owes him $53,000 in cancellation fees, after it cancelled a booking for 33 rooms at short notice over the weekend. PM&C  booked 44 rooms, almost the whole hotel, but told manager Steve Mills on Saturday it only needed 11 for the PM’s trip, which started yesterday. Mills says he has only been offered $37,000. Mills has described the Prime Minister and Cabinet bureaucrats who cancelled almost all of the 44 rooms that were booked at his hotel as “totally callous” and said they had little sympathy for a situation that has left him facing a significant loss and the possibility of laying off staff. The news made the front page of The Torres News, but the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet didn’t respond to Crikey‘s questions as to why so many rooms had been booked and how much would be paid to Mills.

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Peter Fray

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