Steve Ciobo in hotel bill dispute
A GOLD COAST MP is caught in the middle of an international dispute over an outstanding hotel bill.
Steve Ciobo, Federal Member for the Gold Coast seat of Moncrieff, is accused of owing $7500 for a hotel booking arising from a three-month United Nations exchange placement last year, News Limited reports.
The exchange was funded by the Australian Government, which organised for Mr Ciobo to stay in a one-bedroom hotel at a cost of $11,000 a month.
But it was reported Mr Ciobo requested a cheaper two-bedroom apartment so his wife and children could stay with him at $14,000 a month.
The Department of Finance reportedly refused to pay the difference between the one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.
The Australian Consulate in New York paid the outstanding amount following pressure from the hotel and is now demanding the Australian Government, and Mr Ciobo, cough up.
Mr Ciobo has blamed the dispute on a departmental incompetency and has told News Limited he would be prepared to take matter to court.