Rudd arrives with entourage
HIS slogan in 2007 was “I’m Kevin from Queensland, and I’m here to help”.
This week, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd is taking a break from lobbying his counterparts to throw out dictators and warning Aussie tourists not to drink the water in Japan, to help the local tourism industry.
And he’s bringing 130 of his closest friends from the Canberra diplomatic corps for a three-course dinner at Salsa Bar and Grill.
“I think Port Douglas is a fantastic town,” Mr Rudd told the Gazette yesterday.
“I’ve holidayed in the Far North with Therese and the kids on many occasions over the years, and I think it’s a beautiful part of Queensland.
“That’s one of the reasons I’m bringing so many diplomats to visit.
“What we’re trying to do is get the message out that this is a fantastic place to have a holiday.”
Mr Rudd and the high-powered delegation will be accompanied by around a dozen international media.
While glad of the attention, the crew at Salsa would like to be able to show off their flair a bit more.
“The protocol officer who arranged the menu was very keen that we showcase local produce and local flavours,” Salsa director Rhys Bawden said.
“Unfortunately, they have a very tight schedule so we’re limited in what we can achieve in that time.
“It’s a fairly simple menu, with a pan-fried barramundi and a macadamia nut pilaf.
“They wanted mangoes, so we’re doing a Bowen mango cheesecake with Tablelands strawberries.”
Mr Rudd said this week’s visit by more than 70 ambassadors and their staff, with associated media, is the first time such a large group of high-level diplomats has visited Queensland.