No free lunch for Kevin Rudd?

by Lachlan Hurse
from Hainanese Chicken
and its place
in World History

It has been suggested that the Ipswich car dealer at the centre of the row in Federal Parliament between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, Mr John Grant wined and dined staff of the Prime Minister at a exclusive Chinese restaurant in Ipswich.

In Federal Parliament tempers flared after it was revealed that John Grant, of John Grant Motors, had given a free ute to Kevin Rudd, complete with paid registration and insurance.

Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull used Question Time to ask Mr Rudd about his dealings with Mr Grant, who sells second-hand cars from premises in Brisbane Street, Ipswich.

Mr Turnbull said: ‘I ask the Prime Minister, does he really expect the Australian public to believe it’s appropriate for a Prime Minister who receives from the taxpayer free of charge: two houses, several cars, chauffeur-driven Comcars and travel on airforce jets, to also receive another free car from a car dealer who is seeking finance from a taxpayer-funded finance company?’

Mr Rudd confirmed he had received a ute from John Grant Motors for use in his Brisbane constituency, but strenuously denied he had acted improperly.

‘I have been advised that neither I or my office has ever spoken with Mr Grant in relation to OzCar,’ he said.

‘Two, neither I nor my office has ever made any representations on his behalf.

‘Three, I have not been aware of any representations on his behalf made by anyone in the government.

‘And four, it is absolutely not true that any of the staff of Prime Minister and Cabinet have ever had free lunches provided by Mr Grant. I vigorously deny the ludicrous suggestion by the Leader of the Opposition that Mr Grant treated my staff to a supposedly sumptuous banquet of Hainanese Chicken.’

An employee at Mr Grant’s Ipswich offices yesterday said his boss was unavailable for comment as he was out to lunch.

I would like to advise readers that John Grant doesn’t just look after the Prime Minister, he is listed on the Queensland Department of Communities website as offering a free five year warranty to all Queensland and interstate Seniors Card and Seniors Business Discount Card holders.

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