BHP Billiton

A 'long, 1980s-style luncheon' with former Australian treasurer

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 December, 2009, 12:00am

For hubris and deluded self-importance, it's hard to go past Australia's politicians or their representatives. Especially when they come to Hong Kong, Shanghai or Beijing to talk up the benefits of one of the world's biggest quarries, I mean, continents.

With all that iron ore, uranium and other metallic substances pumped straight into a decade-long commodities boom, LoDown could probably have guided Australia to the economic prosperity it currently enjoys.

But alas, there is a man who would like to take credit for it, and no, he's not the chairman of the resources giant BHP Billiton - he's former treasurer Peter Costello.

Still, Costello is a man of quick wit and surprising humour, so his talk at the Australia Day Long Lunch, organised by the National Australia Bank, could be one to jot down in the diary. That is, if you can stand an afternoon with the city's rambunctious Australian community - there are some 55,000 in Hong Kong and growing daily.

While most of us wouldn't be interested to hear about some of his revolutionary economic miracles - they include paying mothers to have kids and the government stumping up the deposit for youngsters to buy a home - some may well come to hear his take on his long-running leadership feud with former prime minister John Howard.

A bank spokeswoman describes the event as a 'long, 1980s-style luncheon', so it may be best to take the day off if you intend to go. A tip for new Australians to Hong Kong - the oBoH bar on Old Bailey Street, Central, is the place to kick on afterwards.

The lunch is at the Island Shangri-La hotel in Admiralty on January 26. For reservations, send an e-mail to [email protected].