Things got heavy for Kevvy when the fork in the road tour played Adelaide yesterday. They got asked on radio about certain comments in a certain ezine…

Interviewer: Liberal Senator Corri (sic) Bernardy (sic) from South Australia has sent this media release to us, and he’s quoting –

Rudd: How surprising.

Interviewer: Yes, well, it is important for people to know where this comes from. But, I suppose it doesn’t matter where it comes from, it’s whether or not you said these words, and he’s quoting Crikey quoting you. Now he says, “When is Mr. Rudd going to apologise for calling South Australia quote ‘one big community service obligation for the rest of the country’ at the 1994 Council of Australian Governments meeting in Hobart?” Did you say that?

Rudd: No. Good grief.

Interviewer: You did not say that?

Rudd: No.

Interviewer: Well, can we read from, he’s referring to a Crikey of December 11, Steven Mayne saying “the only time I ever met Rudd, provided an interesting insight. It was the 1994 Council of Australian Governments meeting in Hobart, and I was spinning for Kennett and Stockdale, and had been out to dinner with Herald Sun reporter John Ferguson, then political correspondent for The Advertiser. Kruddy was Director General of Wayne Goss’s cabinet office and was relaxing in the bar of the Sheraton around midnight with his NSW counterpart, Roger Wilkins, when the four of us struck up a conversation. On hearing Ferguson was from Rupert’s ‘Adelaide Daily’ – The Advertiser – Kruddy sneered ‘South Australia is one big community service obligation for the rest of the country’.”

Rudd: So relying upon an accurate memory of events 12 years ago in a bar at midnight. I think that’s terrific.

Interviewer: So you didn’t say that?

Gillard: And appearing on Crikey.

Interviewer: Well, John Ferguson, who’s a political reporter – a respected one – with the Herald Sun. I rang him this morning, and he said “well that’s pretty right, that recollection.”

Rudd: Look, what passes for a bar room conversation, midnight twelve years ago, I think there’s no relevance at all in terms of our priorities in the future…

We’ll drink to that!

PS We seem to have been pretty negative about Heavy Kevvy, so can we just say for the record how pleased we are with the improved service offered by the ALP’s website over the last ten days or so.

Peter Fray

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