Former treasurer Joe Hockey finally farewelled White Oaks — the Australian ambassador’s official residence in Washington DC — last month, making way for the arrival of long-time Liberal operator and recent Senate retiree Arthur Sinodinos.
Sinodinos leaves for the United States today. But it wouldn’t have been a proper farewell without one last knees-up at the original political diner, Paddington institution Lucio’s.
After all, with the restaurant’s building up for sale after its 37-year run on Windsor Street, it might be gone entirely by the time Sinodinos returns from his stint abroad. (Owner Lucio Galletto, on the other hand, told the Herald he was hoping to keep a lease for three years.)
Sinodinos was spotted at the restaurant, where John Olsen painted the menu art for more than a quarter of a century, with Seven West executive Bruce McWilliam on Saturday.
The dinner, it turns out, was hosted by fellow Greek Australian Harry Michaels, who started his career on 1970s soap Number 96 but made a motza buying up football broadcast rights. Michaels lives just down the road in Vaucluse mansion Elwatan.
This column also noted the presence of Paul Nicolau and his wife Sophia. Nicolau served as chief Liberal fundraiser during the years Sinodinos was the party’s state treasurer and both were hauled through the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s 2014 probe into Australian Water Holdings. Both were cleared of any inappropriate conduct.
(Of some note, Lucio’s was reportedly the location of a chance 2002 conversation between former Labor powerbroker Joe Tripodi and his friend Ben Keneally, who suggested his wife Kristina Keneally would make a great politician. The following year she was elected.)
Also in attendance: well-connected stockbroker Les Owen, who is often seen swilling a drink with steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, Charles Curran and other Sydney investment types.
Sourced via Sydney Morning Herald.