PM Julia Gillard didn’t go hungry during her latest visit to Ipswich.
PM Julia Gillard didn’t go hungry during her latest visit to Ipswich.

Scandal of the sanger clanger

FORGET Harold Holt's disappearance, and never mind the fascinating political subterfuge that surrounded the dismissal of Gough Whitlam.

Here's a political story that has it all – a thrilling mystery set against the backdrop of a massive natural disaster. It's made better by the fact that it's a true story and it also involves food.

So here it is. Picture Ipswich about six months ago during the first week of the flooding disaster.

With parts of the city still beset by floodwaters and hundreds of residents displaced from their homes, Prime Minister Julia Gillard paid Ipswich a visit.

Thanks to her busy schedule and the hectic nature of the trip, Ms Gillard had missed out on breakfast and was growing hungry by the time she hit the Ipswich Showgrounds evacuation site about lunch time.

Mayor Paul Pisasale was similarly starving. With his city inundated by the biggest flood in more than 30 years, his duties had also forced him to skip meals.

It was during the PM's visit to the evacuation centre, where she met up with flood victims, that Cr Pisasale was handed a plate of sandwiches, with “PM” written on top of the Glad Wrap covering.

With rational thought scrambled by the disaster that had occurred that week, he gave the sandwiches to the people stuck at the showgrounds.

When leaving the showgrounds, a now famished Ms Gillard asked the big question – “Are the sandwiches here?” (Or something along those lines).

No, they weren't. Sure, it was not a mystery on the scale of Harold Holt disappearing, but having your lunch going missing is never fun.

Now realising what he had done, Cr Pisasale only had one option available – ‘fess up to the leader of our country that he had given the sandwiches away in a sanger clanger of epic proportions.

Luckily, Cr Pisasale said the PM took it in her stride and pulled out a packet of confectionary snakes.

To make up for the whole episode, Cr Pisasale gave Ms Gillard a packet of snakes when she visited Ipswich this week – her first trip back to Ipswich since the flooding disaster.

It appeared as if she had more police guards on this visit. I wonder how many were there on sandwich protection duties.



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