‘Grange-gate’ slanging match

In a fiery exchange at today’s Brisbane City Council meeting, Lord Mayor Campbell Newman attacked the Opposition over the $6,000 bottles of Grange consumed by the previous administration and demanded an apology.

“The leader of the opposition’s comments were in the paper, they were a lie, and they have not been withdrawn and I’m quite happy to say this today,” Cr Newman said.

The Lord Mayor’s ire was provoked when Opposition leader Cr Shayne Sutton accused him of misleading people about the City of Brisbane Investment Corporation being exempt from Right to Information requests.

Cr Newman answered by referring to allegations published in the Courier-Mail about him buying expensive bottles of Grange wine.

“Misleading is telling the whole of the Brisbane community that the Lord Mayor bought some Grange and then guzzled it when in fact you did — that’s downright lying,” Cr Newman said.

He said veteran Labor councillors probably wished Cr Sutton knew more about the history of the years of extravagance of Jim Soorley.

“To be accused of buying Grange and drinking is one thing, but then to not have actually drunk it and be accused by those who did guzzle it is offensive,” Cr Newman said.

“If you can’t get the basics right about Grange or ferry terminals or whatever, how can you get the big stuff right?” Cr Newman said.

Cr Sutton did not respond to the Lord Mayor’s comments about the Grange.

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