Gold-class dinner with Tony and John

Gold-class dinner with Tony and John

BACK when Peter Costello was the other world’s greatest treasurer, he hosted a cocktail party at Federation Square’s Zinc with wife Tanya to hold court among admirers. That was in 2006, time moves on, friendships detonate and his former ally Michael Kroger vented that Costello refused to appear with John Howard at a fund-raiser for the seat of Higgins, meaning the Liberal Party had to wave goodbye to $500,000 that would have rolled in. Tony Abbott feels far more charitable about sharing the same oxygen with Howard. After the party’s federal council meeting on Saturday, the formalities wound down with a dinner at Zinc – and to keep the party afloat, an auction item was dinner with Abbott and Howard for 10 people in Sydney. The lucky person with the deepest pockets was Graham Burke, the chief executive of Village Roadshow, who paid $32,000 for the privilege. Village is a friend of the Liberals, donating $327,788 in 2010-11, but the company was chummier with Labor by giving $352,336. One of the Zinc guests envisaged the dinner group raiding a costume shop if there was a movie dress code. ”With The Great Gatsby coming out soon it could be a theme dinner.” All politicians can relate to this one: Ice Age: Continental Drift.

Going Gaga over fish bones

FANCIER of carnivorous couture with her meat dress, Lady Gaga doesn’t mind dipping her toe in the piscatorial pond and not just by wearing a mermaid costume. When dining at Crown’s seafood restaurant the Atlantic, chef Donovan Cooke prepared his King George whiting, much to the delight of the performer, who teased: ”I would like to have a little King George in me.” But then requested “no bone”. She’s a lucky girl if the fish was de-boned by kitchen staff because it’s listed on the menu as ”On the bone” with a ”subtle, delicate texture”. The Lady turns on another Born This Way Ball concert tonight at Rod Laver Arena.

Science of a happy marriage

IT’S a mystery why the marriage of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes collapsed when the Church of Scientology runs the course ”Salvaging a marriage” and the empire’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, believes: ”A marriage, no matter how strained, can be put back together again.” If I was Cruise, I’d want my membership fee refunded. Hubbard passed away in 1986, but you wouldn’t know it at the church’s Ascot Vale HQ because he has a fully furnished office; and like some TV characters written out of story lines, he might return one day. American gossip monger Perez Hilton reported the spooky connection that all Cruise’s marriages ended when the wives were 33, the line-up being Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and Holmes. Hilton wrote: ”According to numerology, 33 is the ‘Master Teacher’. It is regarded as a representation of spiritual progress and the spread of positive energy.” Rupert Murdoch smells a rat, tweeting that Scientologists were ”creepy, maybe even evil”. Anyway, happy birthday to Cruise, who turns 50 today, a number pointing to great stability – and possibly a fourth wife to give him more stability before the next marital instability.

Costello puts his five cents in

INSTEAD of inhabiting the back of a couch or car console, Aussies have dug out 960,027 5¢ pieces and donated them to the ”Our World Needs Change” drive of Elliot Costello, raising $48,001 and 35 cents for his YGAP charity. His father, Tim Costello, the head of World Vision Australia, helped collect spare coins. But doing an even better job was grandmother Anne Costello, who nudged her friends to cough up 480 coins – $24. ” It’s one thing raising the money,” Elliot said. ”The other thing is getting the message out to Australians that there is value in the 5-cent piece.” Still hoping to collect 1 million coins, or $50,000, Elliot said supporters upped the creativity on traditional collection tins with a hollowed watermelon for deposits, and a mini-basketball hoop over a rubbish bin.

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