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His Royal Highness Senator the Honourable Robert (Bob) Carr has certain standards in personal comfort

We first published this piece on 27 October, 2013.   Get your staff to peel you a grape, sit back, relax and read about lifestyles of the rich and famous.

You could trawl through FOI releases for years and years and I'll bet you'll never find again a Senator and former Premier whose personal comforts when travelling have been so completely prescribed as Senator the Honourable Robert Carr (prefers hotel suite, not residence, with separate hotel office adequately resourced but not excessively so, placed convenient to but not opposite or adjacent to the Minister's room).

Here are a few words about the office he'll need at the hotel when he comes to visit.

Temp office

Bob might be prepared to base the party at the Embassy's chancery or residence for a short visit, but please, not the residence when it comes to Bob basing himself.   It's a hotel suite please (except for Paris where the residence is divine).  And make sure someone reminds him how to use a phone if he's there all by himself.

Junior suite
Carr phone

Bob likes serious, round table meetings, meetings that represent "considered value-adding engagement" with lots of spare time for media.   Australian media that is.   And no early meetings.   And no late meetings.   And lots of time between meetings.   And spare time for media opportunities that might come up.

Did we mention that Senator Carr likes to do media?   And there should always be a television studio or two on standby.  In this order, woe betide the Visit Media Studio Booking Liaison Hair & Make-Up Officer who gets the bookings out of order, CNN last thanks.


And make sure you employ both a Document Liaison Officer and a separate Post Visit Coordinator to hold Bob's notes.

Note holder

And Bob will remember you if you get this right.   He loooooooves culture.   But not cheap culture.   Bob only likes culture and art stuff if it's World Heritage Listed - or at a stretch World Heritage Nominated.

Culture vulture

And don't forget, no crap local papers.  Got it?

Also, make sure to get this right.   Bob does not like temptation.   If Australia's Foreign Minister is ensconced in his junior suite with the office convenient (but not opposite or adjacent) and he becomes aware that there's a couple of Crownies, a Cadbury Fruit and Nut, 3 little UHT milks and a half bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc just waiting to jump onto his expenses - there will be hell to pay.

Mini bar

And while we're on the topic, if you do not have local contractors capable of delivering a decent shelled pistachio nut, polished almond and cracked walnut without pieces of shell and grit, then get on a plane and find somewhere that can.   And a proper meal - p-r-o-p-e-r.   And no snake gizzard or sheep vas deferens.


And don't forget the "arrangements" for processing "gifts" that are good enough to keep.

Procedures for good-enough gifts

Finally find someone with Top Secret clearance to be responsible for the manual thread count on Minister Carr's Egyptian linen bed sheets.   His personal mix is classified and redacted under Section 47 F1.


All of the preceding pretentious crap associated with the Labor Party's friend of the working man Bob Carr was released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in answer to this FOI application.   It is real.   And it defies belief.

13/13064 26 August 2013 Information provided to posts regarding the personal preferences of Minister Bob Carr and his wife prior to international travel by the Minister Information provided to posts regarding the personal preferences of Minister Bob Carr and his wife prior to international travel by the Minister. [PDF 252 KB]