THE choice of appetiser drew a quip from the Prime Minister during a lunch in honour of his deputy Warren Truss.
Sunshine Coast businesswoman Peta Simpson was yesterday among guests at Berardo's Restaurant and Bar for the $150-a-head lunch marking Mr Truss' 25 years in Federal Parliament.
MORE ON ABBOTT'S COAST VISIT:
- Gay mum marches on PM lunch for marriage equality
- Protesters boosted by support in march on PM's lunch
Ms Simpson said Tony Abbott joked about beetroot, apparently not a favourite of Mr Truss or his wife Lyn, being on the menu.
But she said that was a minor detail in what was a celebration of a long career.
"The PM said today that Warren is widely known to be humble and unassuming," Ms Simpson said.
"He said just how much he appreciated having a man like Warren Truss as the Deputy Prime Minister and how important the National Party is to the Liberal Party.
"He really focused on Warren's contribution to the government."
She said Mr Truss was very "matter-of-fact" about the occasion. "You could tell that Warren Truss is not used to accolades."
The efforts of protesters outside did not disrupt proceedings.