Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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Jonathan Chancellor

9 August 2011

Kevin Rudd and Therese Rein buy Brisbane block

Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd and his wife, Therese Rein, have bought a residential building block near the river in his Brisbane electorate.

The empty-nest couple intend building a modern Queenslander style house to capture views of the river and city. It will be designed to accommodate visiting family members.

"We want somewhere our adult children can come home to because Brisbane is our home," Rein told the Courier Mail.

"And yes, there will be room for grandkids when they start to arrive."

The block Rein has eyed off for nearly two decades is a short walk from their present Norman Park address and slightly elevated.

Blocks of land in the neighbourhood have had asking prices between $450,000 and $2.2 million in recent times, depending on their size and aspect.

The couple own a Canberra townhouse that was a base while their only son at home. Marcus Rudd completes high school this year.

The family spent $3.1 million in late 2010 on a Sunshine Coast retreat through Zinc Property Noosa.

Their existing Norman Park house cost $384,000 in 1994.

Earlier this month Rein's job placement company Ingeus re-established a presence in the Australian market 3 ½ years after closing its local operations when Rudd was campaigning to become prime minister.

The Australian reported details lodged with the corporate regulator show Ingeus made an $18.85 million profit last year – compared with a $785,000 loss in the six months to December 31, 2009 – and paid $4.8 million in dividends. The vast majority of the cash dividends flowed to Rein, who founded the company and retains about 97% of the shares.

The documents reveal that on Friday, Ingeus, which seeks government contracts to shift welfare recipients into work, registered a new, fully owned local arm, Ingeus Australia.