Tony Abbott has followed his political mentor John Howard in becoming just the second Australian Prime Minister to make Kirribilli House on Sydney Harbour his primary residence.
Mr Abbott moved into the 165-year-old waterfront property this week with his wife Margie and daughter Bridget.
Mr Howard broke with the tradition of Prime Ministers living in The Lodge in Canberra in 1996 when he opted to make Kirribilli his principal residence.
Mr Abbott had been dividing his time between his home in the north Sydney suburb of Forestville and the Australian Federal Police College in the Canberra suburb of Barton while repair works commissioned under the Gillard government were undertaken at The Lodge.
Asked whether he planned to move into The Lodge when the work is completed, Mr Abbott said: ‘‘My heart is in the electorate and there is a sense in which I am a reluctant inhabitant of any official residence because my preference would be always to live in the place that's been the family home for 20-odd years.’’
‘‘But when you take on a particular job, sometimes a particular residence goes with it and you've just got to go with that particular flow,’’ he told reporters in Sydney on Saturday.
Mr Abbott said he was not complaining about his new digs.
‘‘I will have a good look at Garden Island and I will be able to see what ships are coming and going when they depart from the various operations they are embarked upon.’’
Mr Abbott said while the current work on The Lodge would continue for several months, he had no plans to spend ‘‘large amounts of money’’ on any official residences.
The story Prime Minister Tony Abbott moves into Kirribilli House first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.