Tony Abbott to live in an AFP barracks apartment

FROM now until this time next year, Prime Minister elect Tony Abbott will spend his downtime in Canberra in an apartment usually reserved for Australian Federal Police recruits.

The AFP and Prime Minister's office each confirmed reports that Mr Abbott would stay at the AFP College in Barton while his traditional residence The Lodge undergoes a major renovation.

Such an arrangement could have its perks - the Barton college has three courtyards, including one for "barbecues and less formal functions" according to the AFP website.

A spokesman for Mr Abbott said there was no word on how many nights he would spend in the apartments, but it would be on an as-needed basis.

The incoming Prime Minister is expected to use Kirribilli House on Sydney Harbour, but it is unclear when he plans to move in with his family.

Reports from News Limited suggest the PM declined to stay at a five-star hotel during the renovations, instead choosing more humble lodgings in the spirit of political hero - Labor Prime Minister Ben Chifley.

As PM, Mr Chifley opted to stay at the Kurrajong Hotel from 1945 to 1949 rather than live at The Lodge.

A spokesman for the AFP said it did not expect "any impact on the day-to-day business of the college or the training of AFP recruits".

The deal was struck after a meeting between Mr Abbott and the AFP Commissioner, ensuring the Prime Minister-elect was kept secure while The Lodge was under construction.FIT FOR A PM?

While The Lodge is under renovation, Tony Abbott will spend 12 months in an apartment at the AFP College.

According to a "familiarisation video" on the AFP website, it features:

  • Rooms with "a computer linked to the internet" and king-single bed.
  • Guarded foyer
  • Coffee shop, bar, main lounge.
  • Dining room serving three meals a day.
  • Fully equipped gym with trainers.
  • Three courtyards - one dedicated to barbecues

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