Abbott’s better homes and gardens

‘The Block’ wasn’t the only home renovation to reveal its hefty price tag this week, with revelations the PM authorised massively increased spending on gardening and remodelling for his two official residences in Sydney and Canberra.

Government tender documents show the Prime Minister’s office is embarking on a Backyard Blitz, spending $601,732.56 on a three year contract for grounds maintenance services at Kirribilli house – almost double the amount of previous contracts.

His passion for Grand Designs doesn’t stop in the garden; already the Prime Minister has been forced to defend a six-figure makeover to the Kirribilli House interior, a multi-million dollar blowout to the cost of refurbishing The Lodge, and a $65,000 termination fee for a luxurious Forrest mansion rented on his behalf whilst the redecorating took place.

Chair of Labor’s Waste Watch committee, Pat Conroy, said the PM should stick to his own House Rules.

“It’s not just the fertiliser that stinks at the Prime Minister’s house,” Mr « Conroy said.

“Tony Abbott has doubled the price of the gardening contract for his Sydney residence, and this is in addition to the luxury renovations inside Kirribilli House. Let’s not forget that he also authorised a $6.5 million upgrade to the Lodge and spent $65,000 renting a luxury home in Canberra that he didn’t spend one night in. All at taxpayers’ expense.”

“How can Tony Abbott justify this? The Prime Minister talks about lifters and leaners, and he has presided over some of the cruellest Budget cuts in memory. Yet when it comes to his own expenses he has no problem spending big. What a hypocrite.”