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Kirribilli House

Kirribilli House is the Sydney residence of the Prime Minister of Australia. Kirribilli House is a residence maintained for the official use of Prime Ministers when they need to perform official duties and extend official hospitality when in Sydney. The official Prime Ministerial residence is the Lodge, Canberra. Kirribilli House is located on the North Shore of Sydney Harbour, in the suburb of Kirribilli, with impressive views across to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and to the Sydney Opera House. Located beside Kirribilli House is Admiralty House, which is the Sydney residence of the Governor General of Australia.

Although it is not intended to be the Prime Minister's (or anybody's) primary place of residence, John Howard, the current Prime Minister, attracted much adverse comment when he announced at the beginning of his Prime Ministership in 1996 that he would use Kirribilli House as his primary home. He would stay at the Lodge only when he is in Canberra for parliamentary or government business, but he would live primarily at Kirribilli House. Howard said that he had made this decision so that his family could remain together while his three children lived at home and one son attended university in Sydney.

The house was renovated to enable a family of five to live there on a permanent basis. Howard's decision raised ire particularly in Melbourne, since the main reason Canberra was established as seat of government was to deny that status to Sydney and eliminate inter-city rivalry. Howard's explanation left open the possibility that once his children had left home, he would then take up residence in Canberra at The Lodge. However, after his children had all left home, Howard chose to remain at Kirribilli House. He sometimes said that The Lodge was effectively his main residence due to his work requiring him to be in Canberra more often than in Sydney, but he has never retreated from his decision in principle to base himself at Kirribilli House whenever he was not needed in Canberra.