The new Labor Prime Minister should call Canberra home, says the ACT Senate candidate David Pocock.
"Canberra's the capital of Australia, I'd love to see the Prime Minister actually live here," said the candidate during a webinar with local think tank the Australia Institute on what comes next if he picks up the territory's second Senate seat.
Australia's Prime Ministers have lived in The Lodge, their primary official residence in Canberra, for less than a third of years since John Howard broke tradition and moved his family into the other residence, Kirribilli House in Sydney.
Labor's David Smith, who has been reelected as the MP for Bean told a candidate forum during the campaign that Anthony Albanese would follow the tradition of living in The Lodge during his prime ministership like all previous Labor leaders in government.
Mr Albanese and his inner circle have dodged giving a straight answer to whether he, his partner Jodie and dog Toto will make The Lodge their home during his time in office.
"One thing that I do know is that wherever I go, Toto will be going with me," Mr Albanese told news.com.au last week.
The ambiguity of his responses has raised doubts and concerns in Canberra.
"That's up to him, but I think it does send a powerful signal to Australia that you're serious, you're here to do business," Mr Pocock said.
"There's no real pride from government in the nation's capital."
Mr Pocock has pledged to push for restored investment in national institutions to reflect the important role the capital plays, and a world class convention centre as part a new city stadium that could be used by the federal government, local industries and universities as a draw for the city that would boost the local economy.
It was a "real shame" that Canberra didn't have a sufficient convention centre for Australia to bid for events like United Nation's COP climate summits, he said.
I'm the federal politics bureau chief for the Canberra Times, via a career that's taken me from rural Victoria to Washington DC. Telling the stories of my local LGBTI community brought me to political journalism, where I've covered seven federal budgets, four national elections in two countries, Defence, public service and international governance.
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