Malcolm Turnbull blasted for $83,000 ‘luggage lift’

The prime minister’s official Canberra residence, The Lodge, has had a multimillion dollar overhaul which took almost three years to complete. And
An $83k special lift has been installed at The Lodge. Photo: YouTube (9News).

The prime minister’s official Canberra residence, The Lodge, has had a multimillion dollar overhaul which took almost three years to complete. And after almost tripling the initial budget from $3 million to $11.6 million, Malcolm Turnbull and all future prime ministers can now avoid carrying their political baggage up and down the staircase at the residence thanks to the installation of a “special luggage lift”, reports ABC News.

The “specialist luggage lift” costing $83,535.75 has been installed to the left of the historic building’s wooden front central staircase which, even after the refurbishment, still has what a Government official describes as steps of “an unusual depth” which “isn’t safe for staff to use to carry things up and down stairs”.

According to Elizabeth Kelly from the DPMC, estimates designs for the luggage lift were first recommended by the project’s architects in 2010 in the early stage of the redevelopment. “It looks like something that has the capability to carry, I think, a number of large suitcases, a box, the door opens and the suitcases go in,” Ms Kelly said.

Officials from DPMC were unable to provide pictures or designs of the lift, but Paula Ganly from the Department’s Ministerial Support Division explained that it was “not dissimilar to what we used to refer to as the ‘dumb waiter’ but it’s electronic”.

Ms Ganly told the committee the lift “wouldn’t be something used on a daily or weekly basis but it’s certainly used after longer trips” when the Prime Minister travels with larger numbers of suitcases.

“The reason why a decision was taken on this was essentially the heritage value of the entrance and not wanting to take these items up and also for the staff carrying the heavy suitcases up and down the stairs which are pretty precarious stairs to be walking up and down,” Ms Ganly said.

Asked by Labor’s Senate Leader to confirm that Mr Turnbull is the only Prime Minister to have used the lift, the officials pointed out the lift “wasn’t available” to previous prime ministers and stressed again that its installation “wasn’t at the request of this Prime Minister”.

What happened to good ol’ hand carrying?

  1. Mary Heffernan  

    Love to have one in our block of units – many’s the time I’ve had to lug suitcases (not to mention bags of groceries) up several flights of stairs – how about it, Mal? Surely if we taxpayers can pay for yours, you can pay for mine – tit for tat, eh?

    • elena  

      I could not put it better!…And then, he and the others, go to the gym to strengthen his arm´s muscles. If someone is fit for government they should also be fit for a bit of physical work…OMG!!!

  2. What a waste of our the taxpayers money. No politicians live in the real world. Carry your own luggage upstairs you people are our civil servants so how about stop spending money on we haven’t got and start keeping jobs and industry in Australia and no more refugees that have no qualifications. Stop letting China buy our land as they employ their people and export the goods back to their country. How is this helping us Australians? It’s not and if you politicals took your head out of the sand you might reliase you are selling off our children’s and grand children’s futures.

  3. Wendy  

    In 2010 the PM was Kevin Rudd so it all started with him. I am over the people that govern our country. All parties think they all have a right to spend as they wish and have the hide to tell us we have to pull in our belts. They increase their perks and wages and yet they don’t think of those of us that also need an increase to live. They say we can’t afford it..we all know that so STOP SPENDING money we don’t have to feather your own nests and do the job you are there to do..end of rant.

  4. Anne  

    Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t “have” a luggage lift. The official residence of Australia’s Prime Minister has one fitted. This seems enitrely appropirate for theplace where the national leader entertains as our representative. While we are a much smaller nation, I can’t imagine this sort of petty carping about Number 10 or White House facilities.

  5. Rudy  

    What a pack of WANKERS, they take all of those that least can afford it, then give themselves trips, office staff, flights and a good pension & are still working in the process, If I earn 1 $ they take it of my pension. Starting to really dislike politicians. The day of entitlements are over they said, For Who, us not them. Practice what you preach.

  6. Roger  

    Politics is and has long been merely an ego trip for certain people who think that they are way and above everyone else’s level. They happily squander away our money on delights for themselves while telling the rest of us to tighten our belts. They are also hell bent on attacking pensioners and many others who are largely unable to defend themselves from financial attack from politicians. Politicians simply make your flesh crawl.

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