Important brief: Senator Ricky Muir arrives at Parliament House to meet Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Ricky Muir has taken the biggest step on his journey from obscurity to political power player.
The novice senator drove eight hours from his home town of Denison, southern Victoria, to Canberra on Wednesday for his first day at work.
Joining the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party's first elected official on the road was wife Kerri-Anne and their five children in two cars between them.
They arrived in Canberra just before 3pm in time for his first official appointment: a 3.30pm meeting with Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
A nervous-looking Senator Muir was shepherded straight from a Commonwealth car by adviser Peter Breen, the former NSW independent, into Parliament's Senate entrance.
He refused to answer questions, saying only that he was happy to have arrived in Canberra.
But after his meeting with Mr Abbott, Senator Muir, who has quit his job in a rural Victorian sawmill, said he had taken the sit-down with Mr Abbott in his stride. ''I handled myself absolutely fine. It's all part of the new job,'' he said.
According to Senator Muir and a government spokeswoman, the half-hour meeting in the Prime Minister's Parliament office was a ''genial meet and greet'' at which Mr Abbott explained the importance of his legislative agenda and Treasurer Joe Hockey's first budget.
The carbon tax repeal, which Senator Muir will support, was the first matter raised by Mr Abbott.
The government's plans to abolish the mining tax, pass the budget and restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission were all discussed.
Mr Abbott offered a full briefing from ministers on government bills and an ongoing dialogue with the Prime Minister's office.
The government is keen to woo the political novice whose vote is expected to at times decide the fate of legislation.
After the election, Senator Muir entered an alliance with the Palmer United bloc of three - Glenn Lazarus, Jacqui Lambie and Dio Wang - but his new political adviser Glenn Druery, the so-called preference whisperer, believes Senator Muir's influence will be greater outside the confines of Clive Palmer's group.
Mr Druery attended the meeting in the Prime Minister's office.
Senator Muir is yet to reveal his views on contentious elements of the budget, including the fuel excise, Medicare co-payment, welfare cuts, university funding and the massive cuts to state health and education programs.