Rudd pitches Gillard out of home base
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Rudd pitches Gillard out of home base

As the removalist van arrived to move Julia Gillard out from The Lodge, just across the road Kevin Rudd was pretending to pitch a winner.

Workers were seen taking cardboard packing boxes into the Prime Minister’s Canberra residence on Wednesday.

A removalists truck is seen at the Lodge.

A removalists truck is seen at the Lodge.

Ms Gillard and Tim Mathieson and dog Reuben are moving out of the house, following Ms Gillard’s dumping as Prime Minister.

They are expected to return to Melbourne where Ms Gillard has a house.

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Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the American embassy for an early Fourth of July celebration with ambassador Jeffrey L. Bleich and Senator Kate Lundy.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the American embassy for an early Fourth of July celebration with ambassador Jeffrey L. Bleich and Senator Kate Lundy.Credit:Jay Cronan

As removalists scoped out The Lodge, Mr Rudd was at the American embassy for an early Fourth of July celebration with ambassador Jeffrey L. Bleich.

Mr Rudd posed for cameras outside the building, even pretending to throw a baseball pitch from the front door.

With Mr Rudd are Mr Bleich and ACT Labor Senator Kate Lundy who lost her role as minister for sport in Mr Rudd’s ministry shake-up.

The Prime Minister is due to fly to Jakarta on Thursday for talks on asylum seeker boats with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Mr Rudd told a newspaper in his home town of Brisbane that he would spend more time in Queensland, as he tries to shore up support for Labor ahead of the election.

He said he would only stay at the PM’s official residences at The Lodge and Kirribilli House in Sydney when in those cities on official business.

Mr Rudd must try to protect Labor’s eight seats in Queensland despite the mass defections from cabinet.

His prominence in Queensland may be an attempt to make up for the loss of three cabinet ministers from the state after Wayne Swan, Craig Emerson and Joe Ludwig quit when Ms Gillard was defeated.

In a pitch to the parochial state, Mr Rudd said he wanted to stay in touch with the local community.

‘‘I really like sitting on the back veranda of our house in Norman Park and while I will be travelling a lot it will be great to come home to Brissie and be in my local community and the warmer weather,’’ he said.

He is expected to move some personal belongings such as books to The Lodge for his visits to Canberra.

The Prime Minister listed his family home at 35 Mueller Street in Yarralumla on the market about a month ago.

It is being offered for $2,250,000 through Peter Blackshaw Real Estate.

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The family left the Yarralumla address at the end of 2011 at the conclusion of son Marcus’ year 12 studies and the house was rented out after this time.

The tenants vacated the home last month.

Ross Peake is a senior reporter for The Canberra Times

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