When night falls on Canberra’s house on the hill, a different species takes charge of the grounds of Parliament.
Possums, not politicians, are in power as they prowl the perimeter of the building.
The nocturnal marsupials perch in Parliament’s least glamorous galleries: Gardening sheds, tyres, and on top of air-conditioning units.
These parliamentary possums don’t always hang out in places you’d expect. (ABC News: Paul Kneeshaw)
“You’d expect them to be out in the trees, but we’ve found them in drain pipes, at the tennis court pavilions, and we’ve got spare tyres for machinery and we’ve seen a couple living in there,” landscape manager Paul Jansenns said.
“We nicknamed those two Michelin and Pirelli, after the tyres they were living in.”
A couple of possum boxes were installed into some of the taller trees in Parliament House’s gardens. (ABC News: Caitlyn Gribbin)
But the brushtail possums have gone from the outhouse to the penthouse, which Mr Jansenns says is all thanks to some nifty gardeners.
“We thought that if we could get some possum boxes made and put them up in the trees the possums would then move out.
“They’d be happy and we’d be happy.”
Some of the furry squatters have settled into their new homes well.
But Mr Jansenns said the others would be evicted from Parliament’s sheds, tyres and drain pipes any time soon.