The prime minister had hoped to return to Arnhem Land on Friday but has now decided against it.

Tony Abbott has decided not to resume a visit to Arnhem Land after anti-terrorist raids in Sydney and Brisbane.

The prime minister had planned to fly back to Nhulunbuy on Friday after suspending his Top End trip to farewell Australian troops bound for Iraq.

But Mr Abbott now says he’s decided not to return to the region so he can better deal with the fallout from Thursday’s events.

“Under the circumstances I think it is going to be difficult to go back today as I had hoped,” he told ABC radio on Friday.

He says he will speak to local indigenous leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu to let him know he won’t be returning.

“But I did have five pretty solid days up there and I’m very grateful for the hospitality that the Yolngu people showed me.”