Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, has come under fresh scrutiny after flying on a private jet from Canberra to Sydney for a Father’s Day visit whilst the majority of Australians were locked at home.
Morrison flew from Australia’s capital, Canberra, to Sydney at the weekend to visit his family for Father’s Day, which is celebrated on the first Sunday of September in Australia. Health authorities had given him an exemption as an “essential worker.”
Morrison posted a photo of himself and his kids holding a white dove on Father’s Day, captioning the image as from earlier this year. But the fact the PM did not disclose that he had travelled to Sydney has caused critics to accuse him of dishonesty.
Australia has closed its borders during the pandemic – both from international travel and domestically between regions.
A Canberra radio host said they were displeased at Morrison’s “perceived lack of honesty.”
One Twitter user said, “If the Queen could sit alone at her husband’s funeral in solidarity with others separated from their families, surely Scott Morrison could have FaceTimed his kids on Fathers Day.”
Australia’s opposition Labour Party condemned the prime minister for his actions, with Labour MP Bill Shorten saying, “You can’t have one rule for Mr Morrison and another rule for everyone else.“
“It’s not that he doesn’t deserve to see his kids, but so does every other Australian. And I think when your people are doing it tough, you’ve got to do it tough too,” he added.
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Earlier this year, Morrison was also questioned by the public after extending his G7 trip to the UK so he could explore his ancestry in Cornwall, England. The extended sabbatical was inappropriately undertaken whilst Australian citizens were not allowed to travel overseas without a difficult-to-acquire exemption – a policy which is still in place.
Morrison told Sydney radio station 2GB on Monday that the detours in Cornwall – which included a visit to a jail, church and local pubs – were “along the way.”
Morrison was once again scrutinized in late 2019 when we went on a holiday to Hawaii as catastrophic bushfires ravished Australia. He later apologized for the timing of the trip.
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