Townsville Bulletin

PM slams ‘cheap shot’ over Father’s Day trip


THE Prime Minister has hit back against the “cheap political shots” fired by his opponents after he flew home to Sydney for Father’s Day.

Scott Morrison came under fire after it was revealed on Monday that the ACT government had granted Mr Morrison an exemption to return to Canberra from Sydney.

Mr Morrison flew on a taxpayer-funded VIP flight to Sydney on Friday and returned to the capital on Monday morning.

Mr Morrison told Sky News

on Tuesday he had flown to Sydney to reunite with his family now that parliament was in recess, but was needed back in Canberra for a meeting that could not be held elsewhere.

“As Prime Minister, of course I need to return to Canberra,” he said.

The move had been brandished tasteless while thousands of Australian families remain separated amid strict lockdowns in Victoria, NSW and the ACT.

Speaking on the Today show on Tuesday, Labor’s Bill Shorten said it was inexcusabl­e that there was one set of rules for Mr Morrison and another for everyone else.

“I think Mr Morrison has exercised poor judgment in this case … It’s not that he doesn’t deserve to see his kids, but so does every other Australian,” Mr Shorten said.

“And I think when your people are doing it tough, you’ve got to do it tough too.

“You can’t have one rule for Mr Morrison and another rule for everyone else. I just think it’s appalling judgment.”

Mr Morrison spoke to Kieran Gilbert from Sky News later on Tuesday, saying Mr Shorten had taken “cheap shots”.

“Bill knows full well the rules … he knows you need to back and forth, he understand­s there are secure documents and discussion­s (that can only be undertaken in

Canberra),” Mr Morrison said.

“He knows all that … This was a bit of a cheap shot.

“There were no special rules or exemptions granted to my family.”

Nine’s Chris O’keefe had earlier labelled the move as “Hawaii 2.0”, in reference to Mr Morrison’s holiday amid the 2019 bushfire crisis.

“I don’t buy the argument he had to get back to Canberra for some meeting, a meeting that didn’t end up happening and he was going to relocate to Sydney,” O’keefe said.

“It all seems a bit cute and convenient.”

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Scott Morrison

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