Scott Morrison Says He Had To Go On Holiday During The Bushfires Because He Promised His Kids
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Despite the Prime Minister now touching back on Australian soil, he's still copping a barrage of criticism for leaving the country during the bushfire crisis.
Scott Morrison faced the media yesterday and this morning after returning from a family holiday to Hawaii to explain his actions.
But his main excuse for leaving the country he's meant to lead during an unprecedented fire emergency is that he promised to take his kids on holiday and he didn't want to let them down.
FULL INTERVIEW: Prime Minister @ScottMorrisonMP joined Sunrise to answer criticism about taking a holiday while the country burned, and ruling out changes to climate policy. #auspol pic.twitter.com/x3LQplGaUR
- Sunrise (@sunriseon7) 22 December 2019
He told a press conference yesterday: "I am sure Australians are fair-minded, and understand that when you make a promise to your children, you try and keep it.
"But as Prime Minister you have other responsibilities, and I accept that, and I accept the criticism and that is why Jenny and I thought it was important that I returned, particularly after the tragedies we saw late last week."
The tragedies he's referring to are the deaths of two volunteer firefighters who died when the truck they were in rolled off a road.
Though he left the country at a time when firefighters are battling bushfires around the clock, the Prime Minister thinks the outrage over his holiday is overstated.
He said: "I get it that people would have been upset to know that I was holidaying with my family while their families were under great stress.
"They know I will not stand there and hold a hose. I am not a trained firefighter, nor am I an expert like those in the next room doing an amazing job.
"But I am comforted by the fact that Australians would like me to be here, simply so I can be here alongside them as they go through this terrible time. And so to those Australians who that caused upset to, I apologise for that."
In the time since that press conference, Mr Morrison has fronted the morning show TV programmes on Channel 9 and Channel 7 to remind people that his trip to Hawaii was weighed up before he left.
But he's angered people by comparing himself to blue collar workers who have to make difficult decisions.
The Prime Minister told Sunrise: "We all make decisions. You do as a parent, I do as a parent. We all seek to balance our work life responsibilities and we all try to get that right.
"We can all make better decisions on occasions, and I was pretty upfront about that to Australia.
"Whether it is a Friday afternoon and you are deciding to take that extra plumbing contract and you said you would pick up the kids, or something at my level, these are things you juggle as parents.
"I have young kids and I sought to make some good decisions there, and I could have made better [decisions] on this occasion."