The tourist who snapped Scott Morrison relaxing in Hawaii has slated the prime minister for his dismissive comments about the bushfires which are savaging Australia.
Following Mr Morrison’s promise to get back to Australia as soon as he possibly could, the tourist in Hawaii snapped a photo of Mr Morrison on the beach, clearly not rushing to get on a flight back to Australia.
The pictures of Mr Morrison in Hawaii were shared to Twitter by Ben Parsons, from NSW, but the photo were taken by his uncle who was also on holidays.
The tourist spoke to 10 News First and said Mr Morrison was “quite happy” to sit back and down cocktails, while the firefighters in Australia battled out-of-control blazes.
The tourist then asked the PM if he would be going back to Australia to “resolve the bushfire situation” and the PM said it was a “state issue”.
“His comment to me was ‘no, that’s a state issue’,” Mr Way said.
“I think the man just needs to step back and take a bit of a check on himself.”
Mr Morrison decided to come home following the deaths of two firefighters who were en route to fight the Green Wattle fire in Buxton on Thursday.
@ScottMorrisonMP sighted a very short time ago (Fri 20/12 7pm) by my uncle in Hawaii. Looks like he's in a real hurry to get back!!! #auspol #ScoMo #bushfires #Scummo #bushfires #AustraliaBurns #wherethebloodyhellareya #whereisScoMo #WheresScotty #AUSTRALIANBUSHFIRES pic.twitter.com/0m9M76hrIc— Ben Parsons (@parso81) December 20, 2019
“Given these most recent tragic events, I will be returning to Sydney from leave as soon as can be arranged,” Mr Morrison said on Thursday.
“I deeply regret any offence caused to any of the many Australians affected by the terrible bushfires by my taking leave with family at this time.”
However, once he returned home he justified his holiday by saying he is not a trained firefighter.
“They know I’m not going to stand there and hold a hose,” he told reporters when he returned home from his holiday on Saturday evening.
“Well he can at least turn up and give them [the firefighters] a pat on the back,” Mr Way said.
On Sunday Mr Morrison again apologised for his holiday and the offence it caused many Australians.
“If you had your time over again and you had the benefit of hindsight we would have made different decisions,” he told reporters in Sydney.
“I am sure Australians are fair-minded and understand that when you make a promise to your kids you try and keep it.
“But as prime minister, you have other responsibilities, and I accept that and I accept the criticism.”
Mr Morrison said right now, amid the bushfire crisis, it was not the time for “division, argument, partisanship or point-scoring”.
He also recanted previous comments he made weeks ago about firefighters wanting to be out there fighting fires.
“No-one wants to be out there fighting these fires. No-one wants these fires to be happening at this time,” Mr Morrison said.
“But when those fires do occur, as they have for a very long time in this country, then those who have signed up and put their hand up to be there to defend their communities, then they go out and they do this work.”
And while he acknowledged the connection between the bushfires and climate change on Sunday while at the RFS headquarters, he defended the government’s response to the bushfires and unwillingness to ending coal exports and setting stricter emissions targets in an op-ed in The Daily Telegraph.
“There is no disagreement and there has not been any denial of this critical factor, either by the federal government or any state or territory government,” Mr Morrison wrote.
“But to suggest that increasing Australia's climate targets would have prevented these fires or extreme weather events, in Australia or anywhere else, is simply false.”
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