PM shrugs off Father’s Day trip criticism

Scott Morrison has brushed off criticism of his controversial travel between Canberra and Sydney for Father’s Day.

The prime minister accused former Labor leader Bill Shorten of a “cheap shot” after he described Mr Morrison’s judgment as appalling.

Mr Morrison took an air force jet from the national capital to his hometown on Friday and spent the weekend in Sydney before returning to the ACT on Monday.


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Health authorities granted him an exemption to return to Canberra with his movement restricted to The Lodge and Parliament House.

“In politics, people like to take a lot of swings at you and you get pretty used to it, but sometimes those jabs can be low blows,” Mr Morrison told Sky News on Tuesday.

The prime minister said suggestions he had tried to cover up the travel by posting a months-old family photo to social media on Father’s Day were cynical.

He said he joined a South Australian Liberal function online on Saturday from his office at Kirribilli House.

Mr Shorten believes Mr Morrison made a mistake with so many Australians unable to see family on Father’s Day because of border closures.

“It’s not that he doesn’t deserve to see his kids, but so does every other Australian,” the former opposition leader told the Nine Network.

“When 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.”

Travel between Sydney and Canberra is banned unless an exemption is granted, with NSW and the ACT both under strict stay-at-home orders.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said people were understandably frustrated with Mr Morrison’s travel.

“It’s not really a particularly good look,” he told reporters in Canberra.

But he said it was reasonable to grant exemptions for the prime minister to attend meetings of the national security committee of cabinet.

“I’m not the prime minister’s keeper. I don’t offer political advice to the prime minister and he probably wouldn’t listen even if I did.”

Federal Labor MP Luke Gosling tweeted a picture while quarantining in the Northern Territory after returning home following last week’s parliamentary sitting.

“Happy to be doing my part at Howard Springs after being in Canberra for parliament,” he said.

“Sure I missed Father’s Day with my family but hey, we’re all in this together right?”

NSW reported another 1220 local infections and eight deaths as authorities brace for a peak in numbers next week.

The state government will trial linking vaccination status to the check-in app used to enter venues from October.

Victoria recorded 246 cases for a second consecutive day, equalling the highest increase of the outbreak.

There were 19 new cases in Canberra.

Nationally, almost 36.43 per cent of the population aged 16 and above have been fully vaccinated while 63.16 per cent are covered with a single dose.

© AAP 2021