Politics

Scott Morrison Will Finally Leave Hawaii After Two Firefighters Die Near Sydney

The Prime Minister has been on holiday during the bushfires.

Scott Morrison holiday

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Scott Morrison is finally coming home from holidays, and it only took the deaths of two volunteer firefighters to convince him that maybe heading to Hawaii during a national disaster wasn’t such a great idea.

And he says it’s unfortunate his holiday “came at such an awful time”.

Deputy Captain Geoffrey Keaton, 32, and firefighter Andrew O’Dwyer, 36, were killed last night when a fallen tree caused their tanker to roll.

They were fighting the emergency-level fire at Green Wattle Creek near Buxton, south-west of Sydney, at the time.

Meanwhile, this morning our prime minister finally confirmed he was enjoying a tropical Hawaiian holiday in the midst of our national disaster.

“The girls and Jen love holidaying in Hawaii and we’ve had a few nice days here,” he told 2GB radio.

So glad to hear it.

In a statement this morning Morrison announced he would cut his holiday short and return to Sydney “as soon as can be arranged”, but it was too little too late for many Australians.

He was due to return to the role on Monday night anyway, according to acting PM Michael McCormack, so it doesn’t sound like he’ll be cutting much short at all.

In his statement Morrison said the reason he went on holiday was because he’d had to cancel the leave he’d organised for January, which conflicted with an official visit to meet the leaders of India and Japan in their respective countries.

“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,” his statement said.

“I have been receiving regular updates on the bushfires disaster as well as the status of the search for and treatment of the victims of the White Island tragedy.”

In his 2GB radio interview ScoMo said he was “pleased to be returning”.

“We spend a lot of time in Australia as well. We had planned to spend it down the south coast but we had to bring it forward due to those commitments in India and Japan,” he said.

“That’s what dads try and do when they work hard all year … That’s all I was trying to do. It’s just unfortunate it came at such an awful time.”

In a separate incident yesterday, three other firefighters were treated for burns after flames engulfed their truck.

Two men were airlifted to hospital with severe facial and airway burns, and a woman was treated for superficial burns and smoke inhalation.