Via the ABC:
The Acting Prime Minister has insisted it is appropriate for Scott Morrison to be having a Christmas break outside of Australia.
Michael McCormack has confirmed the Prime Minister is overseas with his family at an undisclosed location.
Some Labor MPs have posted online barbs to criticise Mr Morrison for taking a break as bushfires continue to burn in his home state.
But those comments have not been reciprocated by the Opposition Leader, who has backed Mr Morrison having a vacation.
The bulk of the criticism levelled at Mr Morrison has been on Twitter.
“Everybody deserves a holiday,” the Acting Prime Minister told reporters.
“Everybody deserves a break. He worked hard this year, achieved great things for Australia.”
Mr McCormack said it was a pre-planned trip. It comes earlier than usual, with Mr Morrison slated to travel to India and Japan in January, when prime ministers have traditionally taken a break.
Speculation on Twitter is that Mr Morrison and his family are in Hawaii, but the Prime Minister’s office refused to confirm the location, citing security concerns.
Mr Morrison is expected to return to work between Christmas and New Year. He is continuing to receive bushfire updates while he’s away.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said he didn’t have concerns with Mr Morrison having a pre-Christmas break.
He said he had an issue with the way the Government had handled the bushfires, but not with Mr Morrison’s decision to take a break.
“I have many criticisms of Scott Morrison. One isn’t when he chooses to go on leave with his family,” Mr Albanese said.
“People are entitled to have leave and that’s a matter for him when he takes it.”
Speaking in New Zealand on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Marise Payne defended Mr Morrison.
“He has a planned break with his family, his family who have no choice in the matter as so when they are able to spend time with their husband and their father,” she said.
Mr McCormack said it was a matter for Mr Morrison to explain why he wasn’t holidaying in Australia.
“For those naysayers who are condemning him, they will probably go on holiday, too. They deserve to as well,” he said.
If there is secret genius in Albotross it’s not obvious:
— Focus News Channel (@FocusNewsNow) December 18, 2019
Yesterday was Australia’s hottest day on record, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
The average temperature across the country was 40.9 degrees Celsius, breaking the mark of 40.3C set in January 2013, but it’s a record unlikely to last for long.
He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.