Over the weekend, many Australians were separated from their loved ones and were not able to be with their families to celebrate Father’s Day. For Victorians, it was the second Father’s Day in two years that the state was in a lockdown.
It has been revealed that Prime Minister Scott Morrison left Canberra on Friday afternoon to be with his family at the lodge over the Father’s Day weekend, returning to Canberra on Monday.
Politicians are classed as essential workers, which grants them exemptions and freedom of movement. However, as Sydney is still struggling to contain the virus and is considered a hot spot, a two week quarantine is required upon arrival. Kerryn Coleman, chief health officer of the ACT, granted an exemption for the prime minister subject to strict level 3 stay at home orders which require frequent testing and restricted movement throughout the ACT, so that Morrison could be back in Canberra for a national security meeting and the women’s safety summit.
While all of his movements are above board and comply with health and safety regulations, the prime minister’s empathy is being called into question. As half of the country’s population is under strict lockdown orders, Morrison was afforded the opportunity to spend Father’s Day with his family.
His integrity is also being questioned as no mention of his trip home was made in an Instagram post put up on Father’s Day. The post shows a picture of the PM with his family and a caption that mentioned the photo was taken earlier in the year.
“Being a Dad is a special gift that we are given in life,” he wrote. “On the day this photo was taken of our family together earlier this year I was reminded of just how precious this gift is.”
Labor disability insurance scheme spokesman, Bill Shorten said: “I think Mr Morrisons’s exercised poor judgement in this case. I was a bit surprised when I read he had done this, to be honest.
“It’s not that he doesn’t deserve to see his kids but so does every other Australian. And I think that when your people are doing it tough, you’ve got to do it tough, too.
“I know for a lot of MPs when we leave Canberra we’ve got to spend two weeks locked down away from our families. So I just don’t know how he was able to get a permit when most people can’t.”