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Finally! Scott Morrison gets last seat on the plane as he boards flight from Hawaii to Sydney after being pictured relaxing on a beach as bushfires ravage Australia

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 21/12/2019

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Video provided by Sky News Australia

Scott Morrison is believed to be on his way back from Hawaii after buying the last seat on a flight from Honolulu.

The prime minister is expected to land in Sydney on Saturday evening.

It comes just after Mr Morrison was been pictured relaxing in Hawaii just hours after he said he would come home 'as soon as I can'.

The image, posted on Twitter by an Aussie tourist, showed the Prime Minister sitting down next to his wife Jenny with a drink on the table. 

The caption read: 'Scott Morrison 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.' 

a group of people sitting at a table with a blue umbrella: Scott Morrison has been pictured relaxing in Hawaii just hours after he said he would come home 'as soon as I can' © Provided by Daily Mail Scott Morrison has been pictured relaxing in Hawaii just hours after he said he would come home 'as soon as I can' a group of people sitting in a chair: The image, posted on Twitter by an Aussie tourist, showed the Prime Minister sitting down next to his wife Jenny with a drink on the table © Provided by Daily Mail The image, posted on Twitter by an Aussie tourist, showed the Prime Minister sitting down next to his wife Jenny with a drink on the table

The PM had defended jetting off to Hawaii for a family holiday at the height of the bushfire crisis, pointing out he doesn't 'hold a hose' like firefighters. 

The Australian Prime Minister further angered voters in a radio interview on Friday as he apologised for 'any offence caused' by his decision to go on holiday to the idyllic American island with his wife and two daughters.

'It's not easy to get back, but I will as soon as I can,' Mr Morrison told 2GB radio.

'I know Australians will understand this, and they'll be pleased I'm coming back... but they know that, you know, I don't hold a hose mate.' 

His latest controversial remarks come after an online petition calling on the Governor General to remove him as Prime Minister received more than 70,000 signatures.

a group of people posing for the camera: A photo of a group of Australian tourists who claimed to be with Prime Minister Scott Morrison (second from right) has emerged on social media © Provided by Daily Mail A photo of a group of Australian tourists who claimed to be with Prime Minister Scott Morrison (second from right) has emerged on social media

The Change.org petition claims that recent bushfires across NSW, Queensland and Victoria could have been prevented with better governance.

'The recent fires in NSW are just the beginning as things will undoubtedly get worse,' it reads. 

'There have also been many vulnerable Australian deaths as a result of the policies and indifference of this Government. 

'They have lost the right to govern us and have forgotten that they have been elected as representatives.' 

Pictures: Australia’s most deadly and destructive bushfires

Only one Australian prime minister has ever been removed from office, with Gough Whitlam deposed by Governor General John Kerr on November 11, 1975. 

Mr Morrison said the Hawaii trip was organised as 'a surprise' for his two daughters. 

'(Hawaii) is sometimes where we go privately for our holidays. We spend a lot of time in Australia on our holidays as well.'

'We had planned to spend it down the South Coast as we usually do, but we had to bring it forward because of those commitments we had in India and Japan.

a screenshot of a cell phone

© Provided by Daily Mail

'So we had to tell the girls we wouldn't be spending as much time down there, so in return I tried to give them a bit of a nice surprise and take them here.' 

The prime minister faced fierce criticism for going on an unannounced family break at a time where fires were claiming lives and homes.

Volunteer firefighters Andrew O'Dwyer and Geoffrey Keaton were killed on Thursday evening when their truck hit a fallen tree and rolled.

Mr O'Dwyer - a father-of-three - and Mr Keaton - father to a young boy - had been in the Rural Fire Service as volunteers for more than a decade.

Objections to Mr Morrison's surprise holiday only grew when his office refused to if he had gone on holiday, citing 'security concerns' and 'protocol'. 

Mr Morrison said he had been receiving regular updates on the bushfires disaster as well as the ongoing search for and treatment of victims of the White Island tragedy.

'The Commonwealth's responsibilities have been well managed by the Acting Prime Minister, Minister Littleproud and Minister Payne,' he said.

'As noted, given the most recent tragic events, I will be returning to Sydney as soon as can be arranged.' 

It comes after a group of Australian tourists seemed to end the ongoing mystery surrounding the whereabouts of Mr Morrison.

a screenshot of a cell phone: So where is Scott Morrison? Greens MP David Shoebridge asked his followers that question, before claiming he'd heard rumours the PM was in Hawaii © Provided by Daily Mail So where is Scott Morrison? Greens MP David Shoebridge asked his followers that question, before claiming he'd heard rumours the PM was in Hawaii

Mr Morrison's holiday led to the Twitter hashtag #wherethebloodyhellareya trending across the country all week.

It's a reference to the famous $186 million ad campaign featuring model Lara Bingle, which was made when Mr Morrison was Tourism Australia's boss. 

He had even faced criticism from model mode Ms Bingle, who slammed her former boss, using the marketing slogan that made her famous.

Ms Bingle, 32, who now goes by the name of Worthington after marrying the Australian actor Sam, referenced her famous Tourism Australia catch-cry from 2006 Tweeting: 'Scott Morrison: WHERE THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU???' on Twitter. 

On Friday morning, the Prime Minister expressed condolences to the families of the two firefighters killed on Thursday night.

'They were bravely defending their communities with an unmatched spirit and a dedication that will forever set them apart amongst our most courageous Australians,' he said.

'Their sacrifice and service saving lives and saving properties will be forever remembered. I wish those injured all the best in their recovery.'

a man standing in front of a body of water: The Sydney-born model starred in the world-famous 2006 Tourism Australia campaign (pictured), which saw her promote Australia's natural wonders © Provided by Daily Mail The Sydney-born model starred in the world-famous 2006 Tourism Australia campaign (pictured), which saw her promote Australia's natural wonders a person standing next to a forest: A firefighter conducts back-burning measures (pictured) to secure residential areas from encroaching bushfires in the Central Coast on December 10 © Provided by Daily Mail A firefighter conducts back-burning measures (pictured) to secure residential areas from encroaching bushfires in the Central Coast on December 10

Mr Morrison said Australians were deeply grateful to all of those battling the fires.

'These fires and heat conditions are horrendous, and there are still difficult days ahead, with Saturday predicted to be the most severe day, with extreme temperatures and wind making conditions very difficult for fire crews,' he said.  

'We wish all of those putting themselves in harm's way for all of us, all the best. Stay safe, stay together.' 

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese had said the prime minister's leave was a matter for him.

'He made the decision and it's a matter for his judgement when he goes on holiday,' Mr Albanese told reporters at a bushfire ground outside Sydney.

'One of the issues has been the lack of information and transparency around this.'  

 On Thursday night, as the 'where the bloody hell are you' hashtag continued to trend, a photo emerged from Hawaii showing Mr Morrison with two men and a woman on a beach as the sun set behind them.

 The group in the photo are also shown flashing the 'shaka sign' - a highly-used hand gesture in Hawaii.

Mr Morrison had been cricital of former Victorian Police Commissioner Christine Nixon for attending a dinner with friends during the Black Saturday fires of 2009 that killed 173 people.

He said it was 'incumbent' on all public officials to show good judgement during times of national crisis.   

a group of people posing for a photo: It is unclear where exactly the photo was taken, but the man appearing to be the Australian prime minister was sporting a pair of board shorts he wore just weeks ago to a surf lifesaving event in Cronulla in southern Sydney © Provided by Daily Mail It is unclear where exactly the photo was taken, but the man appearing to be the Australian prime minister was sporting a pair of board shorts he wore just weeks ago to a surf lifesaving event in Cronulla in southern Sydney

At Microsoft News Australia we've partnered with the giving platform Benevity to raise funds for Australian Red Cross, St Vincent De Paul Society and The Salvation Army; these organisations are helping communities across the country devastated by bushfires. You can help these organisations by donating here and for the latest news and RFS links visit Bushfire emergency.


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