Scott Morrison Touches Down In Sydney After Cutting Family Holiday Short
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has flown into Sydney after cutting a family holiday short amid mounting public pressure to respond to the bushfire crisis.
Morrison arrived back on Australian soil on Saturday evening, AAP has confirmed.
He is expected to visit NSW Rural Fire Service headquarters and other emergency sites on Sunday.
Morrison defended his family holiday to Hawaii during the bushfire emergency, saying it was arranged some time ago.
He has been criticised for taking leave as intense blazes burned across the country.
"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," Mr Morrison said in a statement on Friday.
"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."
Morrison's wife and daughters will remain in Hawaii.
He was originally scheduled to return to prime ministerial duties on Monday.
Federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese said the circumstances were a problem of the government's own making.
"I find it quite extraordinary that the usual protocols of the prime minister saying he is going on leave, how long he would go for and who would be acting in his absence have not been followed and, indeed, media inquiries were met with misinformation, at best," he told reporters on Saturday.
Christopher Pyne: Sorry, But Scott Morrison Can't Put Out The Fires With His Breath Like Some Superhero
At the outset, let me put on the record how sorry I am, and I’m sure all Australians are, for the victims of the terrible bushfires that have wrought havoc across New South Wales and Queensland in recent weeks.