A group of Australian tourists may have ended the ongoing mystery surrounding the whereabouts of Scott Morrison, who has come under fire for taking an overseas holiday while bushfires ravage his country.
As the ‘where the bloody hell are you’ hashtag continues to trend, a photo emerged from Hawaii showing a man claimed to be Mr Morrison with two men and a woman as the sun sets behind a beach.
It is unclear where exactly the photo was taken, but the man appearing to be the prime minister was sporting a pair of board shorts Mr Morrison wore just weeks ago.
On December 2, Mr Morrison posed with lifesavers on Cronulla Beach in southern Sydney wearing the same blue and white shorts.
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
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
The tourist who shared the photo also published a separate post, showing a driver at the wheel of a left-hand drive – as would be the norm in the US.
She added the hashtag ‘Hawaii’ and ‘it’s on ScoMo’s tab’.
The group in the photo are also shown flashing the ‘shaka sign’ – a highly-used hand gesture in Hawaii.
Mr Morrison is claimed to have secretly flown to Honolulu on a business class Jetstar flight, as huge swathes of the country are still ablaze.
Model Lara Bingle has been among those to criticise Mr Morrison.
Slamming her former boss for his controversial holiday to Hawaii, she used the marketing slogan that made her famous when she was the face of Australian tourism.
It comes after model Lara Bingle lashed out at the prime minister on Twitter (pictured) after he apparently flew business class to Hawaii as bushfires continue to ravage Australia
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.
Mr Morrison was the boss of Tourism Australia when a bikini-clad Bingle featured in the $186 million campaign.
Deemed too risqué, the advert was later banned in the UK.
Mr Morrison hired the 18-year-old Sydney-born model, who is from Cronulla in the Sutherland Shire which is part of the PM’s electorate, to front the campaign promoting Australia’s natural wonders.
In her tweet on Wednesday, she used the hashtag #AustraliaBurns and #AustraliaFires.
The Sydney-born model starred in the world-famous 2006 Tourism Australia campaign (pictured), which saw her promote Australia’s natural wonders
The model’s scathing tweet came just hours after embarrassing footage emerged of the Prime Minister slamming a police leader who went out to dinner during the Black Saturday fire of 2009.
Mr Morrison, then an ambitious MP, went on ABC’s Q&A as a guest panelist and was highly critical of then Victorian Police Commissioner Christine Nixon.
He said it was ‘incumbent’ on all public officials to show good judgement during times of national crisis.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison with his wife, Jenny (pictured together) during a previous trip away. They are understood to be in Honolulu for a ‘well-deserved break’
‘She’s clearly made a bad judgement call, that happens to people from time to time,’ he said in 2010.
‘But this was a very serious issue and I think there are very serious concerns in the community about exercising judgement.
A firefighter conducts back-burning measures (pictured) to secure residential areas from encroaching bushfires in the Central Coast on December 10
‘And it’s incumbent on of all us in public life to make decisions following that in the best interests of the ongoing nature of the program.’
At the start of Mr Morrison’s alleged holiday, there were still more than 100 raging bushfires scorching NSW alone.
The Gospers Mountain megafire, the size of greater Sydney, is still not contained.
Firefighters have warned of devastating conditions this week as a heatwave makes it nearly impossible to battle the blazes.
Ms Nixon had gone out to dinner during the height of the Black Saturday fires, which killed 173 people in 2009.
On Tuesday, New South Wales Greens MP David Shoebridge claimed Mr Morrison had flown to Hawaii with his wife Jenny and two daughters Abbey, 11, and Lily, 9.
The Prime Minister’s office said it could not reveal his holiday location, citing ‘security reasons’.
He is receiving regular briefings on the fire and the New Zealand White Island disaster while away, officials confirmed.
Scott Morrison (pictured) appeared on ABC’s Q&A panel show back in 2010, where he criticised the then Victorian Police Commissioner Christine Nixon
Earlier in the 2010 panel discussion, Mr Morrison said it was up to Ms Nixon to decide if her conduct ‘impeded on the ability of that organisation to get on with the job’.
‘I think what’s most important here gets beyond any one individual, and that is public confidence in how the reconstruction effort is taking place,’ he said.
‘And while the premier may have made his call on Christine, it really is a matter for her to make a judgment whether the controversy surrounding her actions actually, at the end of the day, may well impede the ability of that organisation to get on with the job.’
What did Christine Nixon do?
The Black Saturday fires in Victoria on February 7 2009 wiped out more than 2,000 homes and killed 173 people.
It was called ‘one of the darkest days in Australia’s peacetime history’ by the then-Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.
Christine Nixon, the Victorian Police Commissioner, left the state control as the blaze unfolded, and went out to a pub for dinner.
This is despite being told Victorian lives were likely to be lost.
Earlier that day, she went to a hair appointment and later met her biographer.
Her decision became a national scandal, resulting in her being called to appear in front of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.
Many called for her to be sacked, but Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Premier John Brumby stood by her.
Airport witnesses confirmed they had seen Mr Morrison earlier this week heading to his holiday.
Mr Shoebridge slammed Mr Morrison in a scathing tweet asking if he’d ‘noticed the country was on fire’.
‘We have heard rumours @ScottMorrisonMP is in Hawaii #ClimateEmergency,’ he wrote.
Mr Morrison’s office released a statement saying the PM was on ‘leave’ but was receiving ‘regular updates on the status of victims of the White Island tragedy as well as details on the bushfires across the country’.
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
National Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack will be acting leader until Thursday when Mr Morrison returns to Australia.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the PM was having a ‘well deserved break’.
‘It’s been a very busy year,’ Mr Frydenberg said. ‘He’ll be back at work shortly and then he’ll be off to India leading a delegation to advance Australia’s interests.’
The leave had not been formally announced, and was the first family holiday the PM had taken since he whisked his family away to Fiji soon after securing the leadership of the Liberal Party.
Six people had died and more than 720 homes have been destroyed by the current bushfire crisis.
Mr Morrison has refused to be drawn into a debate on the cause of the fires and the relation to climate change
Mr Morrison offered ‘thoughts and prayers’ to victims of the blazes and assured the Australian public all was being done to help volunteer firefighters.
Mr Morrison reportedly pre planned a trip away to align with his daughters school holidays (Pictured with his wife, Jenny, daughters Abbey and Lily and his mother Marion)