The territory’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerryn Coleman, granted the exemption and appears likely to do so again because the ACT government considers members of Federal Parliament to be essential workers who need to cross the border.
While the flight triggered strong criticism of Mr Morrison on social media, Labor was divided on whether he should cross the border.
Mr Shorten said Mr Morrison had shown “appalling judgment” in making the trip to see his family on Father’s Day when others could not do the same.
“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,” Mr Shorten said.
But former Labor resources spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said the travel was approved.
“He did it within the rules and I’m not going to be too critical,” Mr Fitzgibbon told Sky News.
Mr Morrison posted a Father’s Day message on social media on the weekend showing him with his wife, Jenny, and their two daughters in a photo taken in February at the launch of a day to commemorate four children killed by a drunk driver, but he made no mention of his presence in Sydney.
Asked by Sky News journalist Kieran Gilbert if he had been trying to “cover up” the visit, Mr Morrison said: “Of course not”.
The Prime Minister has been criticised for his travel in the past, including a family holiday in Hawaii in late 2019 and a brief visit to a village in Cornwall after the G7 summit in the United Kingdom in June this year, but he rejected the claim he had posted the photo to mislead people.
“Well, I think that’s very cynical,” he said.
“In politics, people like to take a lot of swings at you, and you get pretty used to that, but sometimes those jabs can be low blows,” he said.
The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.