CHRISTINE Nixon has rolled back onto centre stage today to testify at the Lawyer X Royal Commission. Of more interest than anything she is likely to say there is the hot new talking point – tangential to her imposing personage – being promoted by Samantha Maiden, Peter van Onselen and a few others about Scott Morrison’s Christmas vacation on Hawaii. With wife Jenny and daughters, Lily, nine, and Abbey, 11, the Prime Minister is enjoying a well-deserved holiday after a year that must have been an enormous strain on his family – not least on two children of tender age from whom he must have been separated for weeks at a time while campaigning or attending to affairs of state. They, first and foremost, deserve some fun.
A-ha! Gotcha! So scream Maiden and van Onselen who say Mr Morrison’s criticism of then Victorian police chief Nixon for famously abandoning headquarters during the tragic Black Saturday bushfires of early 2009 is hypocritical. He should stay in Australia and personally oversee the current fire-fighting, they suggest. Both have to re-write Ms Nixon’s odd behaviour to make the angle work, of course. Maiden delights in remembering the “ambitious young Liberal MP” who attacked Nixon for “choosing to eat dinner at a gastropub” while van Onselen says Mr Morrison attacked her “for going out for dinner.”
In fact, on the worst day of a fire that killed 173 people, Commissioner Nixon had her hair done in the morning, met with her biographer at lunch and skipped out again for dinner at the swank Metropolitan Hotel that night. On being told that literally dozens of human beings were being incinerated, very few emergency services leaders in the world would pop out to dine at a posh eatery. Police association secretary Sen-Sgt Greg Davies described it as “the greatest failure of any chief commissioner in the history of Victoria.”