#NotMyPM was the trending Twitter hashtag on Monday night, after Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, chose not to attend the Uluru closure ceremony.
After decades of activism and protesting by the Indigenous Anangu people, the management board of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta national park unanimously banned tourists from climbing the sacred site in November 2017, with the closure coming into effect on October 26, 2019. Marking the historic decision, dignitaries and members of the Indigenous community celebrated the occasion with an official ceremony, with a notable exception.
Instead of attending, Morrison, 51, was seen at a Constellation Cup netball match, watching a game between the Australia Diamonds and the New Zealand Silver Ferns at Perth’s RAC Arena with his wife, Jennifer Morrison, and their two daughters, Lily and Abbey Morrison.
Explaining his absence, Morrison claimed a scheduling issue meant he wasn't able to attend the ceremony, instead sending Environment Minister Sussan Ley. While the Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, and Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese, were also absent, Labor members Senator Pat Dodson, Linda Burney and Malarndirri McCarthy were present.
“My schedule didn’t permit me to be there. I can’t be in two places at once. I was in WA on the weekend and I was travelling back with my family from the West Australian telethon,” he told media at a press conference in Sydney this Monday.
In response, Australians have flooded Twitter with tweets calling Morrison's absence "selfish," "insulting," and "privileged," marking their disdain with the hashtag #NotMyPM.
@ScottMorrisonMP has ZERO respect for the aboriginal community. He is leading an example of a selfish & privileged white person, I am so ashamed of his decisions and he doesn't deserve to be Australia's leader. #NotMyPM
— Olivia Beasley (@oliviabeasley_) October 28, 2019