|39th Treasurer of Australia|
21 September 2015
|Prime Minister||Malcolm Turnbull|
|Preceded by||Joe Hockey|
|Minister for Social Services|
23 December 2014 – 21 September 2015
|Prime Minister||Tony Abbott
|Preceded by||Kevin Andrews|
|Succeeded by||Christian Porter|
|Minister for Immigration and Border Protection|
18 September 2013 – 23 December 2014
|Prime Minister||Tony Abbott|
|Preceded by||Tony Burke|
|Succeeded by||Peter Dutton|
|Member of the Australian Parliament
24 November 2007
|Preceded by||Bruce Baird|
|Born||Scott John Morrison
13 May 1968
Waverley, New South Wales, Australia
|Alma mater||University of New South Wales|
Scott John Morrison (born 13 May 1968) is an Australian politician. He has been a Liberal Party member of the Australian House of Representatives representing the Division of Cook in New South Wales since the 2007 federal election. After the Liberal Party was elected to government at the 2013 federal election, Morrison was appointed the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, responsible for implementing Operation Sovereign Borders, aimed at preventing people smuggling. In late 2014 he was appointed Minister for Social Services after a cabinet reshuffle. He became the Treasurer of Australia in the First Turnbull Ministry.
Early life and education
Morrison was born in Waverley, Sydney, New South Wales, the younger of two sons born to Marion (née Smith) and John Morrison. His father was a policeman who served on the Waverley Municipal Council for 16 years, including for a brief period as mayor. Morrison's maternal grandfather was born in New Zealand.
Morrison grew up in the suburb of Bronte. He had a brief career as a child actor, appearing in several television commercials. He attended Sydney Boys High School before going on to complete an honours degree in economics and geography at the University of New South Wales.
After graduating from university, Morrison worked as national policy and research manager for the Property Council of Australia from 1989 to 1995. He then moved into tourism, serving as deputy chief executive of the Australian Tourism Task Force and then general manager of the Tourism Council of Australia; the latter was managed by Bruce Baird, who he would eventually succeed in federal parliament. In 1998, Morrison moved to New Zealand to become director of the newly created Office of Tourism and Sport. He formed a close relationship with tourism minister Murray McCully, and was involved with the creation of the long-running "100% Pure New Zealand" campaign.
In April 2000, Morrison returned to Australia to become state director of the Liberal Party in New South Wales. He oversaw the party's campaigns at the 2001 federal election and 2003 state election. In 2004, Morrison left that post to become the inaugural managing director of Tourism Australia, which had been created by the Howard Government. His appointment was controversial due to its openly political nature. Morrison approved and defended the contentious "So where the bloody hell are you?" advertising campaign. He was sacked in 2006, apparently due to conflict with tourism minister Fran Bailey over the government's plans to further integrate the agency into the Australian Public Service.
Morrison sought Liberal preselection for the Division of Cook, an electorate in the southern suburbs of Sydney which includes Cronulla, Caringbah, and Miranda, in the 2007 election following the retirement of Bruce Baird, who had served as the member since 1998. He lost the ballot 82 votes to 8 to Michael Towke, a telecommunications engineer and the candidate of the Liberals' right faction.
However, allegations surfaced that Towke had engaged in branch stacking and had embellished his resume. The state executive of the Liberal Party disendorsed Towke and held a new pre-selection ballot, which Morrison won. The allegations against Towke were subsequently proved to be false, and The Daily Telegraph was forced to pay an undisclosed amount to settle a defamation suit filed by Towke.
Shadow ministry 2008-2013
On December 8, 2009, Morrison became shadow minister for immigration and citizenship, coming into the cabinet for the first time during Tony Abbott's first cabinet reshuffle shortly after winning the leadership. He served on the Shadow Cabinet Committee on Border Protection. Abbott described Morrison as "a great talent who was one of the bright new stars of the new generation of MPs."
In December 2010, forty-eight asylum seekers died in the Christmas Island boat disaster. On February 15, 2011, Morrison publicly questioned the decision of the Gillard Labor government to pay for the relatives of the victims to travel to funerals in Sydney. After fellow Liberal and shadow treasurer Joe Hockey disagreed with Morrison's statements, Morrison said that the timing of his comments was insensitive, but did not back away from the comments themselves.
In February 2013, Morrison said that the police should be notified of where asylum seekers are living in the community if any antisocial behaviour has occurred, and that there should be strict guide-lines for the behaviour of those currently on bridging visas while they await the determination of their claims. The new code of conduct was released by the immigration minister for more than 20,000 irregular maritime arrivals living in the community on bridging visas.
Abbott Government 2013-2015
On September 18, 2013, Morrison launched Operation Sovereign Borders, the newly elected Coalition government strategy aimed at stopping unauthorised boats departing for Australia. Cabinet documents from this time revealed in 2018 that Morrison asked for mitigation strategies to avoid granting permanent visas to 700 refugees. His office reported that there were 300 boats and 20,587 arrivals in 2013 to only 1 boat and 157 arrivals for all of 2014. The UNHCR expressed concerns that the practice may violate the Refugee Convention. The annual refugee intake, which had recently been increased to 20,000 by the Labor Government, was reduced to 13,750.
During his time as Immigration Minister, Morrison's dealings with the media and accountability to the public were widely criticised by journalists, Labor and Greens members of the Australian Senate, and others for refusing to provide details about the matters within his portfolio. Morrison asserted that to reveal details of operations would be to play into the hands of people smugglers who used this information to plan illegal smuggling operations. On many occasions Morrison refused to answer questions about the status of asylum seekers or boats coming to and from Australia, often on the basis that he would not disclose "on water" or "operational" matters.
In November 2014, the Australian Human Rights Commission delivered a report to the Government which found that Morrison failed in his responsibility to act in the best interests of children in detention during his time as Minister. The overarching finding of the inquiry was that the prolonged, mandatory detention of asylum seeker children caused them significant mental and physical illness and developmental delays, in breach of Australia's international obligations. The report was criticised by Tony Abbott as being politically motivated, pointing out the timing of the report's release after the Abbott Government had taken office. The Government released the report publicly in February 2015.
In early December 2014 Morrison had the Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 successfully passed through the Australian Parliament. The bill gave Morrison more power than any previous minister in dealing with people seeking asylum in Australia, including the power to return asylum seekers to their place of origin, detain asylum seekers without charge, and refuse asylum seekers who arrive by boat access to the Refugee Review Tribunal. The bill reintroduced temporary protection visas to deal specifically with the backlog of 30,000 people who had arrived under the previous Labor Government but who had yet to be processed. The Bill allowed those on bridging visas to apply for work, and increased the refugee intake to 18,750.
The bill caused controversy in parliament because Morrison stated he could release children held in immigration detention on Christmas Island if Senate cross-benchers agreed to vote for the legislation; however, those opposed to the bill said he could have released the children at any time.
In March 2015, three hundred alumni of Sydney Boys High School signed a letter protesting Morrison's attendance at an alumni fund-raising event. The protest letter expressed the opinion that the school should not celebrate a person who has "so flagrantly disregarded human rights". Morrison attended this and subsequent alumni and school events.
Turnbull Government 2015-present
This section needs to be updated.(October 2016)
Morrison was appointed as Treasurer of the Turnbull Government in September 2015. In his first press conference as Treasurer, he indicated a reduction in government expenditure and stated that the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) and White Paper on tax reform would arrive on time. In May 2016, Morrison handed down the 2016 Australian federal budget.
Morrison has stated that he has endured bigotry because he is against amending the marriage act to allow same sex couples to marry.
In February 2017, Morrison addressed the Australian House of Representatives while holding a lump of coal, stating "This is coal. Don't be afraid. Don't be scared. It won't hurt you," and accusing those concerned about the environmental impact of the coal industry of having "an ideological, pathological fear of coal."
In May 2017, Morrison handed down the 2017 Australian federal budget.
After the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, Morrison proposed an amendment to the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 allowing parents to remove children from classes if "non-traditional" marriage is discussed.
Morrison began dating Jenny Warren when they were both 16. They married when they were 21, and have two daughters together. He is a fan of the Cronulla Sharks rugby league team, and in 2016 was named the club's number-one ticket holder.
Morrison was raised in the Uniting Church, but later became a follower of Pentecostalism. He now attends the Shirelive Church, which is affiliated with the Australian Christian Churches and the Assemblies of God. He has said "the Bible is not a policy handbook, and I get very worried when people try to treat it like one". In late 2017, Morrison stated that he would become a stronger advocate for protections for religious freedom.
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- Scott Morrison on Twitter
- Profile at Parliament of Australia official website
- Profile at TheyVoteForYou.org.au
|Parliament of Australia|
|Member of Parliament
as Minister for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship
|Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
|Minister for Social Services
|Treasurer of Australia