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Scott Morrison bio

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"The rest of the world is catching up to us" on border control, Treasurer Scott Morrison has said. Photo: AAP
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Born

Forty-six-year-old Scott John Morrison was born in the affluent Sydney suburb of Bronte, one of the wealthiest enclaves in Australia.

His father John Morrison was a police commander who served 16 years on the local council as an independent.

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Upbringing

According to a report by The Monthly, the minister’s first foray into politics was at the age of nine, when he handed out how-to-vote cards for his father.

Mr Morrison was raised a Christian and was an active member of the Uniting Church in Bondi Junction, where he met his wife at the age of 12.

In his maiden speech in Parliament, he said that the biggest two influences in his life were his family and his faith.

Scott Morrison's maiden speech in 2008. AAP
Scott Morrison’s maiden speech in 2008. AAP

Life before politics

Before entering politics, Mr Morrison worked at the Tourism Council Australia and had been associated with the ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ campaign.

In March 2000, he took up the position as the state director of the NSW Liberal Party.

In 2004, he was given the position of chief executive at the new government tourism body, Tourism Australia.

His tenure was marred by the controversial “Where the bloody hell are you?” tourism campaign, which couldn’t be shown in the UK because of British advertising regulations.

According to The Monthly, The Tourism Australia board complained that Mr Morrison was aggressive and ran the agency as if it were a one-man show. He was let go.

Political career

In the 2007 election, Mr Morrison was elected as the Member for Cook, which includes the suburb of Cronulla.

In 2008, he was elevated to the position of Shadow Minister for Housing and Local Government by opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull.

In 2009, he was given the immigration portfolio by Tony Abbott, which he has held since.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison

The minister has been criticised by fellow Liberal members who allege that while he was once a moderate Liberal, he lurched to the right under Tony Abbott with “supreme opportunism”.

Controversies

In 2010, Mr Morrison was famously slammed by both the government and his own party for comments following the Christmas Island boat disaster, in which 48 refugees died.

The then shadow immigration minister questioned the decision of the Gillard Government to pay for relatives of the dead to attend funerals in Sydney.

“When it comes to the question of do I think this is a reasonable cost then my honest answer is, ‘No, I don’t think it is reasonable’,” said Mr Morrison on ABC radio.

Former Prime Minster Malcolm Fraser said that hoped Mr Morrison was “just a fringe element in the party,” while Joe Hockey said that he would “never seek to deny a parent or a child from saying goodbye to their relative.”

Fairfax published a column which called him a “cheap populist”, with the outburst “harmful to the national interest”.