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23 JANUARY 2024

I am proud to call Scott Morrison a friend and am proud to have been an MP in his government.

Scott Morrison leaves politics with a strong legacy.

During the Abbott and Turnbull Governments, he stopped the boats, introduced pension reform that provided additional assistance for those with limited means, and he undertook needed Budget repair.

In his first Budget as Treasurer, 2016, he delivered the largest investment in mental health in history. He ended decades of neglect and made it a clear priority of government. That commitment endured throughout his time as Prime Minister.

As Prime Minister won the unwinnable election in 2019. At that election, Scott brought a clear understanding of the hopes and aspirations of what he called “quiet Australians”. That meant low taxes, more incentive and a belief in the dignity of all Australians. 

Then he faced a once in a century pandemic for which there was no rulebook. The tens of thousands of lives saved and the quick bounceback in the Australian economy can be attributed to the leadership he and Josh Frydenberg provided.

Of course, not every decision was perfect during the pandemic. Such was the dynamic nature of those times. Nevertheless, Australia’s response stood head and shoulders above much of the world. History will be generous to Scott Morrison.

Scott Morrison’s prime ministership was one of the most significant in terms of foreign policy achievements. As the global sands were shifting Morrison remained resolute. He resisted the pressure and interference of the Chinese Communist Party, prioritising Australia’s outreach to our Pacific neighbours and taking the relationship with India to an unprecedented level of closeness, and he proved himself to be  deft at handling two very different US administrations, the crowning achievement of which was the establishment of AUKUS which will stand the test of time.

He was clear-eyed on Israel. His own deep faith had given him a sense of the importance of Israel not only to the Jewish people but to millions of Christians too. He demonstrated similar clarity on Ukraine. Scott Morrison had a clear sense of our national purpose in the world. That cannot be said for the current government which is failing on Israel and Ukraine.

The Left thought that Morrison had stolen the 2019 election from them. They then embarked on a completely unrelenting and unfair character assassination against him the likes of which I have never seen in Australian politics. A proper assessment of the Morrison Government will find a leader presented with unprecedented challenges, guided by his faith and values managing to keep Australia safe and strong.

I will miss Scott’s presence in the parliament, including his personaI advice, encouragement, and counsel. 

I wish Scott, Jenny and the family all the best for life after politics.

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