Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison calls on John Howard to lie about why he was sacked from Tourism Australia but the lie doesn’t explain why he was also sacked from Tourism NZ

Scott Morrison was sacked as Managing Director of Tourism Australia in 2006 by the John Howard government and since that time no one would say why. But now John Howard is quoted in the SMH as saying it was a ‘clash of personalities’ with the tourism minister which very much seems like an attempt to neutralize the scandal before the next federal election. This raises more questions than it answers as Morrison also left as the head of Tourism New Zealand in a hurry in 2000 with similar complaints about his performance and conduct.

We will have a look at the SMH article quoting John Howard in a minute but it worth reviewing the article I published in June 2019, which has had over 316,000 views, titled “Looks like PM Scott Morrison was sacked as Managing Director of Tourism Australia in 2006 because of fraud and theft” and I said:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was sacked as Managing Director of Tourism Australia in 2006 and he has always refused to say why. One thing is for certain, it had to be massive wrongdoing by Morrison. Why? Because Scott Morrison, who was State Director of the New South Wales Liberal Party from 2000 to 2004, was sacked by a Liberal Party Minister in the Liberal Party John Howard government and they don’t sack one of their own for a minor reason or even a major reason. Morrison’s sacking had to be something, at the very least, bordering on criminal and more than likely actual criminal conduct.

Since 2006 Scott Morrison has refused to answer questions about his sacking and little has been known about the reasons for it until now. Journalist Karen Middleton published an article on Saturday (8/6/19) which she spent 6 months investigating and to me it makes it clear Morrison was likely sacked for deliberate lies and deception in relation to the awarding of government contracts worth $184 million.

Karen Middleton writes in The Saturday Paper:

Thirteen years after Scott Morrison was mysteriously sacked from a senior public sector job as managing director of Tourism Australia, a six-month investigation by The Saturday Paper has created the clearest picture yet of the events surrounding his dismissal.

Documents obtained by The Saturday Paper under freedom of information laws show Morrison received a pay rise less than a month before he was sacked, taking his annual base salary from $318,031 to $332,030, with discretion for his employer to add up to 2.5 percent on top.

Around the time of Morrison’s dismissal, it was suggested he was paid out after having his contract terminated more than a year early. Sources have since confirmed this.

It was long speculated that the sacking was the result of a personality clash between Morrison and Bailey or differences over her plans to restructure the agency.

But late last year, The Saturday Paper uncovered an auditor-general’s report from 2008 examining the handling of three major contracts, which had delivered a scathing assessment of Tourism Australia’s management.

The report provided the first indication as to the real reason Morrison was removed.

The contracts were worth $184 million, and the auditor focused most on the two biggest – those with companies M&C Saatchi for global creative services or advertising campaigns, and Carat for media placement.

The audit report revealed that information had been kept from the board, procurement guidelines breached and private companies engaged before paperwork was signed and without appropriate value-for-money assessments.

Both before and since becoming prime minister in August last year, Scott Morrison has refused to answer questions about why the tourism minister took the unusual step in July 2006 of sacking him as head of the agency. He has also refused to answer questions about the handling of the contracts, which were signed the previous year. He did not respond to questions for this story before time of press. (Click here to read the full article)

It’s starting to become more obvious by the day why Scott Morrison is so keen to crack down on whistleblowers because there are probably a few dozen people in government who know the real reasons for Morrison’s sacking and if they have access to the documents, they could bring him down. Morrison has known he is in trouble for 6 months since Karen Middleton started her FOI requests for documents from government departments. That would be an added reason why the Morrison government have gone so hard after whistleblowers in the last few months. (Click here to read more)

The SMH reported on Saturday (11/9/21) in an article titled “John Howard says ‘clash of personalities’ ended Scott Morrison’s tourism career”:

Former prime minister John Howard said Scott Morrison’s controversial stint as the boss of Tourism Australia ended for reasons including a “clash of personalities” with then-tourism minister Fran Bailey. New details of the bitter falling out are included in a biography on Mr Morrison, The Accidental Prime Minister, to be released on Wednesday.

Speaking for the first time about the events that led to Mr Morrison losing his $320,000-a-year job as the managing director of Tourism Australia in 2006, Mr Howard said he ultimately sided with advice from his minister Ms Bailey, whose relationship with Mr Morrison had become unworkable.

Mr Howard, who distanced himself from the spat at the time, confirmed he was aware of the bitter falling out between the pair, with the “So where the bloody hell are you?” tourism campaign acting as a flashpoint in the deteriorating relationship.

“The explanation for the dispute was a clash of personalities,” Mr Howard said. “They obviously didn’t get along.”

In July 2006, Ms Bailey met Mr Howard and convinced him the relationship had deteriorated to the point where Mr Morrison had to go. “I accepted the minister’s advice and backed her,” Mr Howard said. It was left to then-Tourism Australia board chairman Tim Fischer to break the news to Mr Morrison that his time was up, just over halfway through his three-year contract. (Click here to read more)

John Howard raises more questions than he answers

John Howard’s statement doesn’t pass the pub test. Why has it taken years for John Howard to make that statement when others always refused to say why Morrison was sacked? Why didn’t Howard make the statement years ago to stop the rumours about the reasons for Morrison’s sacking spreading all over the internet?

I also published an article in November 2019 titled “Scott Morrison left Tourism New Zealand in similar circumstances to his sacking by Tourism Australia. Why?” and said:

Scott Morrison at Tourism New Zealand

“Mr Morrison, an Australian, helped set up the New Zealand Office of Tourism and Sport in the 1990s and “He left with a year to go on his contract in March 2000.” (Click here to read more)

In June 2000 the NZ Herald reported:

The days of the Office of Tourism and Sport, a power-base of former Tourism Minister Murray McCully, may be numbered.

The Prime Minister has ordered a report from officials on the office, which was approved by cabinet, and on a body Mr McCully privately set up, the Tourism and Sport Ministerial Advisory Board.

The State Services Commission and Internal Affairs are looking at the office after criticisms in the Auditor-General’s report on tourism last week.

And if Labour is part of the next government, it will abolish the office. Labour’s sports and state services spokesman, Trevor Mallard, says the Office of Tourism and Sport was set up last year “to push the political interests of McCully.”

“It was designed to provide McCully with the advice McCully wanted and a method of sorting out organisations without McCully’s hands getting dirty.”

The office is a semi-autonomous body under the Department of Internal Affairs. The director, Scott Morrison, tenders advice to the Minister of Tourism and the Minister of Sport, Fitness and Leisure. The office also oversaw a damning consultants’ report on the Tourism Board’s performance for Mr McCully, without input from the Tourism Board.

Confusion over roles of the various bodies – the Tourism Board, the Office of Tourism and Sport, and the advisory board – contributed to the breakdown in relationship between the Tourism Board and Mr McCully, the Auditor-General, David Macdonald, said in his report.

Mr Mallard said the way the Office of Tourism and Sport operated was one of the reasons Mr McCully had got into trouble.

And a key reason for that was that it was run by Mr Morrison, an Australian who was seen as Mr McCully’s “hard man.”

Australian standards of public sector behaviour “are lower than ours,” said Mr Mallard.

New Zealanders were much more traditional and had a Westminster-type approach. That meant more things on paper, more concern about process, and being less bombastic.

“My experience with Australian politicians is that rules and ethics are not as important to them as they are to New Zealanders.”

Mr Morrison said he did not want to respond to Mr Mallard’s personal comments. “I have no interest in New Zealand politics.” (Click here to read the full article)

Given the above and the fact that he still had a year to go on his contract everything points to Scott Morrison being tapped on the shoulder by the New Zealand government and being told to resign or be sacked. 

In March 2000 Scott Morrison left Tourism New Zealand and moved back to Australia where, after a brief stint at KPMG, he was appointed as the State Director of the New South Wales Liberal Party until 2004. In 2004 he was parachuted into the role of Managing Director of Tourism Australia in a blatantly political appointment until even the Liberal Party couldn’t handle his dodgy conduct any further and they sacked him in 2006.

In 2007 Scott Morrison did his secret dirty deal with Sam Dastyari and stabbed Michael Towke in the back. Mr Towke was the pre-selected candidate for the seat of Cook and was in Morrison’s way so false rumours were spread and the state executive of the Liberal Party refused to endorse Mr Towke’s preselection after the rumours were published by News Corp. A second ballot was held, and Scott Morrison won. Mr Towke successfully sued News Corp. 

Scott Morrison’s time at Tourism New Zealand, Tourism Australia and his preselection to parliament all show unanswered allegations of abuse of processes, procedures and total unaccountability which is exactly how Scott Morrison is running the country and performing as Prime Minister. (Click here to read more)

For John Howard to come out now a few months before the next federal election and downplay why Scott Morrison was sacked from Tourism Australia is too little, too late and not believable and Howard only addresses one of the many skeletons in Morrison’s closet anyhow.

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16 replies »

  1. One only has to reflect back when Howard was PM and one of his senior Ministers referred to Howard as that “lying little rodent”.
    The Senator who made that comment was later gifted the position of Australian High Commissioner in London

  2. ““My experience with Australian politicians is that rules and ethics are not as important to them as they are to New Zealanders.””

    The Kiwis were spot on, nothing much appears to have changed. In fact, with Morrison where he is now, I suspect these characteristics have become much worse and more exaggerated.

    • Seems a good summing up of current relevant facts, latest revelation that under conservative governments prior to Whitlams appointment as PM, under the cover of absolute secrecy, Australia played a part in the downfall of government in Chile, ending up with Pinochet’s dictatorship, history followed with untold misery and death for Chile citizens..seems we go from one cover up and lies to another…current NSW and Federal leadership don’t believe in Seperation of Powers, the Westminster system of Parliament or basic democracy.

  3. Howard lied to Parliament in early 2003, saying there was evidence of WMDs in Iraq and we had to invade with the US. Yet in Dec 2002 Australia’s weapons inspector Rod Barton told Howard in spades there were no WMDs in Iraq and later called out Howard as a liar. Howard lied to Parliament to take us into a needless war. Barton’s weapons counterpart in the UK told his officials the same story as Barton and he too was ignored. If Howard had driven at high speed past a school and killed a child he would have been driven from office. But cause the death of half a million Iraqis in a needless war and Aussies will mindlessly sing his virtues, his common touch and his love of cricket. The gullible lead, as always, by criminals.

  4. Thanks for the KCA analysis on this. I must tell you that when I read the SMH article yesterday, I had the impression I was reading something with a hell of lot black sections screening out important information as Liberals are always prone to doing. This behaviour started under Howard during the various Senate inquiries into Children Overboard and SIEV X. Recently they cynically presented 3 pages of black (no writing) to the Senate which Katy Gallagher held up in one of the inquires in disbelief.

    I’ll allege Howard is as much of a willing liar and manipulator as Morrison and I don’t believe a word he says. The SMH newspaper is a Liberal right wing darling now, but it must still be seen to look like a critic of the government on occasion. The example you point is exactly how they do it. Use a lighter story, often from a Liberal source to make it look like all has been exposed then move on. No further questions need be asked. If they were really a genuine newspaper – ‘Independent.always’ being the newspapers motto – instead of only telling one side of the story they would have found a way to throw out the Liberals long ago. There’s so much dirty baggage with this government.

    But big business loves Scotty, including Australian media who profited well from Jobkeeper, and a loose with the truth prime minister and government, suits their needs.

    The one consolation that the KCA indirectly points out, is that if Morrison was fired twice for the same behaviour (even once by Liberals in Australia) then it’s very likely he will be sacked again, this time at the ballot box.

  5. It is about time Australia woke up. Not only with our crocked parliaments, but the T.V. who are in someone’s pocket, so are the newspapers. If everyone told what they knew, we would have NO so-called leaders at all. The people would be running the country. We would not be putting money in our pockets that don’t belong to us. Everyone gets paid to shut their mouth, information gets held back so people can do nothing. No one will loose at the ballot box as tell me folks does anyone see how they count the votes? Only those that stay behind and help, they get paid cash for doing what needs to be done and go home. Australia has the same voting machines as America has, also most of the world, all our election are rigged. The only thing about news that I read is this page, Why? as Shane researches and prints the TRUTH, and I am so grateful for all his work.

  6. Morrison is currently behaving exactly as he did in Tourism Australia and NZ. He has learned nothing from his two sackings and has not modified his behaviour one inch. This is because he’s a Narcissistic Psychopath and such people NEVER learn from experience.
    He is blatantly corrupt, regards Taxpayers money as Liberal Party money and has allegedly been operating a money laundering scam ever since he took the Office of PM. His system is simple: he always recruits Liberal friendly Mates and Companies. He then overpays the Creditors by excessive amounts for all services rendered. The Creditor then donates the overpayment back to the Liberal Party. So, in the blink of an eye, Taxpayers Funds are neatly converted into Liberal Party Money. This level of corruption is a positive DISGRACE!!

    • “Narcissistic Psychopath”

      A successful career in politics isn’t available to anyone who isn’t. The greater question is how these kinds of people always get advanced through the system while others of seemingly higher quality don’t. Who behind the scenes gets to manage our choices, and for who’s benefit?

      • If you look at the past 3 prime ministers we seem to have had a megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur with Abbott who almost caused WWIII in the Ukraine and wanted to ‘shirt front’ Putin; a narcissist highly concerned about the cultivation of himself in Turnbull; and a man who demonstrates much of the behavior of a complete sociopath in Morrison.

        It’s like Australia’s metaphorical Mount Rushmore of warning, an edifice that displays the sort of people we should never vote into office.

  7. Unfortunately, it has been revealed that the intractable propensity of former PM John Howard to lie to the people of Australia is now a known trait of this former L/NP party Prime Minister. I wonder if Australia’s highest authorities will take an action against the ineradicable “lying little rodent” in the best interests of Australia?

  8. Just finished some personal research on the art of lying. There appears to be 5 types of lying:
    Lies of Denial – something about the premise of the question, I never said that Mr Speaker, etc
    Lies of Omission – zero staff for a Federal ICAC in the budget for the next 3 years, etc
    Lies of Fabrication – WMD, Federal ICAC, etc
    Lies of Minimisation – effect of Robodebt and its legality, NBN speed, sexual harassment, etc
    Lies of Exaggeration – front of the worlds vaccine queue, best economic managers, etc
    In my honest opinion, it would seem that you have to attain a good degree of competency in each of these categories of lies, as a prerequisite for membership to the LNP coalition federal government

  9. Now that the ABC has picked up on the story it may well have legs.
    Both you and The Saturday Paper should get “spotter’s fees”!

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