Scott Morrison, the former Prime Minister of Australia, has confirmed his resignation from politics, effective at the end of February. Morrison, who has been a member of parliament for the Liberal Party for over 16 years, announced his decision to leave to pursue new challenges in the global corporate sector and to spend more time with his family.
Morrison’s tenure in the Australian government, including nearly four years as Prime Minister, was marked by significant events and policy decisions. His administration faced critical challenges, notably the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw the introduction of the national cabinet and Australia receiving praise for its management of the crisis.
During his time in office, Morrison was known for his strategic partnerships, notably forming the QUAD with the USA, India and Japan, and the AUKUS alliance with the United States and the United Kingdom in 2021.
In a message to his constituents and supporters, Morrison reflected on his journey in politics, stating,
“It has been a great honour to serve as the Member for Cook and as Prime Minister.”
He highlighted his commitment to making Australia a stronger, more secure, and more prosperous country.
Morrison’s tenure also saw a significant elevation in Australia-India relations, marking a shift in the bilateral ties between the two nations. Under Morrison’s leadership, Australia and India fostered a closer partnership, recognising the mutual benefits of a strong strategic, economic, and cultural relationship.
Morrison’s government actively worked towards strengthening diplomatic ties with India, a key player in the Indo-Pacific region. This was evident in the comprehensive strategic partnership agreement signed between Australia and India in 2020.
The agreement, a testament to Morrison’s foreign policy vision, encompassed various domains including defence, trade, maritime security, and technology. This pivotal move was aligned with Australia’s interest in a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific and acknowledged India’s critical role in the region’s stability and prosperity.
Moreover, Morrison’s administration played a crucial role in enhancing trade relations with India. The push for increased economic engagement, including discussions around a bilateral free trade agreement, was aimed at diversifying Australia’s trade portfolio and tapping into one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. This focus not only boosted economic ties but also laid the foundation for long-term strategic cooperation.
Another significant aspect of Morrison’s leadership was his attention to the Indian Australian community, one of the fastest-growing diaspora groups in Australia. His government recognised the immense contributions of Indian Australians in various fields, from business to medicine and cultural arts. Morrison’s administration took steps to celebrate and promote this diversity, understanding that the strength of Australia’s multicultural fabric lay in acknowledging and respecting its various communities.
Morrison himself often engaged with the Indian community in Australia, attending cultural events and festivals like Diwali, which demonstrated his commitment to multiculturalism and the importance he placed on the Indian diaspora as a bridge between the two countries. This engagement helped foster a sense of belonging and recognition among Indian Australians, further consolidating their role in Australia’s multicultural society.
Morrison’s retirement will trigger a by-election for his seat in the southern Sydney suburb of Cook. In his statement, Morrison expressed gratitude to his family, friends, local community, and party supporters in Cook for their support during his political career. He also thanked his staff and parliamentary colleagues for their friendship and support over the years.
His departure from parliament is expected to create space for new political talent in the Liberal Party, with Morrison emphasising the opportunity for fresh energy and commitment to serve the local community. As Morrison transitions out of politics, his focus shifts towards new endeavours in the corporate world and more active involvement in his local church and community.
Morrison’s political career has been one of significant influence and impact, with his departure marking the end of an era in Australian politics. As he steps into the next chapter of his life, the nation looks back on his contributions and forward to the new leadership that will emerge in his wake.
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