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Friend of India, Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison Announces Departure from Australian Politics

Morrison often engaged with the Indian community in Australia, attending cultural events and festivals like Diwali, which demonstrated his commitment to multiculturalism

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.

PM Narendra Modi and PM Scott Morrison; Picture Source: @SCOMO
PM Narendra Modi and PM Scott Morrison; Picture Source: @SCOMO

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.

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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.

PM Morrison Indian Centre 1 1
Prime Minister Scott Morrison attends the Australian Indian Community Centre in Aston to assist in unveiling a statue of Gandhi and is joined by the Consul-General to India, Minister Tudge and Assistant Minister Wood to unveil the statue on November 12, 2021. Picture: Adam Taylor

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.

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PM Scott Morrison at Siva Vishnu Temple, Melbourne; Picture Source: Facebook @SCOMO
PM Scott Morrison at Siva Vishnu Temple, Melbourne; Picture Source: Facebook @SCOMO

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.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison attending HCA Diwali in Canberra (Pic supplied by HCA
Prime Minister Scott Morrison attending HCA Diwali in Canberra (Pic supplied by HCA)

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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