But sources close to Tourism Australia say the boot planted in his back had nothing to do with the "Where the bloody hell are you?" campaign, which was a success and followed on from Morrison's equally impressive work on the "100% Pure New Zealand" campaign.

As a former director of the NSW state Liberal Party, Morrison's appointment, late in 2004, attracted criticism from some quarters as a job-for-the-boys gig and also ruffled feathers among Liberals who felt that by making the move, he was putting self-interest over the needs of the party.