Misha Ketchell writes:

This morning’s media reportson Scott Morrison’s sudden
departure from the $350,000-a-year gig as managing director of Tourism
Australia sure made it look as though the controversial $180
million “Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign (which was briefly
banned in Britain) was his undoing.

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.

But the real reason behind his sudden departure was tension with the
board, chaired by Tim Fischer. Sources say board members decided enough
was enough a few weeks
ago when Morrison instituted a major restructure of the organisation’s
200 or so staff without adequate consultation with board members.

Tourism Minister Fran Bailey is a good brawler, but according to
our sources, this time around she backed the decision to get rid of Morrison but didn’t
instigate it.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey