Scott Morrison's controversial new job: 'Dodged a bullet'

·News Editor
·2-min read

Former prime minister Scott Morrison has raised eyebrows with some questioning the backbencher's latest extracurricular activities.

Since being voted out of office in May, the member for Cooke has been pursuing opportunities outside of Parliament, even saying last month he is not "engaged in any day-to-day politics".

However Mr Morrison updated his Register of Interests this week, declaring he has taken on a role on the advisory board of a global political organisation which calls itself the International Democrat Union.

The group was formed in the early 1980s and counts former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and former US president George W. Bush Snr. among its founding members. According to its website, the group strives to connect political parties across international lines and promote "centre-right policies around the globe".

However some critics claim the group has lurched to the hard right, affiliating with populist and Christian anti-immigration parties in Europe.

Scott Morrison and his updated Register of Interests.
Scott Morrison has joined a group which has reportedly 'shifted to the intolerant far right'. Source: AAP

Writing for The Globe and Mail, international affairs columnist Doug Saunders recently argued the organisation had "shifted to the intolerant far right".

It drew the accusation due to its ties with Hungary autocrat Viktor Orban, whose success in consolidating power in the country and pushing right-wing and race-based polices has earned him a kind of stardom in certain conservative circles. The populist leader has spoken out against "race-mixing" and said culturally diverse countries are "not real nations".

When Aussie news site The New Daily pointed out the group's dubious affiliations, Mr Morrison reportedly declined to answer questions about his advisory role with the organisation.

But it certainly raised some eyebrows online. "Not a shock at all. We dodged a bullet by getting rid of Morrison," one Twitter user remarked in response to the New Daily article.

An inquiry into Mr Morrison secretly consolidating power by while prime minister by quietly appointing himself to five ministerial portfolios opened this week for public submissions.

Since losing government, Mr Morrison has reportedly tried to get a job with the National Rugby League (NRL) and fuelled speculation he will leave parliament before the next election by registering a mysterious private company.

The former PM is the director and sole shareholder in Triginta Pty Ltd, according to his declaration of members' interests. The company name means "30" in Latin, likely to be a reference to him being Australia's 30th prime minister.

It is unknown what Mr Morrison intends to be the nature of Triginta's business.

The Worldwide Speakers Group has also been listed on his register of interests as an additional form of income, with members attracting speaker fees from $15,000 to more than $60,000.

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