Scott Morrison has dished on his plans to ignore the haters, make money with part-time gigs and play more golf as he readjusts to life as a backbencher in a tell-all interview.
In a freewheeling discussion while enjoying a beer with Sky News host Paul Murray at the Wanda Surf Club, the man who is still claiming $211,250 from taxpayers revealed he’s hoping to improve his golf handicap.
Mr Morrison took a savage pay cut when he lost the 2022 election with his income plunging from $500,000 to $211,250.
“I look forward to continuing to be a really effective local member of parliament,’’ Mr Morrison said.
But he then hinted there will be more mystery part-time jobs that could even involve his new passion – golf.
“You know, I will be doing a bit more of things, possibly, you know, in addition to my parliamentary responsibilities, which many members of parliament do,’’ he said.
“I’ve started playing golf again. I hadn’t picked up a club in about 15 years. I have picked up the bug a bit.”
Mr Morrison recently flew to Japan at the invitation of a Japanese billionaire Dr Handa Haruhisa who also sponsors golf tournaments.
Dr Handa previously had a contractual relationship with former prime minister Tony Abbott.
Mr Morrison, who faces a legal probe into his decision to secretly appoint himself to multiple cabinet portfolios, recently updated his financial interest register to parliament.
It reveals he was paid an undisclosed cash amount and given free business class flights to Tokyo and luxury accommodation when he skipped the first week of parliament in July.
Mr Morrison also canvassed his “misunderstood” text message in which he said he no longer engaged in “day to day politics”.
The former prime minister, who was once accused of leaking his own text messages to the French President Emmanuel Macron, sent a text to Sky News’ chief anchor Kieran Gilbert over the multiple ministry scandal, which was then broadcast.
“I haven’t seen what he has said. Since leaving the job, I haven’t engaged in any day-to-day politics,’’ Mr Morrison said in the text, referring to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Mr Albanese later said the comment was “not acceptable” given Mr Morrison was still in parliament.
Mr Morrison said he understood why some voters were “upset about seeing that”.
“I’m into looking after my local community and doing that job every day, what I’m not into is getting engaged in the to-and-fro of the political circus,” Mr Morrison said.
He claimed the journalist “accepted” the text message, sent in relation to his ministerial power grab, was supposed to be private.
When asked about the inquiry into his conduct by the former High Court Judge Virginia Bell, he replied that “most people can see through these things.”
“I’m certainly not going to get bitter about it. People can see through these things,’’ he said.
“I’ve said what I’ve had to say about the issue. Particularly about the ministries. It was an incredibly tumultuous time.”
Sky News’ Paul Murray then said he had spoken “to a bunch of people who did not vote for you” and they had “a few questions.”
“They say, ‘Why didn’t you say sorry? Why didn’t you say sorry loud enough? Why didn’t you give a pint of your blood?’ Murray said.
Mr Morrison said he had explained the situation and he didn’t expect everyone to agree with him.
“At all times I was trying to do the best for the country,’’ he said.