In April 2000 Morrison returned to Australia to become state director of the Liberal Party of Australia (New South Wales Division). He oversaw the party's campaigns in the 2001 federal election and in the 2003 New South Wales state election. In 2004, Morrison left that post to become the inaugural managing director of Tourism Australia, which had been established by the Howard Government. His appointment was controversial due to its openly political nature. Morrison approved and defended the contentious "So where the bloody hell are you?" advertising campaign featuring Lara Bingle. He lost his job in 2006, apparently due to conflict with tourism minister Fran Bailey over the government's plans to further integrate the agency into the Australian Public Service, although a 2019 investigation by the Saturday Paper suggested Morrison was sacked for breaching procurement guidelines and awarding government contracts worth $184 million to advertising and media companies without value-for-money assessments or board approval.