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Mining and politics are joined at the hip

March 24, 2015 - 13:15 -- Admin

The following is a Facebook post by Jeremy Buckingham.

There is a revolving door between mining and government.

The following is a list of some of the people who work or worked as lobbyists for the mining industry who used to be or became politicians, including ministers, advisers for Liberal, Labor and National Party politicians or senior government bureaucrats. It is by no means complete but gives a sense of the extent of the revolving door between miners and the government. If you know of more, please let me know.

Ministers who became involved in mining after politics

Mark Vaile
former deputy prime minister and leader of Nationals under the Howard Government
on the board of Aston Resources – now merged with Whitehaven Coal.

John Anderson
former deputy prime minister and leader of the Nationals under the Howard Government
served as Chair of coal seam gas company Eastern Star Gas (acquired by Santos)

Martin Ferguson
Minister for Energy & Resources under Rudd/Gilllard
now chair of APPEA advisory board

Craig Emerson
Minister for Trade and Competitiveness under Rudd/Gillard
Now an economic consultant.whose clients include AGL and Santos

Greg Combet
Minister for Energy and Climate Change under Rudd/Gillard
Now an economic consultant.whose clients include AGL and Santos

NSW Mineral Council staff

Stephen Galilee – CEO
Chief of staff of the then Treasurer, now NSW Premier, Mike Baird

Scott Kennan – Director Communications
Media Advisor to Transport Minister Michael Costa 2003 – 2004

Emma Browning – Director Government Relations
Media & Policy Advisor “NSW Shadow Minister” -1997-1999

Brad Emery – Director Media and Public Affairs
Press Secretary Federal Assistant Treasurer, Peter Dutton MP 2004-2007
Advisor “Australian Government” – 2000-2004
Media Advisor Kerry Bartlett MP – 1998 – 1999

Sue-Ern Tan – Deputy CEO NSW Minerals Council 2008-2012
Senior Policy Adviser- Ian McDonald, Energy and Mining Office of the NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Mineral Resources, Minister for Energy, 2006 – 2008

Ksenya Belooussova – Media Advisor at Department of Premier and Cabinet
Digital Communications Manager – NSW Minerals Council (2012 -2014)

Lindsay Hermes – Advisor – Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Industry at Department of Industry
Media and Communications Manager NSW Minerals Council 2010-2013
Media Advisor – 2013 Federal Election Liberal Party
Advisor to Deputy Leader of the Opposition ACT Government 2006 -2008

Minerals Council of Australia staff

Brendan Pearson – CEO
Assistant Secretary Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2002-2004

John Kunkel – Deputy CEO
Senior Adviser, Cabinet Policy Unit Office of John Howard 2004-2007
Advisor to Mark Vaile, 1999-2001
Trade Advisor to Tim Fischer, 1998-1999

James Sorahan – Director – Taxation
Policy Advisor, Martin Fergusen 2010-2013
Policy Advisor, Chris Bowen 2007-2010
Policy Analyst, Australian Treasury 2005-2007

Chris Natt – Training and Education Coordinator
Worked for NT Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Fisheries, Minister for Mines and Energy 2005-2009

Chris McCombe – Assistant Director-Environmental Policy
Manager, Major Projects (Abandoned Mines Land Program) Queensland Mines and Energy 2008-2010

Third-party mining lobbyists

Liam Bathgate – Director at Australian Public Affairs
Lobbied for Shenua Watermark, Aston Resources (Maules Creek Coal Project) and Tenix Group
Chief of Staff to Barry O’Farrell 2007-2008
General Secretary of NSW National Party 1992 – 1997
Principal Private Secretary to Ian Sinclair MP (Leader of National Party) 1984 – 1987
Press Secretary to Doug Anthony MP (Deputy PM and Leader of Nationals) 1979 – 1984

Brian Tyson – Managing Partner at Newgate Communications
Lobbied for Coalpac Pty Ltd
Press Secretary Former NSW Premier Nick Greiner and Planning and Energy Minister Robert Webster 1987 – 1995

Larry Anthony – Founding Director at SAS Group
Lobbied for Shenua
Senior Vice President Federal Nationals 2006 – 2012

Mathew Watson – Managing Director at Repute Communications
Lobbied for Bickham Coal and Port Waratah Coal Services
◾Senior Communications Manager (Cabinet / Ministerial) in NSW Government 2002 – 2004

Michael van Maanen – Partner Newgate Communications 2013 – Present
◾Lobbied for Coalpac Pty Ltd
◾Adviser to the Federal Minister for Workforce Participation 2006 –2007
◾Adviser to the Federal Minister for Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 2004 – 2006
◾Policy Adviser in Departments of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Defence) 2000 – 2004

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) staff

Martin Ferguson- Chair of APPEA advisory board
◾Minister for Energy & Resources under Rudd/Gilllard

Chris Ward – Media Manager, Eastern Australia
◾Principal Media Adviser to Queensland Minister for Transport 2010 – 2011
◾Press Secretary to Federal Minister for Consumer Affairs and Small Business 2008–10
◾Senior Media Adviser to the Queensland Treasurer 2007-08
◾Senior Media Adviser to NSW Attorney and Minister for the Environment 2003–07

Ryan Bondar – Policy and Government Relations
◾Senior Policy Advisor NSW Leader of Opposition Barry O’Farrell 2008-2010
◾Research officer Joe Hockey 2003-2004

Michael Bradley – Director External Affairs
◾Ministerial advisor to Martin Ferguson Federal Resources and Energy Minister 2008-2010

Alexandra Gibson – Policy Director, NSW/VIC
◾Advisor to Christopher Pyne 2006-2007

Damien Hills – National Associate Director, Environment & Safety
◾Senior Policy Adviser Office of the Minister for Environment and Heritage (WA) March 2001 – February 2002

Kieran Murphy – Manager Media & Communications – Western Region
◾Communications Director Office of the Premier 2005 – 2008 (WA)

Stedman Ellis – COO,Western
◾Deputy DG, WA Department of Mines and Petroleum 2007-2010

Adam Welch – Senior Policy Adviser, Western
◾Senior Policy Officer/Policy Officer at Office of Energy – Government of Western Australia
◾Executive Office at Office of Energy – Government of Western Australia

Paul Fennelly – Chief Operating Officer, Eastern Australia
◾Director-General (CEO) of Department of State Development, Trade & Innovation-General at Queensland Government


I would like to add the exploits of Alexander Downer to Jeremy’s list.

“The director-general of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service and his deputy instructed a team of ASIS technicians to travel to East Timor in an elaborate plan, using Australian aid programs relating to the renovation and construction of the cabinet offices in Dili, East Timor, to insert listening devices into the wall, of walls to be constructed under an Australian aid program.”

Mr Collaery says a star witness who ASIO questioned (in December 2013) was “not some disaffected spy” but the former director of all technical operations at ASIS.

He says the former ASIS operator decided to blow the whistle after learning Mr Downer had become an adviser to Woodside Petroleum in his years after politics.

In a statement to the ABC, Mr Downer says the allegations are old and he will not comment on matters regarding national security.”

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