Revolving Doors Queensland

Revolving Doors Queensland - compiled by Simone Marsh

A list of some of the people who have switched from government to the gas industry in Queensland.

  1. Justice David Thomas – was a partner at Minter Ellison law firm, also on Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney’s ‘Infrastructure Queensland’ advisory board (Newman Government).  Minter Ellison represents the upstream gas industry and presents at APPEA conferences.  APPEA’s chief operating officer Eastern Australia was also on the ‘Infrastructure Queensland’ advisory board.  David Thomas is also chairman of the board of the Queensland Ballet. The Principal Partner (sponsor) of the Queensland Ballet is QGC. According to the Courier Mail (27 April 2012), David Thomas was one of the ‘Players’ in the Top 50 most influential people in Queensland. By August 2013, David Thomas had been appointed Supreme Court Justice for Queensland by Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie (Newman Government). David Thomas’ brother is Geoffrey Thomas, the Queensland-Texas diplomat, and special commissioner between the state of Queensland and North America.


  1. Geoffrey Thomas - brother of Justice David Thomas. Queensland-Texas diplomat, and special commissioner between the state of Queensland and North America. In 2012, Tim Nicholls (Newman’s Minister for Trade) appointed Geoffrey Thomas and John Mickel (Bligh’s Minister for Trade) to review Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ). In October 2013, Geoffrey Thomas was made deputy chairman of a newly created TIQ board.


  1. Ross Rolfe AO – CEO at Stanwell Corporation, a Queensland government-owned corporation (until 2005); Queensland Government’s Coordinator-General and Director-General of Premier and Cabinet (2005-2007); appointed CEO of Babcock & Brown (2008), buyer of Braemer Power station (natural gas) from ERM Group; Alinta Energy Group (2008), owner of Braemar-1 (natural gas) Power Station; CEO Redbank Energy Limited (2008-2011); Infigen Energy (2011); non-executive director WDS (since 2008) and chairman of WDS Limited (since 2011). (Len Gill is also a director of WDS and Redbank Energy). WDS provides drilling services, pipeline construction and a range of gasfield services for the gas industry. Clients include AGL, ERM Power, QGC Santos, Origin and Arrow Energy.  Non-executive chairman of the board of CS Energy, a Queensland Government owned corporation, since May 2012.


  1. Jon Grayson –previously Queensland Treasury (Analyst 1983-90,  Director-Special Projects 1990-99); Babcock & Brown (2000–09); then owner Queensland Infrastructure Partners (2009-12); Gasfields Water Management partnership with Australian Water Queensland; Gasfields Water and Waste Services Pty Ltd; was most recently the Director-General of the Queensland Department of Premier and Cabinet, and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority board member.


  1. Anthony (Tony) Bellas – was the Deputy Under-Treasurer of Queensland; then chairman of Ergon Energy Corporation, a Queensland government-owned corporation; director ERM Power (since 2009); non-executive chair roles at Guildford Coal Limited from 2010-12; became chairman of ERM Power in 2011; simultaneously appointed by Queensland government Independent Review Panel to make recommendations regarding the electricity industry (ERM Power gave $16,500 to the LNP on 25 May 2012, five days before the Newman Government appointed Bellas); also a director of Australian Water Queensland. Metgasco’s largest shareholder is ERM Power. Metgasco’s chairman is Len Gill. Len Gill is CEO of Australian Energy Business at Singapore Power Ltd (a major investor in Alinta), and director of Redbank Energy.


  1. Ben Myers – moved from coal seam gas company QGC; to become Chief of Staff at the Office of the Queensland Premier Campbell Newman. Brother of Luke Myers (a lobbyist at Government Relations Australia, which has QGC as a client).


  1. Mitch Grayson – (moved from the Office of the Queensland Premier (Mar-Sept 2012); to become a media advisor at coal seam gas company Santos (Oct 2012-Nov 2013); and then back to government as a senior media officer at the Office of the Queensland Premier (Nov 2013- Feb 2015). Mitch Grayson is Jon Grayson’s nephew.


  1. Tony Mooney – from Mayor of Townsville (1989-2008); to board member of Ergon Energy Corporation; director of Maynelion from 2008 (Maynelion lobbies for Dinorden, and Dinorden advises Adani Mining); to board member of Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority from 2011; and a Guildford Coal mining executive.


  1. Wayne Myers – board member of Ergon Energy Corporation Limited (a Queensland government-owned corporation) in 2009, during the period when Anthony (Tony) Bellas was chairman of Ergon Energy Corporation Limited; managing director of Dinorden Pty Ltd (advises Adani Mining); director of the Queensland branch of Australian Water Holdings.


  1. Santo Santoro – member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland (1989-2001); member of the Australian Senate (2002-07) representing Queensland; Vice president of the federal Liberal Party (2011-14); owner of registered lobbying firm Santo Santoro Consulting; Director of Australian Water Queensland (2012).


  1. Jon Black – spent 25 years in the Australian Army; then became CEO of the whole-of-South East Queensland (SEQ) water and sewage distribution business; and CEO of Unitywater (2009), the Norther SEQ Distributor-Retailer Authority. Jon Black was associated with Tony Bellas (chairman of ERM Power and Shine Lawyers) and Jon Grayson during the Newman government administration. Jon Black chaired the Newman government’s ‘Interdepartmental Committee’ (IDC) on Electricity Sector Reform 2012-2013. The two other members of the IDC were Jon Grayson (Director-General of Premier and Cabinet, and Tony Bellas’ business partner) and Helen Gluer (the Under-Treasurer). The IDC appointed Tony Bellas (ERM Power, Gasfield Water and Waste Services, chairman of Shine Lawyers, and Jon Grayson’s business partner in their gasfields water venture), to an ‘Independent Review Panel’ (IRP) to make recommendations regarding Queensland’s electricity sector. They recommended the privatisation of state-owned electricity assets.  Jon Black is currently the Director-General of the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.


  1. Peter Lindsay – formerly a member of Townsville City Council (1985-96); Liberal Party MP (1996-2010) including Parliamentary Secretary to the Defense Minister and Deputy Speaker; then independent chairman of Guildford Coal (2012-2013).


  1. John Bradley – was Director-General of the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management; then Director-General of Premier and Cabinet (Bligh government). John Bradley received a very large payout when the Newman government came to power; then became CEO Energy Networks Association, the national lobbyist for gas and electricity transmitters.


  1. James Purtill – from Director-General of the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (including the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service); to Public Services Commissioner; to Santos GLNG, during the approval phase; and now Director-General, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.

[Note: James’ latest government profile avoids specifically mentioning his last role at Santos]


  1. Alan Feely – from Executive Director, Queensland Parks and Wildlife; to Santos GLNG during the EIS and approval phase; now Deputy Director-General Economic Participation, Queensland Department of Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander and Multi-cultural affairs.


  1. Shane McDowall – moved from Deputy Coordinator-General (during the assessment of the Santos and QGC CSG-LNG projects in 2010); to Flinders Group (consultant for BG Group/QGC). The Flinders Group (a land access, acquisition and approvals consultancy, formed by the son of the former Agforce QLD president John Cotter), was contracted to provide services to QGC.  Flinders merged with Hyder Consulting in 2014 to become Flinders Hyder (major contract with Queensland Government). John Cotter Sr. was appointed by the Newman Government as the chair of Queensland Gasfields Commission.


  1. Phil Dash – moved from Assistant Coordinator-General (during the assessment of the Santos and QGC CSG-LNG projects in 2010); to the Flinders Group (consultant for BG Group). The Flinders Group (a land access, acquisition and approvals consultancy, formed by the son of the former Agforce QLD president John Cotter), was contracted to provide services to QGC. Flinders merged with Hyder Consulting to become Flinders Hyder in 2014 (major contract with Queensland Government).


  1. Geoff Dickie – moved from Deputy Coordinator-General (during the assessment of the Santos and QGC CSG-LNG projects in 2010); to the major mining industry lobby group, the Queensland Exploration Council, including work for the Flinders Group (a land access, acquisition and approvals consultancy, formed by the son of the former Agforce QLD president John Cotter).


  1. David Edwards, the son of former Bjelke-Peterson government deputy premier Sir Llew Edwards: Queensland Government; to GHD (consultant to Santos GLNG); to Director General, Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning. David Edwards is a former media advisor to the Queensland Nationals and previous chief of staff to Jeff Seeney MP. Chairman of the Commitment for Economic Development of Australia. Trade and Investment Queensland board.


  1. Tracey Winters – previously federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson’s principal resources and energy advisor in March 2010 (at the time of QGC’s sale of Queensland’s gas in Beijing i.e. prior to state and commonwealth environmental approvals). Partner of Dr Craig Emerson (who was the federal Trade Minister in late 2010, i.e. at the time of the Commonwealth approval of the first east coast CSG-LNG projects – Santos GLNG and QGC QCLNG projects). In 2011 Tracey Winters became QGC’s General Manager Environment and Vice President Environment; and then BG Group Vice President Community, Land and Environment.


  1. Stephen Bizzell: Arrow, Bow, Armour, Dart Energy - to Non-executive Director of Queensland Treasury Corporation.


  1. Lisa Pala – moved from coal seam gas company Arrow Energy; to government as a media advisor at the Office of the Queensland Premier (Newman Government).


  1. Les Cox – moved from Arrow Energy; to become a policy advisor to the Queensland Resources Minister, Andrew Cripps MP (Newman Government).


  1. Neil McGregor – moved from Ambre Energy; to become the director of public sector renewal at the Queensland Department of Premier and Cabinet (Newman Government).

Here’s a picture of Neil McGregor and Matt Adams from 2010:


  1. Matt Adams - moved from Ambre Energy; to become a senior policy advisor to the Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney MP (Newman Government).

Here’s a picture of Matt Adams and Neil McGregor from 2010:


  1. David Usasz – was simultaneously a director at Ambre Energy (2008-2013) and a Director of Queensland Investment Corporation (2011-2014). Note that when assessing the independence of directors, the shareholding Ministers of QIC (on behalf of the State of Queensland) are required to consider “whether the director has any interest and any business or other relationship that could, or could reasonably be perceived to, materially interfere with the director’s ability to act in the best interests of QIC.”


  1. Jeff Popp – from communications manager at AECOM Australia Pty Ltd (2009-2012); to Chief of Staff, Office of the Deputy Premier (Newman Government, 2012-2015).


28. Catherine Tanna - executive Vice President Gas & Power at Shell; then executive Vice President and managing director BG Group / QGC in Queensland (2009-14) and simultaneously on the board of the RBA (from 2011-current); became managing director EnergyAustralia (July 2014).

And more movers here:


  • Buggered if I would break bread with any of this bunch! And hope the opportunity never arises…….


  • David Quinn – Asciano & APA > Treasury & Trade Dept. (appointed July 2014)

    Warwick Agnew – Transfield > Treasury & Trade Dept. (appointed June 2014)

    Ben Power – BP > Manager Risk, Audit & Insurance Group -Department of Sustainability and Environment QLD 2008 – 2011 (3 years) > QGC

    Brett Smith - Chief Operating Officer, Stanwell Corporation Limited 2001 – 2008 (7 years) >QGC (VP Sustainability)

    Lisa Cecchi – Senior Project Manager, Sunwater > QGC (North Area Asset Manager)

    Kirrily Addison - Senior Project Manager SunWater > Santos > QGC (Manager Water Strategy and Communication)

    Rob Macaire – Special forces> Foreign and Commonwealth Office> British High Commissioner to Nairobi/Kenya > QGC (Director of Political Risk in BG Group)

    Rob joined the Ministry of Defence in 1987, and worked on a number of issues including procurement policy and supporting Special Forces, before transferring to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1990. His first diplomatic posting was in Bucharest, Romania from 1991 to 1995. He returned to the UK to work on the Middle East, following which he was posted to Washington, as First Secretary Middle East and Counter Terrorism, from 1998-2002. This included dealing with the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2002 Macaire returned to London to head the Counter Terrorism Policy Department in the Foreign Office [1] in the immediate post 9/11 period. He served as Political Counsellor in New Delhi, India from 2004 to 2006, during which time he led a team responding to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in Phuket, Thailand. He returned to London as Director of Consular Services, responsible for all support to UK nationals abroad, including crisis response. In 2008 he was appointed British High Commissioner to Nairobi, Kenya, where he served until 2011. In Nairobi he was involved among other things with Kenyans’ efforts to fight corruption in their country, support for Kenya’s new constitution in 2010,[6] and was responsible for UK dealings with Somalia, including kidnap and hijack cases.

    Fiona Marks - Project Manager Department of Environment and Resource Management 2009 – 2010 > QGC

    Debbie Govier - Corporate Communications, Queensland Water Infrastructure, 2008 – 2010 > QGC (Lead Area Delivery Engineer - North Asset)

    Tony Nunan - Natural Resource Scientist, Queensland Government, June 2000 – December 2002 > Hopgood Gannin, Associate 2003-2008 > QGC (General Manager, Land Management, Vice President Operations (COO Office)

    Charmaine Savage - Executive Officer Fraser Island World Heritage Officer DERM January 2010 – December 2011>QGC

    Greg Mills - Principal Development Extension Officer - Pulse Crops, Queensland Dept of Primary Industries & Fisheries, November 1999 – April 2007 > Gasfields Co-existence Manager QGC February 2012 – May 2013
    “Landholder complaints including ‘CSG induced’ health issues, compensation packages and feedback on land valuations, seismic activities and impacts.”

    Nick Park – Electorate Office, Hon Peter Dutton MP, November 2001 – March 2003 > Director Government Affairs, Enhance Group, 2003 – 2010 > QGC (Manager Government Affairs)

    NB: Lobbyist - Enhance Group – Jim Elder ALP -Jim is the former Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development and Trade in the Queensland Government. His parliamentary service extends over 12 years during which time he also served as Minister for Transport and Minister assisting the Premier on Economic and Trade Development; Minister for Health; Minister for Business, Industry and Regional Development; Deputy Leader of the Opposition; Shadow Minister for Business, Industry and Transport and Shadow Minister for Transport, Youth, Sport and Recreation.

    Adam Baker - Air Security Officer & Team Training Manager, Australian Federal Police May 2005 – August 2010 > QGC


  • And let us not forget the close pally relationship between the QPT and Anglo American and and its Global Real Estate Business bearing in mind the QPT has an extremely large real estate portfolio - staff employed by QPT have come from all levels of business, sic., accounting firms, law firms specialising in Wills and Trusts the list is endless… some having links with ‘victims’ of the QPT and PT…


  • What about the wives and the daughters club?

    Ian MacFarlane’s daughter, Kate, was given a job at Arrow between 2012 - 2015 when they were applying pressure to start drilling on the Darling Downs…she then scored a job at QIC.

    Jim Elder, whose lobbying firm I mentioned above (Enhance) lists Santos as a client in this 2009 document from the Age:

    Jim’s wife, Leisa Elder, worked first for Santos (circa 2007-2009) before going over to Arrow, where she remains as V-P External Relations and Tenure Management.

    Jim and Leisa Elders daughter, Alex, first worked for Enhance (with Jim Elder) before (like mother) doing a stint at Santos and then (also like mother) ending up at Arrow. Her role is Senior Media Officer.

    There is also a Peta Tucker at Arrow, who bears a similar last name to LNP Power-Broker Bob Tucker or Giles Tucker of QIT? I wonder which to whom she belongs. I suspect Bob.

    I suspect, if one cared to look even more closely, one would find more family members in this murky affair.


  • Nice list. This proves the more power you give government the more vested interests (corporate and environmental) will try to acquire that power. Don’t give government the power to control peoples lives/money/property and this won’t occur.


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