The Revolving Door between Miners 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, advisors 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 us know so we can update.

Ministers who became mining supporters

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

NSW Mineral Council

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

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

Malcolm Cole - Director of Media & Communications at SAS Group

  • Lobbied for Shenua
  • Ministerial staffer in Howard Government. LNP candidate for Moreton.

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) 

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


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