Former federal Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane will indeed be appointed CEO of the state’s premier mining lobby group, the Queensland Resources Council.As first foreshadowed in this column back in August, Macca’s appointment is expected to be made official on Monday.
When contacted Sunday afternoon for comment, the gravel-toned political warrior from Toowoomba refused to comment. But it’s well known among his peers that the long-serving Liberal grandee was becoming frustrated with life in semi-retirement – with not even his cattle farm or the prospect of working on his golf handicap at seemingly a rewarding enough distraction.
“He’s got a black book bulging with contacts just aching to be used”, reckoned one source.
It’s a triumphant return to the fray for Macca, ingloriously booted from Malcolm Turnbull’s frontbench a year ago – sparking the cattle farmer’s retirement from politics after almost 18 years as the member for Groom. A return which will be made all the sweeter by the reported $500k pay packet.
He was tapped by Annastacia Palaszczuk’s government to take on the role of Queensland Resources Commissioner back in March, but taking it would have triggered a by-election only months before the federal poll.
The QRC has been overseen for the past 11 years by Michael Roche, who will step down in November. After having led the QRC through the mining boom, where the biggest worry was having enough workers to keep up with the frantic rate of digging, the QRC has been involved in hand-to-hand combat more recently with enviro-warriors. Can’t you just see Macca smearing on the war paint as we speak?