Wayne Swan joins revolving door from Canberra to fossil fuel industry | RenewEconomy

Wayne Swan joins revolving door from Canberra to fossil fuel industry

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Revolving door between federal parliament and fossil fuel industry continues to spin, this time with former treasurer Wayne Swan named as director of coal generation company.

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The revolving door between federal parliament and the fossil fuel industry continues to spin, this time from the Labor side of the house, with former deputy prime minister and treasurer Wayne Swan appointed as a director of Stanwell Corporation.

The appointment to the board of the state-government owned coal and gas power generator was announced late Friday afternoon last week, in a joint statement from Queensland’s Labor deputy premier Jackie Trad, and the minister for energy.

Stanwell owns nearly half the state’s centralised coal and gas generation capacity, and 40 per cent of Queensland’s coal-fired generating capacity.

“From bulk water and reliable electricity supplies, to the management of ports, railways and investments, these agencies have impacts on the lives of the more than five million people living in Queensland,” Trad said.

“The new appointees would bring with them “decades of invaluable public and private sector management knowledge and experience at the highest levels,” state energy minister Anthony Lynham added.

Stanwell’s coal fleet includes two of Australia’s younger generators, the Stanwell Power Station in Rockhampton and Tarong North Power Station in the South Burnett.

Just over two years ago, the Palaszczuk government announced that $53.8 million would be invested in a series of major projects at Stanwell, including $24.3 million on major overhauls and $14.4 million for a control system upgrade, along with some smaller projects.

Interestingly, Brisbane Times recalls that in 2012, then leader of the opposition Annastacia Palaszczuk had slammed the LNP Campbell government for announcing LNP appointments to government-owned companies at 5pm on a Friday afternoon. Labor released the names of its new appointees at 2.47pm on Friday.

The paper also reports that current LNP deputy opposition leader Tim Mander called Swan’s appointment “brazen political cronyism” – either ignoring to failing to see any irony in this view.

“Appointing Labor mates to taxpayer-funded gigs doesn’t pass the pub test,” Mander said.

As RenewEconomy has frequently reported, the ties are strong between the federal Coalition government and the mining and resources industry and its lobby groups.

Earlier this year, former Minerals Council of Australia CEO Brendan Pearson was tapped as a senior adviser to Scott Morrison, shifting him up from the office of the minister for finance, Mathias Cormann, to Morrison’s inner sanctum.

Pearson’s promotion also put him back working side by side with his former MCA deputy chief executive, John Kunkel, who currently occupies the key position of Scott Morrison’s chief of staff.

In the other direction, former Liberal minister Helen Coonan was in May appointed as chair of the Minerals Council of Australia, which has led the efforts of Australia’s coal lobby, running pro-coal campaigns both inside and outside of Parliament.

And in Queensland, Australia’s longest serving federal resources and energy minister, ex-Coalition stalwart Ian Macfarlane has been chief executive of the Queensland Resources Council since 2016 and is also non-executive director of Woodside Petroleum.

His predecessor, Labor’s martin Ferguson, has worked as an advocate for the gas and oil lobby group, APPEA. Another Labor industry minister, came from Woodside Petroleum.

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11 Comments
  1. Gregory Olsen 3 months ago

    Absolutely disgusting!! 🙁

  2. JackD 3 months ago

    Oh Wayne!! How could you? Sided with the enemy of RE, have you?

    Well at least Qld Labor government didn’t put this story out with the “Trash”. It was at least 2 hours beforehand.

  3. ReverseConcaveSpoon 3 months ago

    Guess he figures that’s where the future is then. Great.

  4. Terry McGee 3 months ago

    I think we owe Swann the opportunity to explain himself. Perhaps he has a clever plan to speed Stanwell out of fossil fuels and into renewables? But, whatever Wayne, this better be good!

    • Joe 3 months ago

      Maybe Stanwell are into ‘cleeeen coal’ and ‘cleeeen gas’?

  5. Andrew Roydhouse 3 months ago

    The worst kept secret…

    The political donors are the ones who call the shots and the politicians – whether local, state or federal Govt do their bidding.

    But of course Australia does not need a Federal equivalent of the (now near toothless) ICAC.

    Just like we didn’t need a Banking Royal Commission….

  6. John Saint-Smith 3 months ago

    At this rate they’ll never be re-elected.
    Maybe people will have to bite the bullet and vote for the Greens!

    • Rod 3 months ago

      Or other left Parties. Australian Progressives look interesting and all will probably feed preferences to labor anyway

  7. Steve Fuller 3 months ago

    I don’t think that anyone has seriously suggested that coal or gas fired electricity generation should end before 2030 and the ALP policy was for 50% renewables by 2030.
    So there was always going to be a place for coal in the short/medium term (even though that in itself could be disastrous).
    So if Wayne is going to use his talents to help shepherd coal generation out of business in the short/medium term then that is a good thing especially in a public enterprise.
    Let’s hope that he gets on with the job.

    Now I wonder how Greg Combet is getting on with AGL?

  8. notta mehere 3 months ago

    pity the only place i can vent my outrage is in the comment section. much prefer to put him, and all the other shysters, up against a wall, and deal with them once and for all…

  9. Ian 3 months ago

    Two sides of the same coin: ALP/LNP

Comments are closed.

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