Sunday, February 25, 2018


There is already speculation in the Northern Territory that  Barnaby Joyce   will end up employed  by  another rich  friend , billionaire  Gina Rinehart, with vast mining and  pastoral interests . It is being repeatedly pointed out  that  the  former   Country Liberal Chief Minister of  the  Northern Territory , Adam Giles , who lost  his Alice Springs seat  at last  year's  election ,  unexpectedly became general manager for  external affairs  pastoral , in   Hancock  Prospecting. At the time , it was said  this  swift appointment  highlighted the "blatant " revolving  door between  politicians  and  mining companies .

Apart  from holding pastoral interests in  the Territory , Hancock Prospecting  has  gas exploration licences  over  a  large  area  and  fracking  is  a hot political  issue in the north , a contentious  report issued as  the result of an  inquiry . The entrance  of   one   pastoral property over which   the Hancock  company has  gas permits , owned by  a millionaire , firmly declares  NO FRACKING . It is  a  kind of  range  war  situation  as  in  the 1960s western TV series, The Big Valley , with Barbara  Stanwyck  as  the  tough matriarch.  

There is no doubt  that  Gina  Rinehart  has a  soft  spot for  Barnaby Joyce . He was one of  three Coalition  MPs   she  flew to India  in her private jet  for  a lavish Bollywood  type  wedding  . Then,  last November ,  she presented   Barnaby   with  her inaugural  $40,000 award  on  National  Agriculture  Day  for " championing  agriculture" . As he was  the Minister   for Agriculture , there  were  howls  of   disbelief , and  the  cheque was  handed  back .

Now , the  scuttlebutt  in the Territory is that  the former  Deputy Prime Minister   is  a   Monty  to   end  up  on  the payroll of  Ms. Rinehart , who also has  coal  mining interests   in  the   Galilee  Basin , Queensland .