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13 Times Politicians Retired And Went Straight Into A Very Convenient Job

Like defence minister and weapons maker.

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1. Ian Macfarlane

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

Former prime minister Tony Abbott told the parliament back in May that the Australian mining industry should "acknowledge and demonstrate their gratitude" to Ian Macfarlane for axing the mining tax.

It worked. The former federal minister for industry and former resources minister has been named head of the Queensland Resources Council less than six months after quitting politics.

2. Andrew Robb

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

The celebrated trade minister who helped negotiate free trade deals with South Korea, Japan and China scored a job with New York investment bank Moelis & Company five months after announcing he was retiring.

His job at the private bank is reportedly to focus on deals between Australia and... China.


3. Martin Ferguson

Paul Miller / AAPIMAGE

Ferguson served as minister for resources and energy from 2007 to 2013.

It didn't take long before he became one of the country's leading advocates for coal seam gas exploration (known as fracking), as chair of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association advisory board and board director of BG Group Ltd (a British oil and gas company).

4. Mark Arbib

Matt King / Getty Images

Arbib was a Labor party ~powerbroker~ who climbed the parliamentary ranks to assistant treasurer, before bailing from politics in 2012 to take a job working for James Packer's Crown group.

He joined former ALP party president Karl Bitar at the casino and the pair was affectionately dubbed "Karl Marks".

5. Helen Coonan

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

Former communications minister and assistant treasurer Helen Coonan announced her resignation in August 2011 after 15 years in the Senate.

It took only days for Crown Casino to announce Coonan would join its board of directors.

6. Peter Reith

Damir Ivka / AAPIMAGE

The controversial workplace relations minister was shifted into the defence minister role in 2001.

He didn't last long. Reith retired at the 2001 election and took a job consulting for defence company Tenix, which subsequently won an $880 million government contract.

7. Lindsay Tanner

Alan Porritt / AAPIMAGE

The former finance minister was part of Kevin Rudd's infamous "gang of four", who made the executive decisions at the height of the global financial crisis.

Tanner retired from politics at the 2010 election, joining investment bank Lazard, reportedly as a "special advisor" to the Australian branch.


8. John Fahey

Dean Lewins / AAPIMAGE

Fahey was NSW premier before becoming federal finance minister from 1996 to 2001.

Fahey picked up a job three months after quitting politics, working as a consultant for investment bank JP Morgan, "assisting it in government agreements and providing broader advice on government relations".

9. Mark Vaile

Alan Porritt / AAPIMAGE

Vaile was deputy prime minister in the final Howard years, at different times holding the portfolios of trade, transport, regional development, agriculture, fisheries and forestries.

He retired at the 2007 election, putting his knowledge to good use by joining local coal company Whitehaven, where he currently serves as chairman.

10. Michael Wooldridge

Alan Porritt / AAPIMAGE

A week before the 2001 election, health minister Michael Wooldridge approved a $5 million grant for the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Wooldridge retired from politics at the election and became a consultant for... the Royal College of General Practitioners.

11. Bob Carr

Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images

Carr quit as NSW premier in 2005 after leading Australia's largest state for 10 years.

Just months after leaving politics, Carr walked into a job at investment bank Macquarie Bank to "advise the bank on policy and domestic and international strategic issues".

13. Kim Beazley

Peter Parks / AAPIMAGE

Kim Beazley picked up the nickname "Bomber" during his time as federal defence minister from 1984 to 1990 and has recently spent six years as Australian ambassador to the US.

This year he bowed out of public service, but "Bomber" picked up the perfect job with US weapons maker Lockheed Martin.

Mark Di Stefano is a Media and Politics Reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at

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