Revolving Doors

Ian Macfarlane

Ian Macfarlane

Fossil Fuels | Liberal Party | Revolving Doors

CEO Queensland Resources Council (QRC)

Chairman of the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC)

Previous Positions

Minister for Small Business 2001

Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources from 2001 to 2007.

Cabinet Minister from 2001 to 2007 and 2013 to 2015

Minister for Industry from 2013 to 2014.

Minister for Industry and Science from 2014 to 2015.



  • Former Queensland Liberal MP Ian Macfarlane held the Industry and Resources portfolio from 26 November 2001 until 3 December 2007, and was later Minister for Industry and Science, with responsibility for the CSIRO, between 18 September 2013 and 21 September 2015.
  • An attempt by Macfarlane to defect to The Nationals in 2015 was rejected by the LNP state executive due to concerns over the stability of the federal coalition.
  • After leaving politics, Macfarlane became CEO of mining lobby the Queensland Resources Council
    (QRC), a position he continues to hold.
    • Macfarlane has also held positions as a non-executive director with Woodside petroleum and a chairman of the Innovative Manufacturing Co-operative Research Centre
    • Former Greens senator Lee Rhiannon stated in a 2016 media release that “Australians are sick to death of the revolving door between politics, big business and big polluters,” after hearing of Macfarlane’s appointment to the Queensland Resources Council.
  • Macfarlane’s predecessor at QRC, Michael Roche, has been worked as a strategic advisor at McCullough Robertson Lawyers since February 2017. Roach has since passed away, August 2019.
    • McCullough Robertson, now Queensland’s largest law firm, represents ERM Power Limited, Adani, Peabody Energy and the Queensland Government.
    • McCullough Robertson lawyer Trent Thorne heads the Rural Press Club of Queensland.

This entry in the #RevolvingDoors series has been produced from the Dirty Power Report authored by Michael West and Simone Marsh in collaboration with Greenpeace.

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