Just say no: MPs Chris Holstein, Darren Webber, Chris Spence and Chris Hartcher with then opposition leader Barry O’Farrell and Alan Hayes of Australian Coal Alliance protesting against the Wallarah 2 coal mine in 2009. Photo: SuppliedThe chief of staff to former resources minister Chris Hartcher, Andrew Humpherson, has begun ”consulting” to the mining industry two months after his boss resigned from cabinet following a raid by corruption authorities.
Fairfax Media has confirmed Mr Humpherson has been working for the NSW Minerals Council.
On Wednesday a spokesman for the council said Mr Humpherson was working as a consultant ”on a short-term contract”.
Mr Humpherson has not registered as a lobbyist with the NSW Parliament, suggesting he is not presently seeking to lobby the NSW government directly.
But the move so soon after leaving Mr Hartcher’s office has highlighted Premier Barry O’Farrell’s lack of action on advice by the Independent Commission Against Corruption to tighten the rules for former political staff.
In a November 2010 report on corruption risks associated with lobbying, ICAC recommended former staff of ministers and parliamentary secretaries be banned for a year from lobbying activity ”relating to any matter that they had official dealings with in their last 12 months in office”.
In a report delivered last November following inquiries into former Labor ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald, ICAC urged the O’Farrell government to reconsider the recommendations.
At the time Mr O’Farrell said the government would ”consider what additional recommendations should be adopted”.
Mr Humpherson did not respond to a request for comment. His LinkedIn profile describes him as ”consulting to the resources industry” and working in the area of ”government relations”.
The move by Mr Humpherson comes after Stephen Galilee, the former chief of staff to NSW Treasurer Mike Baird, quit nine months after the March 2011 election to become chief executive of the NSW Minerals Council.
Mr Hartcher resigned from cabinet in December following a raid on his electorate office by ICAC. Last week ICAC named Mr Hartcher and MPs Chris Spence and Darren Webber as part of a corruption inquiry due to start next month.